Ashlee Vance
Ashlee Vance at a signing for his book, Elon Musk
Ashlee Vance at a signing for his book, Elon Musk
Born1977 (age 46–47)
South Africa
EducationPomona College
SubjectsTechnology, business
Notable workElon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Ashlee Vance (born 1977) is an American reporter, writer and filmmaker. He wrote a biography of Elon Musk, titled Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, that was released on May 19, 2015.

Early life and education

Vance was born in 1977 in South Africa. He attended Pomona College, graduating in 2000.[1]


Vance wrote for The Register from March 2003[2] to August 2008.[3] He moved to The New York Times in September 2008[4] and then to Bloomberg Businessweek in January 2011.[5]

During his time at The Register, Vance covered companies such as IBM, HP, Intel, and Dell, and also wrote about a wide range of technology topics, including robots, Segway scooters, and the R programming language.[6][7] In 2007, Vance wrote a book, called Geek Silicon Valley, on the history of Silicon Valley.[8] His writing often also appeared in such publications as The Economist, Chicago Tribune,, The Globe and Mail, the International Herald Tribune, and CNET.

Vance hosted an audio podcast called Semi-Coherent Computing from 2007–2008,[9] in which he discussed enterprise computing topics such as data center cooling and blade servers, and interviewed guests including chip pioneer David Ditzel of Transmeta, Sun Microsystems, and Bell Labs.[10]

In 2015, Vance started writing, producing and hosting the "Hello World" video series for Bloomberg, focusing on the tech scene in various countries.[11][12] The show was nominated for an Emmy in 2016.[13] In 2015, Vance published his biography about Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and other tech companies. The book became an immediate best-seller.[14] Vance says that Musk "really hated some of the things in the book, so we didn't talk for three years."[7]

In May of 2023, Vance published When the Heavens Went on Sale: The Misfits and Geniuses Racing to Put Space within Reach about the rise of commercial space. The book focused on Planet Labs, Rocket Lab, Astra Space and Firefly Aerospace. It also became an immediate best-seller.[15]

Vance is currently working on a TV series based on his Elon Musk book for HBO[16] and a documentary for HBO based on his latest book.[17]

He lives in California with his wife Melinda and their two children.[17] Vance calls himself an atheist.[7]



  1. ^ Abraham, Sneha (3 August 2016). "The Full Elon". Pomona College Magazine. Pomona College. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  2. ^ Vance, Ashlee (2003-03-24). "Sun adopts Write Once, Revise Anywhere license". The Register.
  3. ^ Vance, Ashlee (2008-08-21). "Reg server and chip hack molested by Gray Lady". The Register.
  4. ^ "Ashlee Vance - Bits - The New York Times". 8 December 2010. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  5. ^ "Ashlee Vance and Brendan Greeley Join Bloomberg Businessweek". Press Release. Bloomberg. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Data Analysts Captivated by R's Power". The New York Times. 2009-01-08. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  7. ^ a b c "Interview with Ashlee Vance". Interviews with Max Raskin. Retrieved 2024-02-01.
  8. ^ Vance, Ashlee (2007-11-01). Geek Silicon Valley. Globe Pequot Press. ISBN 978-0-7627-4239-4.
  9. ^ "Semi-Coherent Computing". The Register. Archived from the original on 2008-07-14.
  10. ^ "David R. Ditzel". The Third Culture. Edge Foundation, Inc.
  11. ^ "Goodbye, Silicon Valley. Hello World". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  12. ^ "Ashlee Vance AMA on reddit". reddit. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  13. ^ "Nominations for the 38th Annual News and Documentary. Emmy® Awards" (PDF).
  14. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers - Books - June 7, 2015 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-06-20.
  15. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers - Books - May 28, 2023 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-06-20.
  16. ^ Otterson, Joe (2020-10-12). "HBO to Develop Scripted Series About Elon Musk's SpaceX". Variety. Retrieved 2023-06-20.
  17. ^ a b "About". Ashlee Vance. Retrieved 2023-06-20.