Elon Musk & Si Ramo: Entrepreneurial lives of accomplishment
It’s always a pleasure to meet accomplished people who raise our standards, who humble us with their record of accomplishment. Yesterday, the LA Times wrote on its cover about one such entrepreneur: Elon Musk, of whose Saturday launch of the latest SpaceX rocket the future of the space age may depend, something he does in his spare time when he’s not running Tesla, the first successful electric car company and a solar energy production company (you want to have the electricity to run his cars be clean, after all) to save the Earth (you can tell he’s not confident of his success and is hedging his bets with an escape plan). It’s good that Elon is up to something these days, as previously he had only co-founded and led the Internet’s largest payment platform (Paypal). And that after he created his first multi-hundred-million dollars success. Wishing him and SpaceX all the luck on Saturday’s launch.
Today, I had the pleasure of being invited to lunch by Si Ramo, co-founder of TRW (he’s the R) and Bunker-Ramo (now part of Honeywell). It’s not every day you get to talk to someone who can, in one conversation over a delicious lunch he invited me to at the LA Country Club in Beverly Hills, where he is the oldest living member, tell you about his experience during the Great Depression, about the call he got from President Eisenhower to build ICBMs to beat the Russians in that race, about the Los Angeles Times and the disaster made by Sam Zell from the perspective of a former Board member, about the founding of the National Academy of Engineering from one of its founders, about how 99-yr-olds like him only have a 50% chance to make it past the year, even though he has plans to die only at 101, about the best thing you can do to stay alive at that age (a walking stick to avoid falls!), about the top 3 things that the US military is doing wrong, from the father of the ICBM, about how he got rid of his cell phone to stop wasting time talking on the phone, how he gets rid of undesirable phone calls by telling them he’s 99 and referring them to the person he thinks is best for what they want (“I know a lot of people”), about Apple and their inferior products –his opiniont–, and about the decision to admit women to Caltech decades ago, currently ranked #1 university in the world although in his opinion only for science, which is what brought us together. We’ll be meeting again soon, so stay tuned for more fascinating accounts of the last century from a unique entrepreneur.
People like Si –even if they are the 1%– are why QLess offers electronic queue management for people without cell phones, too.
Companies like Tesla, whose cars have a waiting list to get before they even launch, are why QLess allows you to digitize your waitlist and keep your customers informed and engaged during their wait.
Lots to do. Dont’ wait.