Elon Musk was born in 1971 in South Africa, but has never let that get him down. His father was an electromechanical engineer, and his mother was a dietitian and model: these combined influences saw the young Elon realise the importance of science and technology, as well as the value of superficiality. But even young Elon cannot have foreseen just how successful he would be in this.
As a young man Musk moved to Canada, and from there slipped quietly into the United States, taking advantage of the Bush administration’s lax immigration regulations. It was after coming to America that he first learned exactly how much he enjoyed having money, an epiphany which led directly to the foundation of his first company, Zip2. Zip2 provided online city guide software to newspapers, and in 1995, when people were willing to pay for any old nonsense as long as it had the word “internet” in it, it was a huge success. In 1999, Compaq Computer discovered that it had $305 million too much in the bank and decided to spend it on buying Zip2. Hence, Elon Musk became a multi-millionaire before the age of 30, proving just what is possible for a young man who works hard and is better than all the lazy poor people.
Having millions of dollars was the perfect spur for Musk to pursue his true love: having more millions of dollars. Looking to the example of his hero Thomas Edison, he believed that he too could pay brilliant people to invent things for him and then take the credit: a business model that seemed to work. From there, the next logical step was to shoot cars into space.
The story of Elon Musk thus far has been one of relentless progress, outside-the-box thinking, and only the occasional defamatory tweetstorm.
Shooting cars into space had, truth be told, always been a dream of Elon’s. At many events he tells the story of when he was five years old, looking at his father’s Volvo, then looking at the moon and wondering, “Why must they be apart?” This was the question behind SpaceX, Musk’s most ambitious undertaking: even more ambitious than PayPal, which many had told Musk would never work. “Elon,” they said, “this is madness! Nobody has ever managed to merge an online financial services company with another and then piggyback on the other company’s already-existing product to become rich beyond their wildest dreams!” Yet he did, and he brought the same can-do attitude to SpaceX, which has become the world’s number one shooting-cars-into-space enterprise at of time of writing.
What is next for Elon Musk? As SpaceX has shown, the sky is not even the limit for this fresh-faced, boyish business genius. Electric cars, driverless cars, carless drivers, space pets – nothing is off the table. All we know for sure is that whatever he comes up with, it will transform life as we know it.
The story of Elon Musk thus far has been one of relentless progress, outside-the-box thinking, and only the occasional defamatory tweetstorm. We’ve no reason to believe that story will change as we move forward into a bright new future. If history’s any guide, the world can look forward to enjoying incredible new ways for Elon Musk to increase his net worth for many years to come.