Riut blog

My heroes: Elon Musk

Cartoon Elon Musk

If you want to hear about the RiutBag when it launches on Kickstarter in October 2014, sign up for RiutMail here When new musicians arrive on the scene, we love to say "oh, sounds a bit like.." [cue obscure music genre references]. Well, it's the same for designers, startups and anyone who's doing anything really. Where did their ideas come from? Who influenced them?

I believe we're influenced by everything around us. But it is possible to pinpoint a few heroes who we like to think shape us more than the rest.

Elon Musk is not a scent. If you haven't heard of him, here's a quick bio. South African and about 44. He thought three things would be big: the internet (nice one), sustainable travel and he believed humans should one day be multi-planetary. So, what did he do? He co-founded PayPal, then created Tesla Motors (super luxury electric cars) and now is on a mission to house humans on mars with his Space X project. By 2025. That's a serious CV. But what caught my attention was the way he thinks.

Elon is the perfect CEO, to my mind. He solves problems and speaks with crystal clarity. He wants to teach those around him and is not afraid to share his work for the greater good.

How he decided not use Russian rockets for Space X

After going to Russia a few times, looking at the rockets and weighing up the cost, he and his chief engineers got thinking. In a scientific thought experiment, they thought about the key functions of the rockets they had seen, imagined the materials they'd seen into atoms and rebuilt the rockets in their heads - figuratively speaking - anew, to reproduce the core effects. Their reimagined rocket from the atoms up to the big idea cost half as much as the ones they seen and had the potential to do much more.

I couldn't find a CC photo of him, so this is my cartoon version of Elon Musk

Elon Musk is taking his rockets to entirely new places. In the way that you wouldn't throw away your bicycle after one use, he thinks rockets should be multiple use. (They aren't at the moment.) So his new rockets will not only cost less than original rockets; the first time they are reused the cost halves, the second time it is sliced into thirds and so on.

Reimagingation is why Elon Musk is my hero. On my own earth-bound scale, I reimagine the objects around us. The ones that make our daily lives better or worse. With Musk reimagination mode on, I rethought the rucksack so that it has lasting good effects for the user. It makes urban life easier, more positive and calm. I don't want to hoard this idea for myself. One day, I hope every rucksack for urban users will borrow from the RiutBag design.

Elon. You tackle new markets, but I believe there is still space in old designs to be rethought for today. That's why I'm focussing on urban rucksacks.


If you want to hear about the RiutBag when it launches on Kickstarter in October 2014, sign up for RiutMail here