Okay, to start with, Elon Reeve Musk was born in 1971 in South Africa. He didn’t have much of a good childhood, cuz, he had kinda rough family.
Musk read a lot as a child. He started reading science fiction, then began reading non-fiction. Elon thought of humans as machines, or rather, computers. The body is hardware, mind is software and learning is downloading data. At school he was, ..um, let’s just say he couldn’t download data. Everything he knows now comes from the books he read. He was really a genius at computers even as a child. Well, he was better than me. I’m 16 and I’m still tryin’ to figure out how to operate C++.
The guy left South Africa at the age of 17, and went to the Land of Maple, the Land of Lilies (Canada). Few years later, Elon used a college transfer to the University of Pennsylvania as his ticket to the US. The question that led to his success was,” What will affect the future of humanity the most?”. The answer he came up with was, “the internet, sustainable energy, space exploration, Artificial Intelligence, reprogramming of human genetic code.”
He didn’t know what kinda impact the latter two would have, so he ruled them out. And, he believed that the probability of him getting involved in a space exploration project was very less. So, what’s left? Internet and sustainable energy. Musk went with sustainable energy.
He enrolled in a Stanford PhD program to study something called high energy density capacitors. After a couple of days into the program, he felt the urge to leave sustainable energy. And, BAM, he jumped off to save the Internet.
FIRST MOVE: Get a job at Netscape
- Walk in, uninvited
- Stand there, awkwardly
- Be too shy
- Walk out.
Then, Elon with his brother Kimbal made a web software company called Zip2. After few years Zip2 was bought by Compaq. Musk walked off with $22 million in his pocket.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. ZIP2 SOLD.
MISSION ACQUIRED. MAKE X.COM.
X.com, made by Musk, is an online bank. It faced competition from Confinity, made by Peter Thiel and Max Levchin. The competition turned furious. At last, X.com and Confinity merged into PayPal. [TA DAAAA]
PayPal was then bought by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion. Musk made off with $180 million (after taxes).
In 2002, before sale of PayPal, Musk started reading up on rocket technology. Later that year, with $100 million, he made the craziest move a man in his position could’ve made. He started a rocket company called SpaceX.
Then in 2004, Musk decided to pour in $70 million and make the second craziest move a man in his position could’ve made. He launched an electric car company called Tesla Motors.
Well, why not?
I don’t know what he was thinkin’ but, again in 2006, he started another company called SolarCity with $10 million.
By 2008, SpaceX had finally figured out how to build rockets. SpaceX attempted 3 rocket launches, and guess what? All 3 of ‘em failed. The rockets blew up even before they reached orbit. Musk had just enough juice to attempt one more launch. If this one failed, SpaceX will be blasted into oblivion. Musk might’ve felt like a truck just ran over him.
Meanwhile, Tesla was also going through a tough time. They had yet to bring out their first car. To make matters worse, Tesla was running out of money fast. Now, he might’ve felt like the truck just backed up and ran over him again.
As if this wasn’t enough, Elon just went through a heart-breaking divorce. The truck just unloaded its contents on top of him.
By now some of you might think that, all SpaceX and Tesla needed was a little bit more time, a little bit more fuel. Then it might’ve succeeded.
BUT, when it seemed like a double-colossal failure was inevitable, the tables got turned.
The fourth rocket of SpaceX was a success. Then, NASA came in and offered SpaceX a contract of $1.6 billion to carry out 12 more launches. SpaceX got fuel. SpaceX got saved.
Musk gathered up some money to help save Tesla. The next day, Tesla investors agreed to match his investment. Then another investment came in, $50 million. Tesla got fuel. Tesla got saved.
Since their first 3 fails, SpaceX has launched 20 times, and guess what? All of them were successes. NASA is now a frequent visitor.
Whereas Tesla Model S has become a ground-breaking success. Now they are planning to release their new car Model 3.
SolarCity came out into the open in 2012, and has become the largest installer of solar panels in the US.
All these made Elon Reeve Musk a living