Who knew that we would ever get our very own Marvel superhero? Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal to the man who makes rockets, has not only brought to our world many astonishing innovations but has also successfully established himself as one of the richest and influential characters in the global platform. There is much to unfold when it comes to his success and so much to fathom about this dynamic man. Interested enough? Let’s get going then!
The story of Elon Musk starts out in South Africa, where he was born and brought up by his Canadian mother and South African father. From a very early stage, Elon Musk showed a talent for computers and entrepreneurship. At only age 12, Musk had created a video game and sold it to a computer magazine! Child prodigy much?
Fast forward a couple of years to 1988. This was when he left South Africa because he was reluctant to support apartheid through compulsory military service. He also wanted to pursue the more excellent economic opportunities available in the United States. So at 20 years, he immigrated to America. And thus, the journey begins for the young genius.
From PayPal to SpaceX to Tesla
Elon Musk is an engineer, industrial designer, technology entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and in 1992 he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where he received bachelor’s degrees in physics and economics in 1995. He enrolled in graduate school in physics at Stanford University in California. Still, he left after only two days because he felt that the Internet had much more potential to change society than work in physics. And he was right.
That was the year he came up with Zip2. It was a company that provided maps and business directories to online newspapers. Zip2 was later sold to the computer manufacturer Compaq for a whopping $307 million. Off to a good start, Musk set out on his next venture, which was X.com, to be known in the future as PayPal. It was an online financial services company and then morphed into the infamous online transaction company we know today. eBay, later on, bought PayPal in 2002 for $1.5 billion.
However, one of the most iconic ventures of Elon Musk was and is SpaceX. It was launched in 2002 to make affordable rockets. This was driven by Musks’ dissatisfaction with the expense behind making these outer space vehicles. The first rocket manufactured by SpaceX was the Falcon 1, which was launched in 2006.
The second one was the Falcon 9, in 2010. Both of these were designed to be much more affordable than competing rockets. The third rocket, the Falcon Heavy, first launched in 2018, was designed to carry 53,000 kg to orbit, nearly twice as much as its largest competitor, the Boeing Company’s Delta IV Heavy, for only one-third the cost. The following years brought with them more rockets from the company, featuring the Dragon, Grasshopper, and the Super Heavy Starship.
In addition to being CEO of SpaceX, Musk was also a chief designer in building the Falcon rockets, Dragon, and Grasshopper. A man of many talents, to say the least.
Now that is not the end of it. Here we inaugurate Tesla into the article. Elon Musk had a long time fascination with electric cars and the possibilities they held within them. In 2004 he became one of the major funders of Tesla Motors, which was later named Tesla. It was an electric car company founded by entrepreneurs Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. With his undeniable knack for physics and engineering partnered with his targeted goals, Musk was able to bring Tesla a lot of success and exposure. Even though he had some trouble with the company and the state, and he had to step down as Chairmen, he still remains the CEO of the company.
Along with these, Elon Musk did a lot more in between the years. These aren’t highlighted as much as his extreme success companies. Still, it’s interesting to see how many business endeavors his man has embarked on. In 2006, he helped create SolarCity, a solar energy services company that is now a subsidiary of Tesla. Later, in 2015, Musk co-founded OpenAI, a nonprofit research company that aims to promote friendly artificial intelligence.
In July 2016, he co-founded Neuralink, a neurotechnology company focused on developing brain-computer interfaces. And lastly, in December 2016, Musk founded The Boring Company, an infrastructure and tunnel construction company focused on tunnels optimized for electric vehicles.
That’s a lot to take in, isn’t it? Indeed, you are right. Almost incomprehensible.
But wait, we’re still not done!
In addition to his primary business pursuits, Musk has envisioned a high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop. Musks’ goals include reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption and lessening the risk of human extinction by establishing a human colony on Mars.
Okay, now we’re done.
How on Earth did this man accomplish so much in such little time? Sure, he has the scientific brains for it, but yes, he has acquired a great deal of business know-how as well to have built such an empire. And that is entirely true. Aside from being an innovator, Elon Musk is a good businessman. There are massive takeaways from his journeys, and some of them are going to be explored today.
Be Ready to Work
Elon Musk emphasizes that no work is easy and especially in the beginning. And so, work hard from the start, so you have still had energy in the end. He explains that being a CEO of a company can be seen as someone who doesn’t work as hard or takes many vacations but rebuttals this by saying if you’re the CEO, you should be the one working twice as hard as everyone else.
“If you’re the CEO of a company, you have to work your bloody ass off. And if you’re the CEO of two companies, you have to work two bloody asses off, and you don’t have two asses.” A little profane, sure, but true, right?
Try to Learn
Everything has a learning curve, and the same goes for business. If you aren’t willing to learn and grow from your competitors or even from your own mistakes well, then you’re losing out.
“It was a huge learning curve for me because I had never designed anything physical apart from building rockets as a kid or something,” Musk said.
It took SpaceX four launches to reach orbit with Falcon 1 successfully, and Musk said that with more experience on his part, the rocket would likely have flown successfully sooner. But he did utilize the lessons from Falcon 1 into Falcon 9, which blasted off on a near-flawless maiden flight on June 4.
Know When to Grow
Choosing then the time is right to grow has been key, because most companies can’t sustain ill-timed growth, he said.
So take the time to analyze your business and how far you have become before taking any unnecessary risks in terms of growth. It has to be slow and gradual, giving the company space and time to adapt to the changes.
And that’s a wrap! We hope that we were able to enlighten you with the wonders of Elon Musk and the astounding things he has done so far.
He is proof that if you set your mind on something and keep yourself focused, you can accomplish almost everything – even if it’s to build rockets and fly to outer space!