One of the most extraordinary stories in modern business is Elon Musk’s journey from a South African schoolboy to the world’s richest man exploring the limits of space travel. Musk was born to parents who divorced before he was 10, in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1971. His mother was a model, and his father was an electromechanical engineer and a developer of real estate.
At an early age, Musk got interested in computers and taught himself programming. At school, he was heavily bullied and was even hospitalized for two weeks after he was pushed down a flight of stairs by a group of students. He moved, obsessively, to the U.S., which he saw as the land of chance.
He earned degrees from a range of institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania, and completed Silicon Valley internships. Eventually, he was admitted into the PhD program at the prestigious Stanford University in California. After two days, he dropped out in favor of the thriving world of Internet startups.
In Palo Alto, California, famous for attracting tech firms like Apple, the first of his business ventures started. His first venture, a software company named Zip2, which he co-founded with his brother Kimbal, took some time to succeed. They started it in 1995, and since Musk couldn’t afford an apartment, he talked about sleeping in the office. When the business was sold to the computer firm Compaq in 1999, he earned $22 million for his interest.
It was PayPal which truly catapulted the career of Musk into the stratosphere. In 1999, he founded a digital financial services firm named X.com, which merged with the business that operated the new payment processing company.
The company became a global leader amid disputes about its position and strategic strategy, and eBay paid $1.5 billion in stock for it in 2002, a transaction that was worth $165 million to Musk.
Musk’s obsession with space led him to spend approximately $100 million in interstellar exploration of his rapidly rising fortune. In 2002, he created SpaceX and has the ambition to set up a colony on Mars in a few decades.
He has concentrated in the meantime on the production of cheap and reusable spacecraft, achieving tremendous success.
SpaceX became the first private enterprise to placed a human in Earth’s orbit in 2020. It has also researched underground travel and invested in the same “Hyperloop” design established by Sir Richard Branson.
Use this calculator to understand how wealthy billionaires really are. Continue reading The undisputed business success story of his life that blows PayPal out of the water is Tesla.
When the company was founded, Musk wasn’t around in 2003.
However, his financing and strategic vision helped turn Tesla from a specialist in niche electric vehicles to a stock market giant estimated at over $600 billion.
Most of this development has occurred recently.
Tesla became the most profitable automaker in the world at $205 billion in a matter of months, reaching its current value.
Ford, the pioneer of the new car, on the other hand, is worth just over $35 billion. In terms of stock market valuation in 2017, Tesla just exceeded Ford. Tesla has never, however, turned a profit for an entire fiscal year.
It was included in the S&P 500 as one of the most valuable firms on Wall Street late last year.
Musk’s Tesla share, which he holds about 20%, has catapulted him to the top of the list of the richest people in the world.
And all the milestones he wants to trigger a controversial bonus package that could earn him a controversial $55 billion payday have yet to be met.
Musk is a lively character, beyond his business achievements, who is never far from boardroom fights or high-profile scandals. He smoked weed on camera during a 2018 podcast – an unprecedented act that took a toll on the stock price of Tesla, which was already battered after he proposed the possibility of taking the company private out of the blue.
He also drew opposition from one of the cave divers who had rescued a group of Thai schoolchildren from an underwater cave because of his response to a perceived snub. When his bid was considered unnecessary, Musk referred to the diver as a “pedo guy.” He won a defamation case for that slur.