字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 SAL KHAN: So first of all, I just want to thank Elon for coming-- hungry. You didn't even have dinner. And we didn't even feed you properly. ELON MUSK: No, sorry to be a bit late. I just came from the Tesla factory in Fremont. SAL KHAN: Yes. Was something wrong? ELON MUSK: There's always something. SAL KHAN: Did you have to like-- ELON MUSK: At any given point, there's always something wrong. SAL KHAN: Yes. ELON MUSK: Because there's just too many things going on. So one of the trickiest things about a car is that there's thousands of individual components-- there are thousands of unique components-- and even if one of those things is missing, you can't make cars. So today's fiasco was-- I kid you not-- we were missing a $3 USB cable. OK. So we could not complete cars, because-- SAL KHAN: So the whole line was stopped? ELON MUSK: Yeah. So essentially, because it's part of the wiring harness. So you can't put the interior in without this cable. And so we could either make a whole bunch of cars minus the interior, which means that you've got to stack them up in the yard. SAL KHAN: The resale value would be no good. ELON MUSK: Well, it can be done, but if then things go out of sequence, and it's way more inefficient-- you don't have a moving production line. Then you have to send people out to hundreds of cars that are sitting in the storage yard. And so this happens to be a particularly pernicious cable. It's kind of routed under the carpet, in a difficult place. And it's literally $3. And so we basically had to send people throughout the Bay Area to go and buy USB cables. SAL KHAN: Like, literally, Radio Shack? ELON MUSK: Like Fry's. SAL KHAN: Oh, Fry's. That's better. ELON MUSK: You're going to have a hard time getting a USB cable right now at Fry's, because we bought every one of them. SAL KHAN: That's good. ELON MUSK: And so we're able to continue production. And I don't want to belabor the anecdote, but essentially the supplier is in China. And we had plan A and plan B. And plan A was like the normal supply chain process. But what the supplier did was instead of sending our parts in their own package, they grouped it together with a bunch of other stuff for other companies and sent that all via some extremely slow boat from China to LA. And when it got to LA, the other stuff didn't pass customs. And so they wouldn't let our stuff through, because-- SAL KHAN: They put it like a barrel fruit or something. ELON MUSK: I don't what they put it, but something that customs didn't like. And the paperwork wasn't in order or whatever. So it got stuck there for like a couple weeks. And then we had plan B. So we called and said, look you've got to air freight some of these cables-- cause they're just little cables-- to us. And we talked to their US subsidiary and ordered from the US subsidiary, who then communicated to China. But then because this was another batch of parts, so it was kind of double the order, it exceeded the credit limit that we had. So it bounced off the credit limit, so they didn't ship it. SAL KHAN: Fascinating. So someone's losing their job now. This is-- no, I'm kidding. You shouldn't fire anyone. ELON MUSK: I mean, it's pretty farcical. And, anyway, so, it's coming like tonight at 11:00 PM or something. SAL KHAN: Wow. And these things are happening like all the time? This was an unusual circumstance? ELON MUSK: Yeah. That's like one example, but there's many things like that. SAL KHAN: I guess, I mean, that's actually a really good example, because that leads into what I've always been fascinated by a lot of what you're doing. Well, I'll start with, how did you get into this? ELON MUSK: Into cars? SAL KHAN: Into cars. Into taking over NASA. Well, not taking over NASA-- being a contractor for NASA. ELON MUSK: Just for the record, we are not taking over NASA. SAL KHAN: You're not taking over NASA. They are an independent organization. But you are becoming a major provider of services for NASA. Obviously, kind of internet payments and payments generally. I mean these are three completely different spaces. I think a lot of people would not take someone seriously, if they had a business plan in one of these. ELON MUSK: Right. Sorry to eat. SAL KHAN: Oh, yeah, take your time. What was your-- did you always think you were going to be doing this or-- when did it dawn on you that you would try to revolutionize three industries? ELON MUSK: Well, when I was in college-- I didn't actually expect to do it. So it was not like this is some long-fulfilled expectation. But when I was in college, I thought about what were the areas that would most effect the future of humanity, in my opinion. And the three areas were the internet, sustainable energy, and space exploration, particularly if humanity becomes a multi-planet species. You know, there's kind of like a pretty substantial bifurcation in our future, if we're either out there among stars on multiple planets, or if we're confined to Earth until some obviously eventual extinction. Not Not that I'm pessimistic about live on Earth. I mean, things are likely to be good. More likely to be good by far than bad. SAL KHAN: Yellowstone's due for an explosion every several hundred thousand-- Shandra knows about that. It's been 700,000, ELON MUSK: Right. Right. Yeah. SAL KHAN: Super volcano for those of you who don't know. It would envelop, but well-- ELON MUSK: Yeah. Exactly. I know exactly what you're talking about. So-- SAL KHAN: We read the same books. I can tell. ELON MUSK: Absolutely. I mean something bad is bound to happen if you give it enough time. And civilization has been around for such a very short period of time that these time scales seem like very long, but on an evolutionary time scale, they're very short. A million years on an evolutionary time scale is really not very much. And Earth's been around for four and a half billion years, so that's a very tiny, tiny amount of time, really. But for us that would be-- can you can imagine if human civilization continued at anything remotely like the current pace of technology ad advancement for a million years? Where would we be? I think we're either extinct or on a lot of planets. SAL KHAN: Yes. We should-- ELON MUSK: Those are the two options. SAL KHAN: But given that-- I mean, one, that's kind of as epic as one can think about things, literally. How did you make that concrete? How does that turn into SpaceX, Tesla and Paypal? ELON MUSK: Well, so I thought about these things kind of in the abstract. Not from the expectation that I would actually have careers in those arenas. But, I wanted to be involved in at least one of them. And at first I thought the best bet was going to be electric cars. And so the area that I was studying was advanced capacitors. So essentially capacitors that have an engine density exceeding that of batteries. Because they have a very high power density, but a low energy density. Maybe you have lecture to that effect, I don't know. SAL KHAN: Oh, yes, no. We should do that. We'll get to it later. ELON MUSK: Exactly. So obviously, if you could make a capacitor that had anywhere near the energy density of a battery with this incredibly high power density and this quasi-infinite cycle and calendar life, then you'd have an awesome solution for energy storage and mobile applications. So I was going to try to work on that and try to leverage the equipment that was developed for advanced chip making and photonics to create ultra-precise capacitors at the molecular level. SAL KHAN: And this was when you were going to go into grad school? You had a brief stint at Stanford? ELON MUSK: That's right. SAL KHAN: At a PhD in applied physics? ELON MUSK: Applied physics, material science. SAL KHAN: Right. So even then you were thinking of trying to do something in the space? ELON MUSK: Actually, this was d to work on energy storage solutions for electric cars. And I'd actually worked at a company in Silicon Valley called Pinnacle Research, which did advanced capacitors. There were electrolytic capacitors. And they actually were pretty good. They had like the energy density of a lead-acid battery, which for a capacitor, that's a big deal. But they used ruthenium tantalum oxide. And I think at the time, there was maybe like one or two tons of ruthenium mined per year in the world. So it's not a scalable solution. But I thought there could be some solid-state solution, like just using chip-making equipment. That was going to be the basic idea. But it was one of those things where I wasn't sure if success was one of possible outcomes. It's difficult to bound that problem exactly and say, OK-- SAL KHAN: So you're saying, I felt like this was a destined failure is another way to parse that sentence. But anyway, sorry. ELON MUSK: No. I didn't think it would fail, but I wasn't sure that success was a possibility. SAL KHAN: OK. Yes. ELON MUSK: And generally you want to embark on something-- it's desirable to figure out if success is at least one of the possibilities. SAL KHAN: Right, exactly. ELON MUSK: Because for sure failure is one of the possibilities. But, ideally, you want to try to bracket it and say success is in the envelope of outcomes. And I wasn't quite sure if that was the case. I think success on an academic level would have been quite likely, because you can publish some useless paper-- and most papers are pretty useless-- SAL KHAN: We have a few-- don't take offense. ELON MUSK: I mean, how many PhD papers are actually used by someone ever? SAL KHAN: That's a good point. ELON MUSK: Percentagewise it's not good. And so it could have been one of those outcomes where you add some leaves to the tree of knowledge. And that leaf is, nope, it's not possible. And there goes seven years of my life. So that was one path. And I was prepared to do that. But then the internet came along.