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Elon Musk

Elon Musk: The Real-Life Tony Stark (Iron Man)

Elon Musk, one of the most inspiring businessmen of the 20th century is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX CEO, chief product architect of Tesla Motors, chairman of SolarCity, and co-founder of PayPal. Musk is associated with many other revolutionary projects like Hyperloop and he owns many potential companies like Neuralink and OpenAI. So, let us know more about this revolutionary man and get to know how did Musk manage to achieve so much.

See: A beautiful infographic on Musk’s Life

Personal Life and Education

Elon Reeve Musk was born on 28th June in the year 1971. He was born in the city of Pretoria, South Africa and then moved to Canada to attend the Queen’s University – one of the top schools in Ontario.  Musk was a child to a South African father named Errol Musk who was an engineer by profession and a Canadian mother named Maye Musk who was a nutritionist and a model.

He exhibited early computer and entrepreneurial talents. Musk was fascinated by science fiction and computers in his teenage years. When he was twelve, he developed the code and programming for his own video game and immediately sold the prospects to a company.

Musk left South Africa in 1988 after acquiring a Canadian passport because he was reluctant to help dictatorship through compulsory military service and because he was searching for higher financial prospects in the United States. Musk went to Canada and studied at Queen’s University.

In the year 1992 Musk left Canada and went to the USA. Musk studied business and physics at the Pennsylvania University in Philadelphia. He then graduated with a degree in economics and continued to pursue a second bachelor’s degree in Physics. After completing his courses at Penn, he went on for a Ph.D. in the subject of Energy Physics from Stanford University. 

This drastic shift was completely and totally timed with the Internet boom, and after just two days of joining he dropped out of Stanford to become a major part of the internet boom, starting his first business, the Zip2 Corporation. The company developed and marketed an Internet city guide for the newspaper publishing industry. Zip2 soon began providing content for the newly curated websites of the famous Chicago Tribune and The New York Times. But then Compaq acquired Zip2 for around 341 million USD in February 1999.

PAYPAL THIEL ELON MUSK

Chief Executive Officer Peter Thiel, left, and founder Elon Musk, right, pose with the PayPal logo at corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Just one month after selling Zip2 Musk co-founded X.com which then went on to become PayPal after merging with Confinity in 2000. In October 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for a whopping 1.5 billion USD in stocks out of which Musk got 165 million USD. Then Musk went on to set up, own and lead massive companies. Let us look at those companies.

List of Companies Elon Musk Owns

Tesla Motors

Tesla Incorporation, which was originally known as Tesla Motors was incorporated by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. These men played active roles until the involvement of Elon Musk. He had been interested in the possibilities of electric cars for a very long time and was intrigued by science and fiction. In the year 2004, Musk became one of the major funders of Tesla Motors.

Elon Musk devoted the firm to the manufacture of inexpensive, mass-market electric vehicles, battery products, and solar roofs. Musk now extensively supervises the creation, architecture, and layout of all the products of the company.

Almost 5 years after Tesla was created, the company unveiled the Roadster. It is a sports car capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in approximately 3.7 seconds. The Roadster is also able to drive nearly 250 miles between various charges of its lithium-ion battery. 

Tesla Motors went public in June 2010, earning $226 million with a share in the business taken by Daimler and a strategic alliance with Toyota.

The company’s additional achievements include the ‘’Model S’’, which is the first electric sedan of the firm. The Model S was honored by Motor Trend magazine as the 2013 Car of the Year, capable of covering 265 miles between charges.

Tesla has also launched its Model 3 recently. The car was initially priced at $35,000, a much more accessible price point than the $69,500 and up for it’s Model S and X electric sedans.

Tesla has also launched its Model Y and Semi-trucks recently.

SpaceX

Musk founded his third company, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, in 2002 with the intention of building spacecraft for commercial space travel. By 2008, SpaceX was well established, and NASA awarded the company the contract to handle cargo transport for the International Space Station—with plans for astronaut transport in the future—in a move to replace NASA’s own space shuttle missions.

On May 22, 2012, as the firm launched its Falcon 9 rocket into orbit with an aerial capsule, Musk and SpaceX created history together. With 1,000 pounds of supplies and types of equipment for the astronauts stationed there, the vehicle was sent to the International Space Station, marking the first time a private company had sent a spacecraft to the International Space Station. Musk was quoted from the launch as saying, “I’m very lucky… It’s like winning the Super Bowl for us.”

Today, Musk has various ambitious plans with SpaceX ranging from sending humans to Mars to building a network of 12000 satellites (Starlink Project) in lower earth orbit to provide super fast internet

Solar city

Musk provided SolarCity with the initial concept and financial capital, which was then co-founded in 2006 by his cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive. SolarCity was the second most massive solar power system provider in the United States by the year 2013. Tesla, Inc. acquired SolarCity in 2016 and is currently a completely owned Tesla subsidiary. 

The underlying motivation for both SolarCity and Tesla Motors was to help combat global warming. In 2012, Musk declared that SolarCity and Tesla Motors are working together to ease the effect of rooftop solar on the power grid by using electric vehicle batteries.

Some other companies of Elon Musk also include:

Elon Musk’s Achievements: 

Elon Musk is definitely considered to be one of the biggest inventors and innovators in this era. Some of his incredible life achievements can be summed up as:

  • In the year 1983 Musk taught himself computer programming and at the age of 12, he programmed and sold the code for a BASIC-based video game he created called Blastar for approximately US$500.
  • In 1995 he started Zip2, a web software company.
  • In 1999 Musk co-founded X.com, online financial services, and e-mail payment company, with US$10 million from the sale of Zip2. He used every single penny he had and invested it into his business and had to borrow money also. 
  • In 2002 PayPal was acquired by eBay for US$1.5 billion in stock, of which Musk received US$165 million.
  • CEO and chief product architect of Tesla Motors. Elon Musk has revolutionized the concept of electric cars. 
  • Founder of Space Exploration Technologies, also known as SpaceX.
  • Proposed the concept of Hyperloop in 2013
  • In 2015 Tesla launched Powerwall.
  • In 2015 Musk stated the creation of OpenAI.
  • Musk unveiled a concept for a high-speed transportation system Hyperloop.
  • Acquired  SolarCity for $2.6 billion.

Elon Musk’s Vision and Views

Space exploration’s boundless potential and the conservation of the human race’s future have become the foundations of Musk’s ongoing concerns. He has established the Musk Foundation which is completely devoted to space exploration and the advancement of renewable and clean energy sources.

Elon Musk

Credit: Flickr

In a more political manner, Musk has evidently portrayed himself to be a half Democrat and a half Republican. He considers himself to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Elon Musk has also actively stated that he doesn’t want the US government to provide subsidies to various companies but should instead use and implement a carbon tax to put a price on the negativity of air contamination and to discourage their poor behaviour. 

Artificial Intelligence:

Musk has frequently spoken about the proposed risks of artificial intelligence, calling it “the most severe threat to the human race’s existence.” During a 2014 interview at the MIT AeroAstro Centennial Symposium, Musk outlined AI as the greatest existential threat to humanity, adding, “I am increasingly willing to believe that there should be some parliamentary supervision, perhaps at the national and International levels just to make sure that we don’t end up doing something foolish.” 

The creation of Artificial Intelligence has been described by Elon Musk as something similar to that of summoning the demon. 

Conclusion

In a nutshell, we can definitely say that Elon Musk is not an average human being. From the creation of Zip2 to that of SpaceX, he is a self-made man and has taught himself how to code in just a matter of a few days. He has earned degrees in both Physics and Economics and is now a billionaire. 

Quite interesting to know, Robert Downey Jr, used Elon Musk as his inspiration for getting into character like Iron Man. Musk’s enthusiastic embrace of technology for technology’s sake and his passion to push the limits of what was considered to be potential for private enterprise made him a close real-world analog for Marvel’s billionaire arms dealer.

If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it. Click To Tweet

For all the entrepreneurs looking for motivation, Elon Musk sure acts as a character of success. The goals that Musk have persevered have been those that have not only inspired himself but also the team of people he’s assigned to work with him. 

An Infographic on Musk’s Life

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Elon Msk infographic