Who is Elon Musk ? Everybody knows Paypal, SpaceX, or recently Tesla Motors, but how many know who’s hidden behind these revolutions? Well we do! And we’re going to tell you about him.
Elon Musk is a 44 year old South African, naturalised as American in 2002. He is one of the biggest business magnates, engineers, and investors in the world. As of April 2016, he has an estimated net worth of US$14.2 billion, making him the 68th wealthiest person in the US. In 1995, at 24, Musk created an Internet platform for newspapers: the Global Link Information Network. He sold it to Compaq 4 years later for US$ 307million ; it’s now called Zip2. He invested the money to create StartX, which became the well known Paypal and which was bought by Ebay for US$1,5billion in 2002.
What is he up to nowadays? The billionaire’s next challenge is called Hyperloop, unveiled in August 2013: a futuristic train running on solar energy capable of reaching 1300 km / h.
The contractor is readily compared to US billionaire Howard Hughes (1905-1976), aviator, industrialist, producer and director, or Thomas Edison (“it’s an inventor, a businessman and industrialist able to seize great ideas to turn them into great products “).
An autodidact, Elon Musk had to learn to cope with managing others and tells us the big difference: “I had never conducted any team before,” he said. “I had never been captain of a sports team or anything. It must be put in a situation where we say: Let’s see, how will they understand this, given what they know?” This leads the author to believe that if the Board of X. com had been a little more patient with Musk, it might have managed to achieve the online bank that would have been all that he aspired to create. In fact, PayPal, sold for $ 1.5 billion in 2002, was worth $32 billion in 2014.
Musk on Mars?
So, Musk wants to revolutionise the space industry with, for example, the principle of rocket recoverability, making them reusable and therefore cheaper. This has enabled him to announce “the colonisation of Mars” within a decade, when his SpaceX company was founded in 2002 by him alone.
Its history, close to the form of Shakespearean tragedy has so far been punctuated by technological disasters, racing to financing, shattering layoffs and broken friendships, reconstituted by Ashlee Vance carefully for each of its industrial ventures. These have, however ended up being profitable, if not without the support of NASA or the US government, with the crowning of the IPO in 2010 Tesla and SolarCity in 2012. It’s a combination that must lead to one important observation: with Elon Musk, anything is possible.
Who knows, maybe one day, there will be tickets for Mars.
By Laaroussi Riad & Piccitto Maxime aka The Frenchies.