We can thank Nikola Tesla (and Thomas Edison!) for inspiring technology entrepreneur, investor, and engineer Elon Musk, founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX. As Musk explained in a 2008 interview, he read books about both Edison and Tesla and looked up to these visionaries as role models and his inspiration.
In fact, as Marc Seifer, author of Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla, Tesla is now a common household word, and it’s all due to Elon Musk and his decision to name his electric car, Tesla, in honor of the induction motor Tesla developed.
If you want to become the next Elon Musk, it looks like reading a book or watching a movie about Tesla might just be the way to get those creative juices flowing! Here are just a few suggestions of great books to read and movies to watch about technological innovator Nikola Tesla.
If you’re looking for a standard biography, you can’t go wrong with Mark Seifer’s Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genuis, Margaret Cheney’s Tesla: Man Out of Time, or Michael W. Simmons’s Nikola Tesla: Prophet of The Modern Technological Age.
But maybe you don’t have time to read a larger book right now or something condensed is more your style. In that case, you could read an anthology of Tesla’s quotes and facts entitled Nikola Tesla: Quotes & Facts. Blago Kirov compiles 80 quotes from Tesla and 80 facts about Tesla into an easy-to-read anthology. In no time, you’ll be an expert on Tesla!
Similarly, you could opt for a children’s book about Tesla by John Gigliotti entitled Who Was Nikola Tesla? This book could be a great option if you have kids and want to get them interested in science, technology, and engineering, and you’ll learn some things too along the way.
But maybe you’re one of those people who can only be satisfied with the original source. If that’s the case, you could try something written by Tesla himself like My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla or The Problem of Increasing Human Energy: With Special Reference to the Harnessing of the Sun’s Energy—but that’s probably pretty technical so you might need to be an engineer like Musk!
Finally, if books really aren’t your thing at all, you can always go for a movie like The Secret of Nikola Tesla (2016) or watch part of the TV series called The Men Who Built America that discusses Tesla.
No matter what book, movie, or TV show you choose, the more you learn about Tesla, the closer you’ll get to being inspired to be the next Elon Musk!