Elon Musk: The Innovative Man

31 Dec 2020  Read 3531 Views

There would hardly be any youngster in the world, who is not familiar with Elon Musk's name. He is a successful tech entrepreneur and a visionary engineer, who is leading the two big companies, Tesla and SpaceX.

Despite the global economy around the globe experiencing a critical time in 2020, Elon Musk managed to become the second richest person in the world with a net worth of $160 billion. Musk has added more than $100 billion to his net worth this year; most by anyone on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In January 2020, he was the world's 35th richest person, but at the end of the year, he stands as the second richest person around the globe, due to the continuous surge in Tesla's share.

So, let's get an insight into the story of Elon Musk. 

Early Life of Elon Musk

Elon Musk was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa. Musk showcased an entrepreneurial skill from an early age. He received huge backing from his engineer father and his dietitian mother, who recognized their son's desire for technology and developed his passion for reality.

Musk got his first computer at the age of 10 and learned programming code. At the early age of 12, Musk made a fully operational video game called Blastar and sold the video game for reportedly $500.

He graduated from Pretoria Boys High School in 1988 and after that Musk attended the University of Pretoria for merely five months. Thereafter, he moved to Canada, where he joined Queen's University in Ontario in 1989, which enabled him to escape South Africa's obligatory military service.

Musk next joined the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a bachelor's degree majoring in economics. After that, he was admitted into the physics graduate program at Stanford University. He dropped out from Stanford University just after two days to chase his entrepreneurial ideas.

Success Story of Elon Musk

Musk and his brother Kimbal teamed together in 1995 to create Zip2, an IT company which provide licensed online maps and business directories to local newspapers. Even though the company struggled to perform in the initial period, local and national newspapers ultimately started employing Zip2 to offer bonus services to their respective consumers. Zip2 was procured by Compaq's AltaVista web search engine for a gigantic $340 million in 1992.

After that, Musk launched X.com with business partners Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, an online financial services and email payment firm. X.com merged with American software company Confinity in 2000, thereby creating PayPal. Musk then became Paypal's chairman and CEO in 2001; and later, that company was acquired by e-com hulk eBay for $1.5 billion. As a shareholder with around $180 million value of shares, Musk lastly had adequate capital to exit the backside of internet businesses and focus his strengths towards engineering interests.

SpaceX Beyond

In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX to make affordable rockets. Its first rocket which was launched in 2006 was Falcon 1, (the name inspired from Star Wars series) and the larger Falcon 9 (first launched in 2010) aided by NASA, were cost-friendly as compared to its peers. 

SpaceX third rocket, the Falcon Heavy (first launched in 2018), was designed to move a load of 117,000 pounds into the orbit, around twice as much as its biggest rival, the Boeing Company's Delta IV Heavy, and was one-third cheaper than Delta IV heavy. 

SpaceX has stated the replacement to the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy which is the Super Heavy–Starship system. The Super Heavy first stage would be able to elevate 100,000 kg into low Earth orbit.

SpaceX has also developed the Dragon spacecraft, which transmits provisions to the International Space Station. Dragon can carry up to seven astronauts, and it has carried astronauts Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken to the International Space Station in 2020. Musk wants to reduce the expenditure of spaceflight by evolving a fully reusable rocket. Along with being CEO of SpaceX, Musk was also a leading designer in building the Falcon rockets, Dragon and Grasshopper.

Musk secured numerous high-profile agreements with NASA and the United States Air Force, to design rockets and handle military operations. He has been frank about his ideas to dispatch an astronaut to Mars by the year 2025, in a collective effort with NASA.

Tesla Motors

In 2004, Musk joined Tesla with engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning to aid Tesla Motors. Tesla launched its first electric car: "Tesla Roadster" in 2006, which could travel 394 km on a single charge.

In 2010 Tesla's IPO raised around $226 million. After two years, Tesla presented the Model S sedan, which was applauded by automotive critics for its performance and design. The company gained more commendation for its Model X luxury SUV, which went on the market in 2015. Model 3, a cheaper vehicle, went into manufacture in 2017.

The business grew promptly, Tesla worked together with other carmakers and decided to open-source its patents to everybody. Tesla intended to become a 100% steeply unified carmaker, meaning it desired to make all the components of the car in their factory. They agreed to create the Gigafactory, in Nevada, an enormous industrial spot completely concentrated on the manufacture of batteries. The plant which cost about $5 billion, would engage more than 6,500 people and decrease Tesla Battery costs by almost 30%

Net Worth and Current Influence

The majority of Musk's $160 billion net worth is tied up in Tesla stock as of December 2020, of which he owns more than 34 million shares. In January 2018, Tesla announced a reimbursement structure in which Musk would not get an annual salary but in its place gain cash built on the growing market caps the company expected to accomplish over the next ten years. The agreement directs to ensure shareholders and customers alike that Musk plans to remain around the company for a long period. 

Closing words

When innovation and dedication combine, Elon Musk happens. From his career, we can say that every company he built was innovative and one of its kind. Elon Musk made millions of dollars at his starting age, but he didn't stop his passion for innovation, which resulted in companies like Tesla, PayPal, SpaceX. He clearly is a successful and wise risk-taker. 

Elon Musk is a great example of an admirable leader. He dreams about new things and works hard to realize those dreams. He can think of an innovation that combines design, technology and business, along with a lot of confidence and ability of crazy risk-taking!

About the Author: Harshit Roy | 34 Post(s)

Harshit Roy is a BMS student at St. Xavier's College, Kolkata majoring in finance. He is bibliophile in nature, and quite eager to learn and read about new things in life.

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