Musk’s Learning Transfer

First, he deconstructs knowledge into fundamental principles.

Musk’s answer on a Reddit AMA describes how he does that:

It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang onto.

Next, he reconstructs the fundamental principles in new fields.

Step two of Musk’s learning transfer process involves reconstructing the foundational principles he’s learned in artificial intelligence, technology, physics, and engineering into separate fields:

  • In aerospace in order to create SpaceX.
  • In automotive in order to create Tesla with self-driving features.
  • In trains in order to envision the Hyperloop.
  • In aviation in order to envision electric aircraft that take off and land vertically.
  • In technology in order to envision a neural lace that interfaces your brain.
  • In technology in order to help build PayPal.
  • In technology in order to co-found OpenAI, a non-profit that limits the probability of negative artificial intelligence futures.

Research suggests that turning your knowledge into deeper, abstract principles facilitates learning transfer. Research also suggests that one technique is particularly powerful for helping people intuit underlying principles. This technique is called, “contrasting cases.”

Keith Holyoak, a UCLA professor of psychology and one of the world’s leading thinkers on analogical reasoning, recommends people ask themselves the following two questions in order to hone their skills: “What does this remind me of?” and “Why does it remind me of it?”

By constantly looking at objects in your environment and material you read and asking yourself these two questions, you build the muscles in your brain that help you make connections across traditional boundaries.


Logo Rationale Considerations

Clarify and identify the meanings behind the icons you chose to incorporate into the design. Go into as much detail as you feel necessary, the history, cultural relevance and so on.

Why did you choose this style for the logo? Did you give it a distressed look because the mark is for an outdoors company, or is the logo clean and orderly because it’s for a closet organization company, etc.

Explain why you chose the typefaces used in the logo. How do they relate to the rest of the design and the company it represents?

How does the concept relate to the company’s personality, goals, vision and values?

Explain the colour choices. Why did you choose them? What does the colour represent? How does the colour choice relate to the business? Sometimes colour isn’t a part of the first round of concepts, so whenever colour is does get introduced it’s important to add it to your rationale. Read more about colour psychology here in the article “Color Psychology in Logo Design”.

Take The Cold Bath Bravely

Du Bois’ advice to his daughter:

“Don’t shrink from new experiences and custom. Take the cold bath bravely. Enter into the spirit of your big bed-room. Enjoy what is and not pine for what is not. Read some good, heavy, serious books just for discipline: Take yourself in hand and master yourself. Make yourself do unpleasant things, so as to gain the upper hand of your soul. Above all remember: your father loves you and believes in you and expects you to be a wonderful woman.”


The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. The method is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility.