From Zip2 to SpaceX: All about Elon Musk companies 😎
Elon Musk is truly an inspiration for many entrepreneurs and technologists for his various works starting from electric hypercars to cost-friendly space travel. No wonder he is been often referred to as the “Tony Stark” in real-life. He even made a cameo appearance in Iron Man 2 (2010) where he meets Robert Downey Jr at Monaco Grand Prix as a spectator.
His marvellous journey began at a very small age. Born in Pretoria, South Africa on June 28, 1971, as a young boy Musk seemed to be lost in his daydreams about inventions. Worried about his behaviour, Musk was subjected to hearing ability test. During his school days, he was often bullied and considered to be a short, introverted, and bookish boy. However, his keen interest and intellectual power, he was able to develop a computer game at the age of 12. This whizz-kid even made $500 for this.
As an Entrepreneur
Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial vision started while he was studying at the University of Pennsylvania, USA when Musk and a classmate rented out a 10-bedroom frat house and turned it into a nightclub. Later he founded his first company called Zip2 when he was 24. It was an online city guide, which soon was providing content for the new websites of both The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune. It was a huge success which accumulated $307 million in cash and $34 million in stocks for the company.
In 1999, Elon along with his brother Kimbal Musk found X.com, which was an online financial services/payments company by using the funds raised from the sale of Zip2. An X.com acquisition the following year led to the creation of PayPal as it is known today. Musk minted his first billion in 2002 when eBay acquired by Paypal for $1.5 billion in stock.
As a Visionary
Even before the PayPal sale, Musk was envisioning his next move including a wild plan to send mice or plants to Mars. With $100 million from the total money received from the PayPal sale, Musk founded the company known as the Space Exploration Technologies or SpaceX. Musk’s goal was to make spaceflight cheaper by a factor of 10. For this, he chose to develop reusable liquid- propellant rockets for which the concept of VTVL was introduced. This bagged contracts from NASA to handle cargo transport for the International Space Station with future plans for astronaut transport. SpaceX has made many successful launches from the Falcon 9 to the recent Crew Dragon. (You can read the full article here – SpaceX Crew Dragon – A new step towards MARS).
His futuristic vision did not end with this, some of his conglomerate firms include:
- Tesla – An Automotive company which produces electric hypercars in a quest to provide sustainable renewable energy solutions.
- SolarCity – An acquisition that aims to provide the world’s only integrated sustainable energy company, from energy generation to storage to transportation.
- Starlink – A subsidiary to SpaceX which aims to provide low latency internet to a wider base of customers through their constellation of small-mass satellites.
- The Boring Company – An initiative to provide high-speed transport using geo-technology engineering.
- Hyperloop – A concept for a high-speed transportation system incorporating reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction motors and air compressors.
- OpenAI – A non-profitable research wing that aims to develop safe and beneficial AI solutions to humanity.
- Neuralink – A startup which tries to develop implantable brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) by integrating the human brain with artificial intelligence.
Just as we are overwhelmed by simply reading these, Musk has had his share of hardships too. In 2008, he was almost broke when Tesla was losing money and SpaceX had trouble launching its Falcon 1 rocket. He had to sort out many problems to sustain but due to his diligence and persistence, he managed to turn the tables which made him the 31st Billionaire according to the Forbes.
What do you think about Elon Musk’s achievements? Which of the above-listed companies inspires you the most? Let us know in the comments section. Do check out other interesting news in Things you don’t know section.
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