How do you get electricity from a vegetable? And the fact that we have the means to make solar panels that work in the dark and that you have the means to get those solar cells to work at a temperature that we can measure and do calculations on, it’s quite a lot,” he said. “[I think] if you were to take a step back, it is a little bit more complicated than people think.”
But the first step, he said, is the same for every kind of technology.
“The first step of every technology is the same: start up. The next step is to get people to think about what’s going to get the most people excited about something and then we move to the business,” he said.
If you were to start a company today, and you had a big enough idea, you would need two teams – one going after the right customers in a specific area, and one going after the right product in a specific market. Then, he said, you’d need an outside partner to support it. It’s all essentially a process of getting more people to take those ideas and turn them into products.
As for his own company, Musk said, it’s a two-person team – Elon Musk and Josh Lowensohn, a former partner at PayPal and a long time investor in Tesla and SpaceX. When they founded Thrive Global, Musk is the chief technology officer. There’s Josh Lowensohn, who is the chief strategy officer and general partner of Tesla Ventures and a former partner of Tesla and SpaceX, and Elon Musk’s longtime friend and co-founder from PayPal. The idea is that they would be the leaders in building out their own internal teams – but that wouldn’t be for a year at least; it would be more like a two-to-three-year process.
When this gets underway in late 2017, “we’ll start testing the technology in a variety of situations,” Musk told Business Insider. As to when it would be ready, SpaceX is planning to start a manned mission by the end of 2018, a feat that would make it one of the world’s first companies to orbit the Earth. Musk would like to see it in production within two years, or even sooner.
At this rate, Musk wants Thrive to be “our third largest company in the world by the end of this decade.”
And the company’s success hinges on the quality of the solar material being used in the panels – the quality of its
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