The name Elon Musk appears very familiar and reminds us of a popular millionaire. A sneak peek into his life portrays a greater story behind. Before he stood upfront in the category of billionaires, he became a visionary.
Probably, it was not the passion to make money that built a successful billionaire out of him but his passion to create successful business transformed into money.
From the very childhood, Musk was different. Rather than partying, he was interested in books and invested quality time in libraries. Unlike other teenagers who engaged in reading just to pass time, books turned out to be a source of inspiration and few of them left an everlasting impact on him.
Books that inspired him
“The Hitchhiker’s guide to galaxy” was one of such books. A science fiction that entails journey of a man lost in space diverted his attention towards the unexplored domain of space and life outside Earth.
Today he dreams of escaping from Earth and colonizing on Mars. One of his statements, “It’s the fundamental invention necessary for humanity to expand to stars and to become multi-planetary. ” clearly indicates his inclination towards space and discoveries.
Next was “Lord of the Flies” by William Goldling that influenced him enough to work towards a better mankind. He himself stated, ” For me it is never about money, but solving problems for the future of humanity.”
He worked his entire life focusing towards creating better environment and support for the living population. Benjamin Franklin’s biography also turned out to be great teacher for him, teaching him the lessons of life.
Counted among the influential lot of the world, his life has not been bestowed with success at every step. His journey has been full of failures and you can say that it was only Elon Musk who had the guts to turn his failures into success. Every time he encountered a failure, he got up a better way and headed towards success.
First self created game
Being a programming enthusiast, at the very early age of 12, he created a game named, blaster. He sold it for $500 and from here started his life long journey towards entrepreneurship.
Rejection at Netscape
He started with education and secured bachelor’s degree in Physics and Business. Once out of college, he decided to try his luck in Netscape communications. He sent his resume and applied for job.
Unfortunately, he got no reply in return of the mail. He visited the headquarters but left without approaching anyone due to shyness.
First company, Zip 2
This could not let down his enthusiasm and he decided to open his own company. He took $28000 from his father to start a company providing city travel guides.
The first company founded by him was Zip 2. He cofounded it with his brother and was the CEO. Unfortunately, later on the management committee removed him from the post of CEO.
Musk succeeded in creating fortune even after this setback with Zip 2. Though he lost his influential position of CEO, he kept back the shares. Later in 1999, he sold Zip 2 and earned $22 Million.
Zip 2 instead of giving him a tough time, lined him up in the list of Millionaires. Post this event, he never looked back and crafted a unique name for him in Market.
Journey with Paypal
His second startup Paypal is world famous today and is very widely used. He was the CEO of the company but soon the cofounders took up a fight on selection of operating system for their servers. He lost on his take.
A similar event from the history reoccurred and board fired him. Still he enjoyed the privilege of being the highest share holder and managed to turn Paypal as an advantage. He sold Paypal to ebay and earned great sum amounting $1.5 billion.
The Mars vision
Musk was smitten with space from his childhood. Landing on Mars became one of his greater goals for which he started striving. He came up with an experimental idea of growing plants on Mars. The attempts to make it a success made him realize that rocket technology is in need of a breakthrough to realize his dream.
Travel to Mars was way more expensive and the total expense needed to be brought down first. In order to accomplish the result he travelled to Russia and met different dignitaries. He faced only turn downs and disappointment. All he could get hands on was expensive rockets costing millions.
Musk has decided to chase his dream and could go till any limit to make it true. He decided to come up with a company himself that would cater his need of creating affordable rockets.
Musk analyzed and concluded that he could earn 70% gross margin by cutting down the launch price of a rocket by factor of ten.
Journey of SpaceX
Elon Musk SpaceX venture is a yet another successful name today. His desire and needs gave birth to SpaceX, Space Exploration Technologies.
With investments in different companies, Musk started facing financial crisis. The Falcon 1 rocket was the first rocket created from SpaceX. But difficult finances stood in the way of launching it. Musk with his hard work got everything working for SpaceX.
Musk mustered all the courage to make SpaceX a success and in 2008, finally a contract of making flights to international space station for NASA worth $1.6 billion landed in their kitty. Musk shut down all the mouths that doubted SpaceX and its caliber to land vehicles into space.
The success tasted by SpaceX saw many failures. Crash and burn videos were produced by the initially produced three rockets. But consistent efforts and desire to succeed finally paid off.
Elan Musk Tesla association is well known and he transformed the company as Tesla CEO. He invested in Tesla Motors. He made huge investments in it that amounted to making him a part of Board of directors. In fact, he became the chairman. He started his stint in making electric vehicles.
Financial crisis stuck Tesla as well. The company was nearing to collapse. It was Elon Musk who decided to save the company. He took the tough decision of going bankrupt and saving the company. He invested all his money from selling Paypal in Tesla.
He invested $40 Million and further gave $40 Million loan to Tesla, ultimately saving Tesla from dying. Later Tesla produced all electric vehicles, Roadster that won invention of the year award in time magazine in year 2006.
Roadster became a success and many considered it to be the best electric car ever made. It went into full production in 2008. Finally, Musk was named as the CEO in 2009.
Roadster on its way to be declared a success witnessed many challenges. Tesla faced the initial issues with the quality with Roadster after it was released. Before 2008, it was recalled twice and electrical fixations were made.
Many green car companies emerged from time to time. Each one of them faced technical glitches and tasted failure. While most of them shut down or withdrew their company, Musk being a fighter did not let failures deter his vision of perfect electric cars.
Not only Roadster brought accolades for itself, but efforts by Musk were also highlighted. Global Green 2006 product design award and 2007 Index Design awards were awarded to him for his design of the Tesla Roadster.
Success with Model S
Tesla’s next Model S had no major electrical glitches and it could be considered the real success. Motor Trend and Automobile tested it and rated it 99 on a scale of 100. Model S was said to deliver world class performance.
Musk as a Tesla owner created unconventional transportation means and reached the height of success where many could not dare to.
During his days with Tesla and Space X, Elon Musk faced financial crisis. He even became dependent on his personal loans for his survival. In spite of all the tough situations and hardships, he did not let Tesla or SpaceX die. Musk had to sell $15 Million worth shares to get back in a better financial shape.
Elon Musk witnessed ups and downs in his personal life as well. Elon Musk wife, marriage and divorce have always gathered limelight. He was first married to Canadian author Justine Wilson and then separated in 2008.
His first son died in 10 weeks of birth from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. He married again with English actress Talulah Riley, but again got divorced.
Elon Musk autobiography and biographies are never going to run short. They are going to be written and re-written. “Elon Musk : Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” is one if the latest and most popular biographies with excerpts from Elon Musk itself.
The book visions him as a general marching for victory rather than from belonging to money chasing lot. It describes about his brutal upbringing and his education. The failures and challenges are all covered in a very lucid manner.
It talks about Elon Musk as a hard worker and a thinker concerned with future existence of human race. Elon Musk books talking about his life are a great read and are very inspirational.
Current space vision and evaluation
Elon Musk changed the face of Earth and space transportation with revolutionary thoughts and continuous efforts. His fully electric vehicles from Tesla have seen huge success and SpaceX evaluates more than $20 billion today.
Elon Musk plans to turn his dream of Mars colonization a reality. He declared that his tickets to mars will cost $500000. His quest to conquer space and explore life outside Earth goes on.
Transit system, Hyper Loop
Musk has been consistently working to improve the transportation facilities. He developed a rapid transit system called Hyper Loop. The distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco can now be covered in 30 minutes.
Iron man association
Achievements of Elon Musk made people associate him with Tony Stark, from the Iron man series. Many say that story around life of Tony Stark has been inspired by Elon Musk. He even gained a cameo in the movie Iron man 2.
Elon Musk has turned out to be a winner. He is one person who has the will power and capability to create whatever he wants. Be it transport or Space exploration, Musk had his own ideas, he trusted them and he left no stone unturned to convert them into reality.
Musk is all about perseverance and quotes, “If something is important enough, even if odds are against you, you should still do it.“
His life has given many lessons for the upcoming generation and entrepreneurs to learn from. The main motivation can be thinking unconventional and fighting consistently till the end to achieve success. Failure should always be seen as a stepping stone which compulsorily needs to be crossed to move ahead.
Musk said, “Failure is not an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough. “
Never dying journey and attitude
The journey of failures and preceding success still goes on. Recently, a Falcon rocket caught fire before getting launched, destroying $200 million Israeli communication satellite.
Musk expressed his thoughts on twitter, “Still working on Falcon fireball investigation. Turning out to be the most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in 14 years.”
In spite of the failures, SpaceX and Elon Musk are ready with their future launches and aspirations to explore the Space. When it comes to Elon Musk, we only can wait to see what is coming next, as he seems not ready to take a break and halt in near future.
For Elon Musk, age has been no barrier and even at 46, we can conclude that not sky but Space is the limit for him and this man is created to just go on and on.