How is it even possible that Elon Musk could build four multi-billion companies by his mid-40s — in four separate fields (software, energy, transportation and aerospace)?
But all of these felt unsatisfactory to me. Plenty of people have these traits. I wanted to know what he did differently.
As I kept reading dozens of articles, videos and books about Musk, I noticed a huge piece of the puzzle was missing. Conventional wisdom says that in order to become world-class, we should only focus on one field. Musk breaks that rule. His expertise ranges from rocket science, engineering, physics and artificial intelligence to solar power and energy.
In a previous article, I call people like Elon Musk "expert-generalists" (a term coined by Orit Gadiesh, chairman of Bain & Company). Expert-generalists study widely in many different
Based on my review of Musk's life and the academic literature related to learning and expertise, I'm convinced that we should all learn across multiple fields in order to increase our odds of breakthrough success.