Inspirational Leaders: Elon Musk
South African born Canadian-American entrepreneur, engineer, businessman and inventor Elon Musk is the perfect example of a limitless man. World-renowned billionaire and innovative mind in the spheres of the Internet, renewable energy and outer space technology; Musk’s resume is far too long to list. Musk was born June 28, 1971 to a Canadian mother and South-African father. Early on, he taught himself computer programming and then at age twelve, he sold his first code for a video game to PC and Office Technology magazine for $500. Multi-talented and passionate, Musk overcame a bully-filled childhood to become one of the wealthiest people in the U.S; his net-worth currently sits at 12.4 billion U.S.
“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough” [Business Insider].
Musk attended Queen’s University in Ontario for two years and then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. He began to pursue a PhD in applied physics at Stanford University, but left quickly to pursue goals in his many fields of interest.
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it” [finance.yahoo].
In 1999 Musk co-founded the online financial services and payment company X.com, which led to the creation of PayPal the very next year. Now Musk is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX—an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company—and CEO and product architect and cofounder of Tesla Motors, an automotive and energy storage company. In 2013 Musk proposed the concept for “Hyperloop”—a commuting invention between major cities that would cut travel time significantly. As with a lot of his work, “Hyperloop” would be powered by renewable energy; reaching more than 700 mph in speed, the invention would push travelers in pods through a network of low-pressure tubes. Musk stated that his brainchild would take seven to ten years to be built and would cost approximately $6 billion, which is a very thrifty price in comparison to other American transit systems. The idea is still in the design phase, but prototype tests will be held in June 2016 at the SpaceX facility.
As someone who grew up reading science fiction novels and imagining what it would be like to actually live in space, Musk is living the dream of every kid like him. He owns famous and fast European cars, is married to a beautiful British actress and his company SpaceX launched a rocket that sent the first commercial vehicle to the International Space Station. He has spoken many times about colonizing to Mars, and this science fiction fan might just do that. It’s so easy to dream, and so hard to make those dreams a reality. Musk proves that it is possible to transfer ideas from simple musings into real physical things. And even though he is immensely talented and smart, Musk says that personality is just as important when creating innovative products: “[My biggest mistake is probably] weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone’s personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart” [Business Insider].
Leave a comment!