The Story of Elon Musk
Well, you’ll have heard a lot about Elon Musk. He is the guy who seems to just have arrived from another planet to casually disrupt the world, one industry at a time. Many see him as one of the great industrial minds of the 21st century. The engineers’ engineer! Even If you haven’t heard of him, chances are you’ll still see in his influence. You know that movie Ironman? As it turns out Musk provided a large amount of inspiration for the Hollywood character Tony Stark. In fact, parts of Iron Man 2 were actually filmed inside and outside of SpaceX, Elon Musk’s private rocket company!
Musk even made a cameo in the film. You may have also heard of the Tesla Model S. It’s a fully electric car project spearheaded by Musk and was awarded 5.4 out of 5 from the National Highway Safety Administration. The highest rating ever given to an automobile. All this comes after co-founding a payment system that you may have heard of, PayPal. Coincidentally, PayPal was the very same company that used to employ the founders of YouTube!
So, who is Elon Musk really? How did he achieve all of these things? And what’s the story behind him? In this post, we’ll find out. Let’s get straight into it.
The Early Days
Elon Reeve Musk was born in South Africa in 1971. His mother was a model and his father was an engineer. He was the oldest of three kids and started primary school a year early as a kid. Elon Musk was a bit of an outsider and loved to read but got picked on for being smart. Unlike his brother and sister, Elon Musk didn’t have a great social life but didn’t mind spending time reading comics instead. Despite being an outsider, it was clear early on that he was a smart kid.
Elon Musk was ten years old when he got tested by IBM and he was found heaven, one of the highest aptitudes they’d ever seen for computer programming — Kimbal Musk, his brother
Around this time, he had an interest in programming, Musk just taught himself computer programming and created a video game called blaster, which he sold for 500$.
Finding His Way
In 1989, 17-year old Musk moved from South Africa to Canada. Eventually he would move to America and attend college at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, Musk moved to California and began graduate studies in physics at Stanford University. His main interest of space exploration. But the thing was right at this time, the world was going through a revolutionary shift. The internet boom was reaching full swing. After just 2 days, Elon Musk would leave Stanford and take advantage of the boom. This decision would alter the course of his life and ultimately change the world.
After dropping out of grad school, Musk quickly established his first company Zip2, which provided online newspapers with maps and business directories. He sold the company in 1999 to Compaq for 307 million dollars. Musk himself netted 22 million dollars out of the sale. Although Zip2 revolutionize newspapers, Elon Musk was frustrated that it wasn’t a game-changer on the world stage. In a matter of months, Musk was on to the next project.
In 1999, he founded X.COM, an online payment company that eventually became PayPal. It was acquired by eBay for 1.5 billion dollars in stock, of which 180 million was given to Musk. PayPal fundamentally changed the way people transferred money to one another. And also how they bought and sold things. For some context, at the time it was still common for people to mail cheques to each other. A very slow and archaic process, taking weeks to complete a single transaction.
Musk could change the financial industry. But now he wanted to change the course of humanity itself. In 2002, he found the Space Exploration Technologies, otherwise known as SpaceX.
SpaceX is a company that creates and manufactures vehicles, primarily rocket technology. The aim to reduce the cost of space flight, in hopes of expanding human life beyond Earth. Doing such an ambitious project required a great deal of money. Musk initially found it impossible to get funding for SpaceX which many investors saw as a pipedream. Going against traditional business practices, Musk channelled all his money into the company to make it a reality and a reality it became!!
SpaceX currently has a 1.6 billion dollar contract with NASA to resupply and eventually ferry people to the International Space Station. Musk has reduced the cost of reaching the International Space Station by over 80%. After SpaceX, in 2004
Musk would help fund Tesla. The first Tesla car, the Tesla Roadster was the first electric vehicle to break the public’s conceptual mold of an Electric car. After this, came the model S, of which the fastest models can do 0 to 60 mph and 2.8 seconds.
In 2013, Elon introduced his latest endeavor, the Hyperloop. It’s a form of transportation that theoretically could send people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in half an hour by the way of pressurized tubes. Of course, it’s not a new idea but Musk has overseen a competition to build the transport system to advance the technology. Elon Musk is also one of the major driving forces behind Solar City, a company founded by one of his cousins. Musk has also released the powerwall, a simple battery pack designed to power the home off the grid.
Despite his enormous recent success it hasn’t all been smooth sailing both his flagship companies. SpaceX and Tesla Motors came alarmingly close to failing. Tesla’s first electric car the Roadster faced an ongoing string of problems and the company suffered financial woes. SpaceX had three launch failures before the fourth one was a success.
There’s been two more recent problems for Tesla specifically. The first fatal Tesla car crash with autopilot engaged recently occurred. This has put Tesla under federal investigation even though it’s clearly stated that autopilot is a driving aid and not fully autonomous driving.
Please remember that these features are meant only for highway use keep your hands on the wheel at all times and stay alert. (As said in Tesla commercial)
Facts About Elon Musk
All right, let’s move on to a few facts about Elon Musk
- Musk was named one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire magazine.
- In 2013, Elon was named fortunes business person at the year for SpaceX, SolarCity and Tesla Motors
- Musk’s official annual salary for Tesla Motors is just one dollar
- Elon has signed The Giving Pledge in which pledges promised to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropic efforts.
- On January 25th 2015, Musk made an appearance on The Simpsons episode titled The Musk who fell to earth. he played himself and was a good sport about the episode which mainly poked fun at many of Musk’s ideas.
Here goes everything in just one pic.
Some Interesting Philosophies – Elon Musk
Okay, so let’s bring this all together and make this post beneficial for you, the viewer. So now that you’ve read all that is achieved. It’s clear that there must be some special philosophies and successful traits that Elon possesses.
What are they? And what can we learn from him? Let’s listen from Elon himself..
Whatever area that you get into, given that you know even if you’re the best of the best. There’s always a chance of failure. So I think it’s important that you really, like whatever you’re doing. If you don’t like it, life is too short. If you like what you’re doing you think about it even when you’re not working. It’s something that your mind is drawn to and if you don’t like it, you just really can’t make it work I think.
Personal Potential – Elon Musk
There’s no need even to have a college degree. If somebody graduated from a great university, that maybe an indication that they will be capable of great things but it’s not necessarily the case. You know, If you look at say people like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs. These guys didn’t graduate from college but if you had a chance to hire them, of course that would be a good idea.
So essentially, you don’t need a degree to be something, never give up, love what you do and work hard. You can relate them to lot of the guys that started some of the world’s biggest companies today. All possess these characteristics. So now that you have some knowledge on keys to success. the choice on how you apply it is up to you.
Conclusion – Elon Musk
And that’s the story of Elon Musk, a bit of what he is doing today and some of the traits that make him successful. When you think about it, it’s pretty cool that all these achievements we’re done by the kid. He used to be bullied in school and didn’t have much of a social life. Sometimes the underdog really does come out on top!
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