Elon Musk the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX isn’t the only Musk with big futuristic disruptive plans for the future; brother Kimbal is taking on an industry very much left out of the tech cross hairs for some time but he aims to change all of that. Kimbal is already the mastermind behind The Kitchen a small but rapidly growing farm to table style restaurant from Boulder to Chicago. as well as The Kitchen Community, which is an organization that has planted vegetables gardens at more than 200 schools nationwide.
The Kitchen is a for profit operation but is considered by him to be largely “philanthropically-driven.” Musk asserts that both of these enterprises are sustainable financially and scale-able. “the best training ground in the world is the Silicon Valley and the tech space, we take investments like any for-profit, but soon we’ll be a sustainable non-profit. That’s the only way to run a sustainable business for profit or otherwise.” He said about his readiness to scale.
Musk sees himself as someone who loves food first, and appreciates and merely likes tech. However, he sees the obvious advantages tech offers as a tool for implementing change and aims to do so. “you bring people together with food, you connect them and tie the fabric of society together through food.” this is a big deal for him and its amazing that no one has taken this on in this way.
In the wake of 9/11 Kimbal spend 6 weeks cooking for fire fighters and it changed his life to get back to food and leave behind his commitment to tech. “it taught me what food could do for a community, after that I felt like ‘I need to do a restaurant.’ I was much more successful than I ever expected. But tech companies are really ahead. anyone who thinks restaurants are hard should try working for at a tech company.” A little condescending but totally true. He argues that we need more innovators to enter this field.
Five years after his initial entry into The Kitchen Community, Musk says that he has helped plant the literal seeds for as many as 300 schools by the end of this year. More over he still has hundreds of applications in the works.
This is coming from someone who is still on the board of SpaceX and Tesla Motors but his heart remains in food. Where as, Elon went for the moon shots in changing the world Kimbal is getting back to basics and fixing the problems that are present in the food industry today. The food industry as we know is a huge contributor to global warming and is done in a completely environmentally unsustainable way. If we are going to begin to reverse these trends it is important that we transform out transportation and energy industries, but what is paramount in this regard is to make the world change the way we grow and prepare food. What we eat and how we get it is going to be the next great issue of our age, it is good to see more great minds taking on this challenge.