Elon Musk is truly a man of vision. The successful entrepreneur is a shining example of sheer determination and passion, and is living proof that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Musk is the co-founder of three successful companies, namely Zip2, PayPal and SpaceX, and he continues to expand his empire and work on projects he is passionate about.
Elon Musk is truly a man of vision. The successful entrepreneur is a shining example of sheer determination and passion, and is living proof that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Musk is the co-founder of three successful companies, namely Zip2, PayPal and SpaceX, and he continues to expand his empire and work on projects he is passionate about. He is also the CEO and product architect at Tesla Motors and remains the largest shareholder at SolarCity – the second largest provider of solar power in the United States. In 2013, he announced his intentions to build the “hyperloop”, a subsonic air travel machine stretching from L.A. to San Francisco that would allow commuters to travel between the two cities in less than 30 minutes. The list of achievements go on and on, and there are no doubt many more still to come for this brilliant entrepreneur. What follows are a few interesting facts that perhaps you didn’t know about this mover and shaker:
Proudly South African
Musk was born and bred in Pretoria, South Africa, before eventually immigrating to Canada (through his mother, English-Canadian model Maye Musk).
Lots of firsts in his family
Musk’s great grandmother was the first female chiropractor in Canada, and his grandparents were the first to fly from South Africa to Australia in a single-engine plane. Clearly this guy came from a smart and gutsy clan.
Musk would spend four to five hours a day reading when he was growing up. He would read anything he could get his hands on and absorbed all the information like a sponge. He was hungry to learn from the time he was a little tot.
He sold his first piece of software at 12 years old
Musk got his hands on his first computer when he was 10 years old, and he then proceeded to teach himself how to programme it. By the age of 12, he had already sold his first piece of software – a game called Blastar – for a cool $500.
From Canada to the United States
Musk managed to dodge his military service in South Africa and made his way to Canada. He made no secret of the fact that he felt that getting to the United States would be easier to do so from Canada, rather than from South Africa. It was his main motivation for relocating.
When Musk first arrived in Canada, he was flat broke. He made some extra cash by working at lumber mills and cleaning out boilers – you have to start somewhere.
House Parties of Promise
Musk paid his way through university by throwing huge house parties together with his roommate at the time. Whilst his roommate took care of transforming their pad into a club, Musk took care of the business side of things (he received two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania – one in economics and one in physics).
After attending Stanford to complete his PhD in applied physics for a short 48 hours, he dropped out to pursue his entrepreneurial aspirations, the first of which was Zip2, a web software company. If was the money from the sale of Zip2 that allowed Musk to get involved in PayPal. Musk became a millionaire at the tender age of 28.
The character of Tony Stark in the famous Iron Man franchise is said to be inspired by Musk. He even had a cameo role in Iron Man 2.
Musk has a vision to create a colony on Mars. The idea is to create a “greenhouse” on the planet that will house a small group of people that will hopefully flourish over time. It may sound crazy, but when Elon Musk is involved, anything can happen.
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you still do it.” – Elon Musk on perseverance.
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