Applying Elon Musk’s First Principles Thinking

What does it mean for Elon Musk to start from first principles?

When does he address a given technological challenge? Can we take inspiration from the approach and apply it to other problem sets in front of us?

Too rarely if ever people running established processes ask themselves: “If I went back to the drawing board, could I achieve some kind of radical improvement that would vastly out compete the previous approach?” There are many reasons for not doing that. One one hand, it requires real creativity and effort, ingenuity, and invention on top of innovation. On the other hand, it also requires a lot of risk taking and dedicating resources in finding the new solution, resources that are taken away from the incremental improvements that could be applied to the existing solution.