Elon Musk is probably the most influential businessman in the world of new technologies and one of the richest men as well. He is behind several successful projects: SpaceX, Tesla, Hyperloop, StarLink, Cybertruck. Business Cool makes you discover the portrait of the man who wants to revolutionize humanity!
The origin of Elon Musk
Elon Musk was born to a South African father and a Canadian mother. He then holds a dual nationality which he will complete, in 2002, with American nationality. Before becoming the richest man in the world, he was a simple “nerd” very little respected by his classmates. His life consisted of his school lessons in his hometown of Pretoria in South Africa and hours of reading science fiction books. He started learning to code very early on as an autodidact on his Commodore VIC-20. His talent for IT and entrepreneurship is revealed from childhood.
He launched his own video game at the age of 12, called Blastar, which he sold to the South African specialized computer magazine, PC And Office Technology. The latter published it in December 1984 for the equivalent of 500 dollars. In 1988, Elon Musk obtained the Canadian passport and left South Africa. He had only one idea in mind at the time: to conquer business and economic opportunities in the United States.
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The beginning of Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial adventure
Elon Musk graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston. In 1992, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree inand in economics in 1995. The same year, he enrolled in postgraduate studies in materials science and energy physics at Stanford University in California. After two days, he left the benches of the university believing that the Internet had much more potential to have a real impact on society than work in physics.
As the Internet bubble began to grow, Elon Musk and his brother Kimbal embarked on an entrepreneurial adventure together with the Global Link Information Network project, aka Zip2. The project would allow advertisers to communicate online with customers by fax, in other words, a first version of “web-canvassing”. One of the most ingenious functions of this concept is “Auto-Guide”. It consists of sending information relating to businesses to subscribers of magazines and online newspapers. In February 1999, Zip2 was acquired by the manufacturer ofCompaq for over $300 million.
Following this, Elon Musk founded an online financial services company which he named X.com. A few years later, it transformed into PayPal, thanks to the merger with Confinity, and became the benchmark for online money transfer applications. In 2002, the company was bought out by eBay for $1.5 billion.
Elon Musk leaves the ship with a nice sum in his pocket: around 170 million greenbacks. However, instead of buying an island in the tropics and taking it easy in the sun, he decides to reinvest the entire sum and launch, not one, not two, but three companies that will determine the rest of his career and revolutionize the world at the same time.
Elon Musk: Conquering space with SpaceX
Elon Musk firmly believes that the survival of humanity is highly dependent on the fact that human beings must become a multiplanetary species. But the fact that rocket launchers are very expensive displeases him greatly. In 2002, he founded the aerospace engineering company, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), to manufacture more affordable rockets and solve this problem. The initial investment was $100 million. His first two rockets were thefirst launched in 2006, and the larger, launched for the first time in 2010. They cost much less than competing rockets.
In addition, Elon Musk has achieved the feat of creating rockets that are reusable and therefore pollute less. This is why NASA has called on Elon Musk and SpaceX for certain missions to the ISS and to the Moon.
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When Tesla revolutionizes electric vehicles
Renewable energy and electricity are subjects that fascinate Elon Musk. It is no coincidence that Tesla and Solar City (a company dedicated to the production of solar panels and solar energy utilization systems) have the same founder. The entrepreneur has invested between 50 and 70 million in You’re hereof which he will become CEO in 2008, and 10 million dollars in the creation of Solar City.
It was towards the end of the 2000s that Tesla’s first sedan was born: the Tesla Model S. It has been on the international market for twelve years now. In 2010, the number of electric cars sold worldwide did not even reach half a million. But the arrival of Tesla on the market has the effect of a bomb.
In 2013, Tesla’s share price skyrocketed to $160. Its capital reaches 20 billion dollars. Three years later, the automotive industry exploded and exceeded one million electric vehicles sold worldwide. 2017 is a big year for Tesla, which is recognized as the world’s second largest electric car manufacturer. The least we can say is that Tesla has revolutionized the world of electric vehicles.
Elon Musk and the Hyperloop
In 2013, Elon Musk proposed a high-speed rail system in California:a tube in which a gondola carrying 28 passengers could travel the 350 miles (560 km) from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 35 minutes, going at a top speed of 760 miles (1,220 km) per hour, almost the . In his forecasts, Elon Musk assured that the Hyperloop would cost only 6 billion dollars and that, with departures every two minutes, the system would manage to accommodate 6 million passengers per year.
Elon Musk leaves the realization of this futuristic idea to the two startups that are still competing in the Hyperloop race: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) and Virgin’s Hyperloop One. At present, both companies are still in the study and test phases. In October 2017, Hyperloop One experienced the operation of its prototype for the first time.
Elon Musk’s wealth
Elon Musk’s fortune continues to break records! On November 4, the businessman was at the head of a fortune of 336 billion dollars according to Bloomberg. His personal fortune jumped by 36.2 billion dollars, or about 31.2 billion euros, in one day, Monday, October 25. And for good reason, an order by the American car rental company Hertz, for 100,000 Tesla cars, caused a surge in Tesla shares.
The Bloomberg Billionaires index broke a new record following this gain, which represents the largest gain ever recorded in one day. Once the order was announced, the company’s shares rose 13%, boosting the US company’s valuation. The car giant also took the opportunity to join the very closed circle of companies worth more than 1,000 billion dollars. On June 14, Elon Musk’s fortune reached $210.8 million. A downturn due to the economic recession.
Elon Musk plans to cut his workforce by 10%
The economic situation has been very tough lately. Between the war in Ukraine, the confinements in China and the economic recession in the world, the financial market is not doing very well. Elon Musk has a bad feeling for the future. He therefore thinks he will have to cut around 10% of his workforce to reduce costs and remain competitive. The CEO of Tesla has ordered his executives to freeze recruitment. In his post titled “pause in recruitments all over the world”Elon Musk says he has “a very bad feeling” on the economic outlook.
Knowing that Tesla had to his credit approximately 100,000 employees at the end of last year around the world, approximately 10,000 people will be forced to pack up. This comes a few days after Elon Musk asked his employees to stop working from home, and that “everyone at Tesla is required to spend at least 40 hours a week in the office”.
The takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk
Elon Musk keeps sending mixed signals. After igniting the canvas with his determination to buy Twitter, for 44 billion dollars or $54.2 per share, he reconsidered his decision. And for good reason ! He is awaiting details regarding the proportion of fake accounts on the social network. He indicated that the agreement was suspended “pending details supporting the calculation that spam/fake accounts actually represent less than 5% of users”. Two hours later, he confirms that he is “always engaged in acquisition”.
After long weeks of speculation and waiting, it is now official, Elon Musk will address Twitter employees this Thursday, June 16. This is a first since its takeover offer of 44 billion issued in April. According to Reuters, the CEO of Space X will have the opportunity to respond live to questions posed by company employees. For its part, Twitter has confirmed the news through a spokesperson.