You will probably have heard of the name Elon Musk. He is a charismatic individual who is linked with Telsa and space exploration. But what is the real story behind the man? He appears to be dedicated to changing and improving the world!
Elon Musk was born in South Africa in 1971; He is one of three children; his mother was a Canadian model and then a dietician. His father was from South Africa and an electromechanical engineer; as well as a sailor and a pilot!
His parents divorced when he was just nine years old and he continued to spend most of his time with his father in South Africa. He has professed to being addicted to reading as a young child. Elon Musk actually learned computer programming himself and even wrote a basic video game; which he subsequently sold.
Of course, a book reader and computer programming child was an obvious target for bullies. In fact, at one point he was beaten unconscious.
It was not until he was nearly 18 that he moved to Canada; thanks to a change in the Canadian citizenship requirements he is considered to have been a citizen of Canada since his birth. He attended university in Ontario and then Pennsylvania. It was here that he showed his entrepreneurial flair. He and a friend rented a large house and used it as an unofficial nightclub; generating a healthy income along the way.
Elon Musk started a web software company in 1995 with his brother. The result was an internet city guide for the publishing industry. The start-up firm was sold just four years later for $307 million; Elon Musk earned $22 million from his personal share in the company.
This was only the start! Using nearly half of his profits he then co-founded an online financial payment system. The company merged with Confinity after just one year. Their key product became PayPal. The subsequent sale of this to eBay in 2002 netted Elon Musk $165 million!
Concepts for the Future
Elon Musk’s savvy business sense and ability to see new gaps in the market enabled him to become extremely wealthy at just 31 years old. However, whilst many people would be happy with this achievement; this was merely the starting block for him.
Musk was now free to pursue his real dream; technology which would change the world for the better. Elon Musk has a vision that the world can be a much better place and that we should be able to travel to other planets with ease. This has led to the creation of his two current interests:
The origins of this company actually started in 2001. At that time interest in space travel and exploration had seriously waned. Elon Musk wanted to revitalize this and show others what was possible. He developed the idea of placing small green houses onto Mars; proving that it was possible to grow crops and effective sustain life on another planet would, he hoped, rekindle people’s interest in space.
His first attempts to locate refurbished intercontinental missiles were not successful. Despite travelling to Russia with several other experts the Russians saw them as novices and refused to sell them any of their missiles. A second attempt resulted in one missile being offered for $8 million.
Musk believed this was far too expensive and set about calculating the cost of building his own rocket. He quickly realized how much cheaper this option was and invested $100 million of his own funds into SpaceX.
His success has been phenomenal! By 2008 SpaceX had designed and built two launch vehicles; known as Falcon 1 and Falcon 2. They had also created the Dragon spacecraft. It was this ship that has become the first commercially owned spaceship to dock successfully with the International Space Station. Even the Falcon 1 has made history as the first privately funded space craft to put a satellite into orbit!
SpaceX has since claimed a contract from NASA worth $1.6 billion to carry cargo back and forth from the ISS. They have also become the first company to land a rocket at their own base; providing the potential for greatly reduced costs in space travel.
Elon Musk is aware that human technology has made it possible for the Earth to be wiped out of existence with very little effort. This is why SpaceX was born; to provide an option for the survival of the human race.
However in 2003 he also invested in Telsa. At first he was heavily involved in designing the electric cars produced by this firm. However, after the financial crash in 2008 he took the position of CEO and monitors every part of the company’s progress.
Telsa has become extremely well known as one of the leaders in electrical cars. Their products have proved that it is possible to have a fast car which runs on electricity. In fact, the electricity can be cleanly created and even the cars are created with the environment in mind.
Perhaps more importantly is the fact that Elon Musk has pushed Telsa into designing vehicles which can actually be bought and used by the average person. The Model 3 is set to be produced and sold at $35,000. With this and a rapidly growing number of recharging stations; the electric car is finally becoming an affordable and practical alternative to the standard hydrocarbon engine.
Elon Musk has built a business empire through hard work, clever planning and aptitude for knowing what the next big game changer will be. He is interested in politics and donates to both the Republicans and the democrats. This, he feels, allows him to have his voice heard. Being able to talk about the environment and future prospects is an important consideration to this man. He is determinedly focused on improving life on the planet and the options to get off the planet; if so desired or needed. You may argue whether Elon Musk is a genius or not; but he is certainly an innovator and an exceptionally gifted individual whose heart is in the right place.