Challenges and Solutions


Tesla designs, produces and sell electric cars and power train components. The company suffered a financial crisis due to stiff competition and economic depression. Musk invested millions into the company and secured federal loans to revamp the company. Furthermore, Tesla became the second automobile manufacturer to issue an Initial Public Offer (IPO) from which it raised additional funds to ensure that the company remained afloat. Currently, it is the leading producer of electric cars in the world. It produces and sells cheap and affordable electric cars, such as the ‘Roadster,’ which competes with other sport car models.


SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced spacecraft and rockets. The company’s aim of revolutionizing space technology suffered huge setbacks after several catastrophic failures. Most of its rockets and spacecrafts failed to launch or exploded due to mechanical failure. The company suffered huge financial losses and was forced to lay off most of its employees. Apart from investing millions into the company, Musk focused his attention on technological advancement. Since then, SpaceX has successfully launched its rockets and achieved several awards for its breakthroughs in the field.

Solar City

The American energy service provider designs, finances and installs renewable solar energy systems, and performs energy efficiency retrofits and audits. Furthermore, it operates charging stations for electric cars. Solar City was affected by the low performing solar energy market. In addition, it did not have sufficient capital to operate to its maximum capacity. Musk secured loans from friends and issued an IPO to raise additional funds. It has also been actively involved in campaigning for clan energy and encouraging consumers to use solar energy. Furthermore, Solar City introduced unique terms of payment, such as purchase and leasing to target the diverse social classes in the market.

Disruptive Technology Cycle at SpaceX

After a series of failed rocket and spacecraft launches, SpaceX embarked on technological research and advancements. Technological innovations enabled the company to manufacture the first reusable rockets. This advancement reduced the amount of resources spent on purchasing or refurbishing these spacecrafts. Apart from being reusable, rockets produced by SpaceX are also cost effective because they consume less fuel.

Grand Strategy Portfolio Analysis

Portfolio analysis enables Musk to minimize risks by diversifying his investments in different companies. Financial crisis in one company will have relatively low impact on his portfolio. In addition, his diversified portfolio increases his capital base since he is able to access additional funds without sourcing for external creditors.

Entrepreneur Lessons learnt from Musk

Musk portrayed exceptional entrepreneur skills when his companies nearly went bankrupt simultaneously. Tesla, Solar City and SpaceX suffered financial crisis at the same time imposing significant challenges to Musk in terms of raising capital. He invested most of his fortune into businesses and borrowed heavily to ensure all companies survived the financial crisis. His passion for business and ability to take huge risks makes him a good example for business students.

Continuous Improvements

Continuous improvement has a direct relationship with scientific research. Even though his companies have made significant advancement in technological developments, academic alliances with higher learning institutions will strengthen their competitive advantage. Not only will his companies become corporate citizens, but they will also be able to hire intelligent and innovative students from colleges. This can be carried out by signing corporate contracts with universities and engaging in corporate social responsibility initiatives.

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