Elon Musk – the mystery, the myth, the man. This ‘youngster’ who’s worth $24-billion. This is the one instance when if you said: “It’s not rocket science, you know,” you would be wrong. It totally is.
Some people have tried to figure out what goes on in the mind of the man known for all sorts of incredible things, and some daft things as well like smoking weed on a live interview show which obviously went viral on YouTube. You can’t figure this guy out.
But most people forgive him for the crazy stuff – he has also had some pretty wild ideas that are just not feasible – and he will always be remembered for the amazing stuff, not the ‘impossible’ stuff.
Let’s start at the beginning. He was born in Pretoria, South Africa, the son of a Canadian mother and a South African father in 1971. His parents divorced while he was still living in South Africa and he lived with his father until he moved to Canada when he was 17.
Growing up in Pretoria was not easy. He was bullied mercilessly at school and once was knocked unconscious. So, the country does not hold fond memories. As an aside: the school he attended not so long also wrote to him, asking for a donation for the school. He replied that he would give on one condition – that the school never contact him again.
Don’t mess with Musk. He’s always many steps ahead!
After graduating with two degrees – economics and physics – his brilliant career began, and so too his legacy, which is sure to be the stuff or books and movies.
He co-founded Zip2, a web software company, which was acquired by Compaq for $340-million in 1999. Musk then founded X.com, an online bank. It merged with Confinity in 2000 and later that year became PayPal, which was bought by eBay for $1.5-billion in October 2002.
SpaceX – what a mission!
In May 2002, Musk launched SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, the largest private producer of rocket engines in the world, of which he is CEO and Chief Technology Officer. He is most famously known for this role, also launching a car attached to a rocket into space! He has plans to be the first to offer tourist missions to Mars.
He helped start Tesla, Inc., an electric vehicle and solar panel manufacturer, in 2003, and became its CEO and product architect. In 2006, he was instrumental in the creation of SolarCity, a solar energy services company that is now a subsidiary of Tesla and is its chairman.
In 2015, Musk co-founded OpenAI, a nonprofit research company that aims to promote friendly artificial intelligence. In July 2016, he was co-creator of Neuralink, a neurotechnology company focused on developing brain–computer interfaces.
So, what’s next? Who knows, but one thing’s for sure. If it’s being dreamt really big, you know it’s coming from Musk!