Hey Elon Musk, can you confirm this correlation?

During a recent interview with Elon Musk (the name of a man who I anticipate will become a household name over the next few years), he was asked to share a bit about his mentors and (what and/or who) had inspired his entrepreneurial & scientific endeavors. I listened closely during this part of the interview, as it was an aspect of Elon’s life I could not recall being addressed during any of his previous interviews.

(note: If you haven’t seen Elon Musk’s Stanford University Entrepreneurship Corner Lecture clips, you should take a moment to watch a couple of them)


I have been fortunate enough to have two influential mentors during my lifetime. Elon says during the interview, however, that he hasn’t had any. But, Elon goes on to mention one specific person (with great fondness) for whom he had read the biographies of. The person of mention was a genius inventor, entrepreneur, and politician – the man’s name: Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.


Now, getting to my correlation and question to Elon. If you recall in recent news, Elon is considering an application for a patent of “the Hyperloop,” a method of transportation that would be much more efficient that any of our current methods. I find it quite interesting that Elon’s intentions for “the Hyperloop”, if or when the patent comes to fruition, is to open it up to “anyone who can make a credible case that they can do it.”

Benjamin Franklin, like Musk, became successful at a fairly early age. Franklin had made fortunes from his widespread distribution of Poor Richard’s Almanac, encouraged substantial royalties from his publishing franchises, and was on his way to becoming an affluent statesmen, when, at some point, he stumbled across a pretty nifty invention. In 1741, he invented a stove that was more efficient (produced more heat and less smoke) than any other stoves in use at that time. The stove was coined, the Franklin stove. And he never patented it – he just gave the plans away. As put by the narrator during a YouTube biography on Franklin, “…[Franklin] declined to patent his design. He argued that inventions should serve the public interest and that new ideas like his stove should be shared freely”.

So, assuming that Elon’s primary motive for patenting “the Hyperloop” is to avoid “trolling” and relatedly, to ensure that if it is ever built that it will be engineers that are worthy (and thus, has similar motives as Franklin had, of sharing an invention to serve the public)…

Is Elon Musk’s Hyperloop an iteration on Benjamin Franklin’s stove? And if so, I am curious (so, I ask directly)

…..

“Hey Elon Musk, [sir,] can you confirm [having any previous thoughts regarding] this correlation?..

Or, is this the first time you’ve considered it?”

contact me anytime