Elon Musk — the name is not unfamiliar to us. You might recognize him as the American business magnate or the mastermind who is worth $12 billion. But before being a successful entrepreneur, all he possessed was a genius mind and a determination to change the world and the humankind. His ideas, which were dreams initially, turned into realities and became great hits. Musk not only started these ventures but has also revolutionized each one of them.
Early life and education of Elon Musk.
Birth and Childhood.
Elon Reeve Musk was born to an engineer father, Errol Musk and a model mother, Maye Musk on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa. Musk spent most of his childhood in South Africa and developed a liking towards computers. He was quite of that nerdy kid, who used to spend most of his time in front of glowing screens and thick books. Being younger and weaker than his fellow students, he was easily subjected to bullying. Musk lived through a racking childhood but still managed to draw his way out of the agony. At the age 12, Musk sold a self-created computer game, named ‘Blastar’ and earned almost $500. This was his first achievement after which he went on to aim for bigger goals.
College and Elon Musk’s aim to change the world.
The first episode of his way towards deluging success happened at the age of 17, when he went to Montreal, having got a Canadian citizenship. At first, Musk worked in low paid jobs and even went tottering on the verge of poverty. By the age of 19, Musk entered Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. After studying in Ontario for almost 2 years, he resettled in the United States after receiving a scholarship from the University of Pennsylvania. There, Musk earned his bachelor of Science degree in Physics and in Economics from Wharton School.
While struggling with teenage depression, Musk took interest in philosophical and religious literature. He concluded that humankind needs to expand the boundaries of its conscience to ask the ‘right questions’; which once done, will make everything simpler to obtain. Elon Musk had found his question– what things would cause the greatest impact on the future of humanity’s fate? As an answer to this, Musk decided that they would be the internet, the changeover to renewable energy sources, and space settlement. This episode turned out to be the first building block for Musk’s future ventures, that turned out be big strikes.
Elon Musk and his parallelism towards the world of industries.
The Zip2 venture.
In 1995, along with his brother Kimbal Musk, Elon Musk founded the Zip2 software company. The company developed online city guides for newspaper publishers. Zip2 was successful in securing contracts with major publishers like the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. But shortly, things turned tensed at Zip2. The boardroom saw Musk as inexperienced and kind of amateur for the post of CEO thus was against the decision of making him one. Later in 1999, when the company started bordering on its zenith, the board sold the company to Compaq for $307 million. Musk received around $22 million from the sale.
As the CEO of PayPal.
That same year, Musk founded X.com, an online payment venture which went on to be recognized as the PayPal. After a year, X.com purchased Confinity, an online payment service firm and its online money transfer service, PayPal. By the year 2001, X.com changed its name to PayPal realizing the fact that it had become the most vital element of the company and people went about adopting the system quite well. Shortly after, Musk landed into some technical arguments with the then CTO of PayPal. The argument resulted in the removal of Elon Musk from the position of CEO.
Mars colonization and creating of the SpaceX.
In 2001, Musk conceived the ‘Mars oasis’, a plan to grow plants on Mars. Along with some of his advisors, he traveled to Moscow to look for some intercontinental ballistic missiles that could send the visualized loads into space. He met a couple of organizations but was given a thumb down for his propositions. After six months, he revisited Russia for the same proposal; but was offered a rocket worth $8 million which Musk considered to be overly expensive. On his way back, he thought of initiating a company to make low-priced rockets. Therefore, SpaceX came into being.
In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX with low priced transport and turning Mars colonization into reality as an aim. He invested around $100 million of the money which he obtained from the sale of PayPal. SpaceX’s milestones included the launch of Falcon 1, the first privately funded rocket to place a satellite into Earth’s orbit. After that, SpaceX went on to make history and later received $1.6 billion contracts for their fourth successful launch. The venture had made Musk almost bankrupt as he had invested a great deal of money, but, it, fortunately, turned out to be a huge success.
The success of Tesla Motors.
In 2003, Elon Musk founded the Tesla Motors, a company with an aim to create cost-efficient electric cars. Tesla’s first launch was the Roadster, which sustained a high-performance rate but was not cost-effective. The car needed more funds as it turned out to be double the price predicted. Thus, the launch was delayed and the company came to the verge of shutting down. Then, Musk made a tough decision– he put all his life savings into the company. The chance turned out to be fruitful for Musk as the car received great reviews.
Musk released a proposal for a hypothetical machine which could run 2-3 times faster than the bullet train. He calls it the ‘Hyperloop’ whose estimated cost is $6 billion.
In Musk’s own words: Failure is an option here. If you are not failing, you are not innovating enough. He efficiently manages his companies, his kids and even makes out time to think about the future. Businessmen like Elon Musk assure us about bright future, really bright future.
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