Elon Reeve Musk was born in 1971 in South Africa. He is the son of Maye Musk a model from Canada and Errol Musk a South Africa electromechanical engineer. Musk is the oldest of his two siblings, he has a younger Brother named Kimbal and a younger Sister named Tosca.
From an early age his biggest dream was to build rockets, he was also a very passionate reader. In 1981 at the age of 10 he bought his first computer, and in just 2 years he had already taught himself computer programming. At the age of 12 he made his first software sale of a game that he created called Blastar, for 500 dollars.
Five years later, at the age of 18 in 1989 he moved to Canada to attend Queen’s University. He left Queen’s in 1992 to study Business and Physics at the University of Pennsylvania, which he later graduated with a degree in economics and stayed for a second bachelor's degree in physics.
After leaving Penn Elon moved to California to pursue a Ph.D in energy physics at Stanford University.
However, right at that time the world was going through a revolutionary shift.
The Internet Boom was reaching full swing and just after 2 days he left Stanford to chase his vision (which ultimately changed the world)
Quickly after leaving Stanford he established his first company called Zip 2, along with his brother. Zip 2 was a company which primarily provided and licensed online city guide software to newspapers. He sold the company in 1999 to Compaq Computers for 307 million dollars.
After a matter of months, he co-founded another company called X.com, an online financial payments company. The following year the company made an acquisition which led to the creation of the company that we all know today as PayPal.
PayPal was acquired by eBay in 2002 for 1,5 billion dollars in stock, 11 percent of PayPal stock was owned by Musk.
"Elon Musk had already changed the financial industry, but that wasn't enough for him."
In 2002 he founded Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX). SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecrafts. The company was founded to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. Despite all his efforts in the early stages many investors saw the company as a pipe drain.
To make his dream come true he had to channel his own money into the company. After 3 failed flight attempts and without any money left he decided to put another 20 million dollars of his own money into the company to go for 1 last attempt, and everything worked out. The next day NASA awarded SpaceX with a 1.6 billion dollars contract to resupply and eventually fairy people to the international space station.
SpaceX made history in 2012 when they became the first privately owned company to send a spacecraft to the international Space Station with 1.000 pounds of supplies for the astronauts.
In 2017 the company made history once more when they launched a Falcon 9 rocket and successfully landed the rocket back into the ground, thus making the most expensive part reusable, a development that made space travel far more affordable.
Musk with this development has reduced the cost of traveling to the space station by over 80%.
A year after SpaceX in 2003 Elon helped found Tesla Motors.
Tesla Motors was founded in Silicon Valley with just one goal, to prove that electric cars could be better than gasoline-powered cars.
The company is also dedicated to produce affordable battery products, as well as solar roofs.
In 2012, Tesla launched Model S, the world’s first premium electric sedan. Built from the ground up to be 100 percent electric, Model S has redefined the very concept of a four-door car.
In 2013 Elon introduced the Hyperloop.
Hyperloop is a new form of transportation to move people and things at airline speeds for the price of a bus ticket. It's going to be a network of pods that run inside low pressure tubes. He also claims that hyperloop is going to be safer than a train.
In 2006 Musk helped his cousin to start a solar panel company in the US named SolarCity.
With Tesla being an electric car company primarily focusing on reusable energy and batteries, in 2016 he bought SolarCity under Tesla Motors, and with now the power of both companies they can offer fully integrated residential products to improve the way that energy is being generated.
As most of you can probably guess by now, he is a risk taker to say the list.
A lot of people will probably say that there is money to be made in the fields that he choose to pursue, but if you do the math building a rocket and a car company to make money is probably the dumbest and hardest way to go about it, and this is something Elon himself tweeted a while back
Part of his tweet:
Creating a rocket company has to be one of the dumbest and hardest ways to “make money”. If it was about money, I’d just do another Internet company.
2:05 PM - Mar 21, 2018
He also stated that at the beginning of both SpaceX and Tesla he gave both companies less than 10 percent chance of them succeeding.
Personally, for me when it comes to business and carrier, there is a lot to be learned from someone like Elon Musk, and I would hope that more inventors become like him. Take risks and make decision based on a vision and on what can be done better than what it currently is.
"If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it."
- Elon Reeve Musk