“There’s this thing called physics, which is this scientific method that’s really quite effective for figuring out the truth.”
The scientific method is a phrase Musk uses often when asked how he came up with an idea, solved a problem or chose to start a business. Here’s how he defines it for his purposes, in mostly his own words:
1. Ask a question.
2. Gather as much evidence as possible about it.
3. Develop axioms based on the evidence, and try to assign a probability of truth to each one.
4. Draw a conclusion based on cogency in order to determine: Are these axioms correct, are they relevant, do they necessarily lead to this conclusion, and with what probability?
5. Attempt to disprove the conclusion. Seek refutation from others to further help break your conclusion.
6. If nobody can invalidate your conclusion, then you’re probably right, but you’re not certainly right.
“The fundamental intention of Tesla, at least my motivation,” Musk explains in his halting, stuttering voice, “was to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy. That’s why I open-sourced the patents. It’s the only way to transition to sustainable energy better.