Failure is frustrating. Failure is something you don’t put on your resume.
On the contrary, one doesn't simply write a resume of his or her failures (Hint: we're going to do it).
At the same time, if you attempt great things, your failures are probably going to be just as impressive as your accomplishments.
There’s probably no other person alive today who embodies this notion more than Elon Musk.
Sure, he’s considered a genius who also happens to be worth $232 billion. Certainly, many of his ideas have turned into realities.
Arguably, he revolutionized every industry he has ever touched: eCommerce (PayPal), automotive industry (Tesla), space flights (SpaceX), satellite internet connectivity (Starlink), and sustainable energy (SolarCity).
In 2022, Musk embarked on yet a new venture: the acquisition of Twitter (now X). As we reflect on the aftermath, it's evident that his pursuit of revolutionising Twitter has taken a different, less flattering trajectory.
Speaking of trajectories, who knew that satellite connectivity could become a tool for international peacekeeping — or perhaps billionaire-led foreign policy meddling?
There's a lot to unpack. Luckily, as long as Elon continues to fail, we'll never be short on great content.
Elon Musk’s story proves that you can actually “fail your way to success”
Elon Musk’s story proves that once you’ve mastered the art of failing, success becomes the only way you can go. And he had to go through A LOT of failures and difficulties in his life.
He got ousted as CEO of the first company he created. The first PayPal product he devised was voted one of the 10 worst business ideas ever. He was forced to step down as CEO of PayPal as well.
After he founded SpaceX, he almost went bankrupt after three of his first space rockets exploded at launch.
Then he basically led Tesla to bankruptcy before he managed to succeed at last. Few more rocket explosions made him lose several of the Facebook and NASA satellites.
Then again, SpaceX's Starship prototype exploded on landing.
In 2022, Musk's acquisition of Twitter, which he later rebranded as X, became another chapter of controversy.
From attempting to cancel the deal to facing potential legal battles, making a grand entrance into Twitter HQ with a sink, and a series of layoffs, the drama seemed endless. By 2023, amidst a backdrop of declining revenues and internal upheaval, Musk chose to step down as CEO.
And then there's the Starlink episode, where allegations arose about Musk's involvement in disrupting a Ukrainian military operation. The narrative painted him as either a peacekeeper or a billionaire meddling in foreign policy, depending on whom you ask.
Yet, amidst all these high-profile setbacks and controversies, Musk's persistence and boldness remains unshaken.
Probably that's why Elon Musk’s resume of failures is a pretty long read. See for yourself in the infographic below. It’s really “explosive”.
(Note: We've updated the original Elon Musk's resume of failures from 2016 because, well, Musk managed to fail a few more times since then.)
Elon Musk’s Resume of Failures Infographic
Satisfy your curiosity and check our collection of famous resumes.
Or, create your own resume with AI, in a true Elon Musk fashion. You can be a 'technoking', too.