The Success Story of the “Iron Man” – Elon Musk
“When I was trying to bring the character of genius billionaire Tony Stark to the big screen in Iron Man, I did not have any idea on how to make him seem real.” Robert Downey Jr. said, “We need to sit down with Elon Musk.”
An inventor, innovator, engineer, visionary and an entrepreneur – Elon Musk defines all of them with a goal to be “involved in things that would change the world”.
Introduction and Education
Elon Reeve Musk, born on 28th June, 1971 in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO , Product Architect at Testa Motors and Chairman of SolarCity. He is also the promoter of Zip2, SpaceX, Testa Motors and PayPal and has conceptualized a high-speed transportation system called as Hyperloop and a supersonic jet aircraft.
Elon Musk was the son of Maye, a model and Errol Musk, an electromechanical engineer. Elon did his schooling from Waterkloof House Preparatory School and Pretoria Boys High School. He did his undergraduate studies at Queen’s University, Ontario and was later transferred to University of Pennsylvania where he completed his B.Sc (Physics) at Penn’s College of Arts and Science and Bachelors in Arts (Economics) at the Wharton School of the University. He was enrolled at Stanford University for pursuing his PhD in applied physics and material science but dropped out from the program within two days to pursue his dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.
Elon Musk’s first entrepreneurship paid reward at the age of 12 when he sold a computer game, called Blastar; which was designed and programmed by him to a magazine called “PC and Office Technology” for US$500.
Musk dropped out from Stanford at the age of 24 in 1995 to start his own web software company. He developed and marketed an internet “city guide” for the newspaper publishing industry – Zip2 with his brother, Kimbal. This Company was acquired by Compaq for US$307 million (cash) and US$34 million (stock options) in 1999.
In 1999, he promoted X.com, which was an online electronic payment system Company which later merged with a competing Company, Confinity in 2000. Post the merger, X.comwas renamed PayPaland Elon Musk was appointed as its Chairman and CEO. This business was later sold to eBay for US$1.5 billion. Post the sale, Musk ventured into his other passions of space engineering and other energy sources.
In 2003, Testa Motors was founded and positioned as the first manufacturer of electric vehicles. Elon Musk entered as the Chairman of the Company in 2004 and designed the first electric car – Testa Roadster Sports Car using green energy developments. Though, the Company underwent a financial crisis; it turned around due to Musk’s critical management skills and attracted investments of more than US$225 million at its IPO. Today, the Company’s market cap is over US$27 billion.
Musk’s other innovations and interests include – Powerwall/ Powerpack(rechargeable lithium ion battery which can be used for daily and backup applications), SolarCity (company providing solar power solutions for home and businesses), SpaceX (focus on developing and manufacturing rockets to advance in space technology) and Hyperloop (high-speed transportation system).
Elon Musk has revolutionized the world with his innovations and has continued to do so. His latest idea wish-lists for the future currently include affordable space travel and colonizing Mars!