Do you ever wonder if there is anything Elon Musk cannot do?
Coined as a visionary and futuristic entrepreneur with a charismatic personality, Elon Musk has paved his own path to be a successful business man over the past few decades, with some of the most prominent, impactful and innovative companies under his leadership.
Coming from a bullied childhood, Musk’s success is a reflection of this agility and relentless work ethic. After completing his studies, he pursued his interest in physics and economics at Queen University, Canada and University of Pennsylvania. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics as well a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wharton, Pennsylvania, his dual degree helped him in building his career path.
Musk is known to promote the discipline of Physics and is a strong believer in Physics being a great framework to explore and understand fundamental truths. He has gone on record to say how this discipline has been a strong reason behind his business ideas as well as their success. Elon also went on to pursue a PhD in Applied Physics at Stanford University and dropped out early due to the internet boom in Silicon Valley. With his nature pushing him towards entrepreneurship, the birth of the internet pushed him to develop new ideas leading to the development of some of his most successful companies.
This billionaire entrepreneur has been behind some of the innovative and most cutting edge companies over the years. He has been compared to the likes of some of the tech legends like Steve Jobs and Henry Ford, even Iron Man wherein celebrated actor Robert Downey Jr is allegedly noted modelling the portrayal of Tony Stark off of Elon Musk. He is not only a business magnet but has become an idol and inspiration for many young entrepreneurs and business leaders across the globe.
Venturing into businesses was a given for Musk, considering his early accomplishments with his drive to work hard to achieve his goals. Here is a deep dive into his journey of entrepreneurship.
Exploring tech as a student
Technology is seen to be a bright escape for Musk. From a young age, he was dabbling in programming via home computers. He led him to build a video game on the concept of Space invaders, coined Blasters. A game he has been noted to sell to PC magazine and Office Technology for $500. Musk, when sharing the same story, explains how he and his brother had plans to open a games arcade nearby their school, however, were unable to since the application for the permit would require an adult to sign off the request.
This story reflects his go-getter attitude from a young age that has driven him towards entrepreneurship.
Zip2 – Elon’s first start-up
In 1995 Musk and his younger brother Kimbal Musk started their company named Zip2. Zip2 offered licensed online city guides to newspapers. While Zip2 took time to get off the ground, leaving young Musk to struggle financially, the company soon found angel investors and brands like New York Times and Chicago Times supporting Zip2 for its useful city guide mapping software.
In 1999, Zip2 was acquired by a leading brand for over $300 million, leaving Musk a hefty 7% share which came close to $22 million in his personal earnings at the age of 27 years.
X.com – Venturing to his Second Start-up
The birth of PayPal
Investing his earnings from the success of Zip2, in 1999 Musk co-founded X.com in partnership with Harris Fricker, Ed Ho and Christopher Payne. The brilliant minds behind X.com built the world’s first online bank service wherein the deposits were insured by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. In 2000, X.com merged with Cofinity Inc, a silicon valley based software brand and renamed the company from X.com to PayPal, later acquired by eBay in 2002 for a whooping $1.5 billion.
PayPal today is one of the most trusted online payment platforms across the globe.
Tesla Motors: Revolutionizing the automotive sector
“My proceeds from the PayPal acquisition were $180 million. I put $100 million in SpaceX, $70m in Tesla. I had to borrow money for rent.” – Elon Musk
With eBay acquiring PayPal in 2002, Musk had already proven his metal and could have easily taken a step back with all his earnings, he, however, went on to invest in one of the most sought after companies today that is globally known for its innovative design, disruptive tech and competitive sustainability efforts.
Tesla Motors in simple terms is a futuristic motor company that works on building efficient and sustainable models that do not compromise on design or technology. One of the first ventures of Tesla Motors is an electric vehicle with clean energy resources. Musk built the brand to put his efforts into building a sustainable automotive industry that moves from using combustive energy to clean and green energy. Founded in 2003, Tesla Motors was founded by Elon Musk, Martin Eberhand and Marc Tarpenning. Musk became the largest shareholder in 2004 in Tesla Motors and later the CEO of the company taking over its entire operations.
The first car model of Telsa was launched in 2008, called Tesla Roadster. Today the brand offers multiple options in clean, solar and green energy that are built for speed, endurance and range. With refined designs, futuristic styling and room for almost everything in the car, Tesla has proven how design, tech and sustainability can work together to offer an exclusive range of automobiles. While there are many competitors in the automobile industry that are pulling all strings towards making sustainability their core focus, Tesla is the only brand to achieve it without any greenwashing and maintaining their vehicles’ relentless performance.
Tesla’s Model 3 is now the first electric car to sell 1 million units globally. With their quarterly profits close to $1 billion for the first time ever. The CEO of Tesla, Musk, aims for a 20 million vehicle production by 2030 and is hoping to expand to India where he expects the country would be 10% of Tesla’s demand in the coming decade.
In 2021, filing with the SEC, Tesla disclosed that Elon Musk is adopting the title of ‘Technoking of Tesla’
SpaceX: Bringing the future to present
His earnings from PayPal were spread between Tesla and SpaceX. His second mega venture called SpaceX was founded with the support of rocket engineer Tom Mueller. Starting in the early 2000’s in a warehouse, by 2005 SpaceX had close to 160 employees, each 160 known to have been personally interviewed and approved by Elon himself.
SpaceX was founded with one multifaceted goal, to revolutionize space transportation that will ultimately make human life multi-planetary. While the brand had a series of failures in its rocket launches from 2005-2009, in 2010 SpaceX became the first commercial company to send a spacecraft into orbit and have it return safely to Earth. By 2021, the brand has successfully completed its first all-private crew orbital launch.
SpaceX has been noted to sign some of the most high profile contracts with the US Air Force and NASA to design rockets while also taking up projects to conduct military missions. In many interviews Musk has been clear that his plan is to send an astronaut to Mars with the help of NASA by 2025.
“You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great – and that’s what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past. And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.” – Elon Musk
The Musk Effect on Crypto
The early weeks of 2021, Musk had the crypto market wrapped around his fingers. His single tweet about Dogecoin was seen to send the prices flying as much as 50% in the cryptocurrency market. Since its inception, the value of Bitcoin never seemed to be dependent on a few words of one of the richest men in the world. ‘You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin’ to his tweet mentioning how Tesla would be accepting DOGE for merch was seen to have sent the market soaring by almost 43%.
Only a few tweets have seen to make a mammoth impact globally on the in price action for the crypto market. From disclosing that Tesla is purchasing Bitcoin ( BTC) and accepting the same as payment, eventually selling its portion of BTC holdings to cancelling acceptance of the same as payments – all have been noted to have significant effects on the market with one man holding the narrative of the crypto market in his hand for months.
Elon’s support to Ukraine: The one-man impact during a war
One man and his leading companies have now become vital to play a significant role in a war started by Russia to invade Ukraine.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO have openly endorsed supporting Ukraine for its efforts in fighting Russia. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been noted to launch multiple Starlink satellites into space that are helping Ukrainian military drones to destroy Russian tanks and army trucks, as noted by multiple reports. Ukrainian drones are powered by Starlink satellites that enable them to create target acquisitions.
Not only is Musk supporting the Ukrainian government in their efforts, but Starlink is available to people in Ukraine. With the Russian invasion resulting in widespread devastation across Ukraine including power outages, anyone who is seeking to use the internet has to connect via the Starlink satellite. It’s now reported by many news agencies that the Star link app is the most downloaded within Ukraine and its global downloads tripling in the last few weeks
His journey from his first video game sale to his present support towards Ukraine reflects how Elon Musk is a man who is not working to increase his wealth but to make the world a better and sustainable place to live. A world that is more connected and runs efficiently. Musk keeps his drive high, striving for more, bigger and greater things. His journey has become a source of raw inspiration for many young and budding engineers, entrepreneurs and children. Musk is noted to have a net worth of close to $200.2 Billion making him one of the richest men around.
Read More: Leading Digital business start-ups
He is focused on building a multi-planetary human existence and aims to establish a permanent human presence on Mars with its Starship rockets used to transport people to and from Mars.
If his journey inspires you and you’d like to venture into the world of tech and design, we encourage you to explore Hetic’s BMS in Digital Business. The course is focused on building you as an all-rounder who understands both design and technology application along with a strong business/ management skill set. The combination of these three has been noted to be a must for the careers of the future.
Ace the $350+ digital marketing and advertising field with not a simple MBA in Digital Marketing, but MBA in Digital Business covering digital marketing, web designing, entrepreneurship skills and emerging technologies in the digital science space.
Admissions are open
You can download the application form with this form