Manila, Philippines – Elon Musk is one of the most well-known tech visionaries of our time. He is mainly known as the CEO of the electric car manufacturer TESLA, but has also founded successful companies himself.
Elon Musk has a difficult childhood
TESLA CEO and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk was born in South Africa in June 1971. Together with his sister Tosca and his brother Kimbal Musk, he grew up in Pretoria. As the child of an engineer and a nutritionist, Musk lived in affluent circumstances during his childhood, but quickly showed abnormalities. His parents divorced when Musk was nine years old. Musk then moved to Durban with his mother and siblings on the east coast, but later decided to live with his father.
Musk does not always have an easy time there: According to ARD, he speaks little about his father today, the time with him is said to have been “a kind of psychological torture for him and his brother”, according to ARD. In addition, Musk is exposed to considerable bullying at school, once his classmates push him down the stairs and beat him up so that a visit to the hospital is necessary.
Musk then took refuge in books and developed a passion for technology. He persuades his father to buy him a computer and learns the basics of a programming language in just three days. Some time later, at the age of twelve, Musk sold his first computer game for $500.
Musk moves to Canada first, then to the United States
When the South African apartheid regime Musk wanted to join the military, he moved to Canada at the age of 17 and began studying physics and economics at Queen’s University in Kingston. Musk later moved to US universities and completed his studies there with a Bachelor in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor in Economics from the Wharton Business School. In 1995 Musk moved to Silicon Valley to study physics at Stanford University, but after only two days he gave up studying and decided to found a startup instead.
Musk’s first company makes him a millionaire
Musk founded the dotcom company Zip2 together with his brother Kimbal in 1995. Zip2 is software that enables publishers to publish online city tours on the Internet. Just four years later, at the time Musk was 28, he was selling his startup to the computer manufacturer Compaq for $ 307 million. Musk will keep $ 22 million from this deal, making him a multi-millionaire.
PayPal brings in Musk billions
Musk used this money in 1999 to start another company: X.com. The startup is working on developing an online payment service that customers can use to make money transactions via email. A little later, X.com merges with the competitor Confinity because it markets a similar product: PayPal. After the merger, PayPal developed into the largest online payment system in the world, with Musk as the largest shareholder. PayPal’s success makes Musk a billionaire thanks to his company shares.
Musk with great visions – SpaceX
Musk’s next project is the space company SpaceX, which was launched in 2002 and in which he is investing $100 million. SpaceX is intended to enable the masses to travel through space and live on foreign planets. For this purpose, SpaceX is working on rocket development and is taking on orders from NASA.
Tesla’s success is closely intertwined with Musk
In 2003 Musk started to invest in the electric car manufacturer TESLA, meanwhile he is Tesla’s CEO and creative director. Musk has been considered a workaholic ever since, and says that he sometimes has a 100-hour week. In addition, he demands flawless performance from his employees and is considered an extremely demanding manager. But the work is paying off: Tesla is still on the road to success, researching new lithium-ion batteries and working on their production. Only in January 2020 Tesla can see the next success, the electric car manufacturer cracks a market value of $100 billion for the first time.
The Boring Company, Neuralink and SolarCity
Musk’s latest projects include the development of a hyperloop, for which he founded the Boring Company in 2016. Hyperloop is to become a new means of transportation, which is to transport people in a capsule via an underground tunnel system in a vacuum tube at up to 1,220 kilometers per hour. Musk’s Boring Company is involved in tunnel construction.
Tesla’s other attention is focused on the energy company SolarCity, which Tesla bought in 2016 for $ 2.6 billion. The concept for the company originally came from Musk himself, but his cousin Lyndon Rives took over the company management at the time. Among other things, SolarCity installs solar modules.
As if that weren’t enough, the Tesla CEO founded another company in addition to the Boring Company in 2016 together with eight other investors: Neuralink. It is a neurotechnology company that researches technologies that are intended to enable communication between the human brain and computers.
Musk’s private life
In private, Elon Musk is rather volatile. With his first wife, writer Justine Wilson, Musk has five children, twins and triplets. Her first son Nevada died suddenly in 2002 at the age of ten months. From 2010 to 2016, Musk had an on-off relationship with British actress Talulah Riley; he was married to her twice during this period, and in 2016 the final divorce and separation will follow. Musk dates actress Amber Heard after this relationship, but this relationship doesn’t last, either. Musk has been dating the Canadian musician Grimes since 2018, with whom he has had a first child since the beginning of May 2020. Musk is now a citizen of South Africa, Canada and the United States.