Let’s talk about Elon Musk. In the end he is one of the most notorious examples of how to make bold ideas come true. So here’s how Elon Musk has a reputation for making the impossible possible:
Step 1: Work on your credibility. Regardless of how capable you are to execute your ideas, the best way is to work on your credibility. You need to show people you’re the man or woman who can pull this out. Elon Musk worked on his credibility with Zip2 and Paypal (two companies he co-founded and sold). Thus by the time he started SpaceX people knew he had got the right stuff.
Step 2: Show it is possible. Credibility is powerful, but sometimes it’s not enough. In 2008, Elon Musk showed with the Falcon 1 that a private company cut dramatically lower the cost of getting things into space. And he’s done this over and over with the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. So when he says we’re going to Mars, we’re going to Mars.
“The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.” -Elon Musk
Step 3: Have a public relations strategy. This is not the last step, but a continuous work. Elon Musk worked on this for a long time (he’s even in a scene in the movie Iron Man 2). It takes time, but now people love Elon.
“You should never assume that people will admire your company without a public relations strategy.” – Peter Thiel
Now when Elon Musk talks about OpenAI or Neuralink (a project even crazier than colonizing Mars) everybody instantly believes he can make them happen. He’s got a successful track history. But getting to that point was the key. Not only for monetary reasons, but to prove the world he can make it happen.
This process works at different scales–it’s not just for billionaires.But the point is that bold ideas fail often fail for a bad execution, but they always fail due lack of credibility, possibility (and PR!)