Billionaires play a crucial role in shaping the world economy, politics, and philanthropy. The list of billionaires include members who are technology giants, founders and also invest their wealth in many companies they have started. Among the Billionaires list Elon Musk as broke all records and captured the title of richest person. The Tesla Chief Executive officer netted an additional $US 95.4 billion to the end of year close, bolstered by the success of Tesla and SpaceX after losing $ US 138 billion in 2022. Let us understand Mr. Elon Musk Life Journey and how he became the Richest Man in the World.
Who is Elon Musk??
Elon Musk is a businessman and investor who is the founder chairman, CEO and chief technology officer of SpaceX ; Angel investor, CEO product architect and former chairman of Tesla Inc chairman and CTO of X Corp.; founder of the Boring Company and xAI; co-founder of Neural ink and OpenAI; and president of the Musk Foundation.
Family Background of Elon Musk
- Elon Musk was born in Pretoria to Errol Musk and Maye Musk. He attended the University of Pretoria before immigrating to Canada at age 18, acquiring citizenship through his Canadian born Mother. He has British and Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry.
- His mother, Maye Musk is a model and dietitian born in Saskatchewan, Canada, and raised in South Africa.
- His father, Errol Musk, is a South African electromechanical engineer, pilot, sailor, consultant, and property developer, who partly owned a Zambian emerald mine near Lake Tanganyika, as well as a rental lodge at the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve Musk has a younger brother, Kimbal, and a younger sister,
- Musk attended Waterkloof House Preparatory School, Bryans ton High School, and Pretoria Boys High School, from where he graduated. Musk arrived in Canada in June 1989 and lived with a second cousin in Saskatchewan for a year working odd jobs at a farm and lumber mill.
- In 1990, he entered Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Two years later, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), where he completed studies for a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the Wharton School. Although Musk said he earned the degrees in 1995, UPenn maintains it awarded them in 1997.
- He reportedly hosted large, ticketed house parties to help pay for tuition, and wrote a business plan for an electronic book-scanning service similar to Google Books.
- In 1994, Musk held two internships in Silicon Valley: one at energy storage startup Pinnacle Research Institute, which investigated electrolytic ultra-capacitors for energy storage, and another at Palo Alto–based startup Rocket Science Games.
- In 1995, he was accepted to a PhD program in materials science at Stanford University. However, Musk decided to join the Internet boom, dropping out two days after being accepted and applied for a job at Netscape, to which he reportedly never received a response
PayPal and SpaceX
- Musk attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and in 1992 he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where he received bachelor’s degrees in physics and economics in 1997.
- He enrolled in graduate school in physics at Stanford University in California, but he left after only two days because he felt that the Internet had much more potential to change society than work in physics.
- In 1995 he founded Zip2, a company that provided maps and business directories to online newspapers. In 1999 Zip2 was bought by the computer manufacturer Compaq for $307 million, and Musk then founded an online financial services company, X.com, which later became PayPal, which specialized in transferring money online. The online auction eBay bought PayPal in 2002 for $1.5 billion.
- Musk was long convinced that for life to survive, humanity has to become a multi-planet species. However, he was dissatisfied with the great expense of rocket launchers.
- In 2002 he founded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to make more affordable rockets. Its first two rockets were the Falcon 1 (first launched in 2006) and the larger Falcon 9 (first launched in 2010), which were designed to cost much less than competing rockets.
- A third rocket, the Falcon Heavy (first launched in 2018), was designed to carry 117,000 pounds (53,000 kg) to orbit, nearly twice as much as its largest competitor, the Boeing Company’s Delta IV Heavy, for one-third the cost. SpaceX has announced the successor to the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy: the Super Heavy–Starship system.
- The Super Heavy first stage would be capable of lifting 100,000 kg (220,000 pounds) to low Earth orbit. The payload would be the Starship, a spacecraft designed for providing fast transportation between cities on Earth and building bases on the Moon and Mars.
- SpaceX also developed the Dragon spacecraft, which carries supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). Dragon can carry as many as seven astronauts, and it had a crewed flight carrying astronauts Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken to the ISS in 2020.
- The first test flights of the Super Heavy–Starship system launched in 2020. In addition to being CEO of SpaceX, Musk was also chief designer in building the Falcon rockets, Dragon, and Starship. SpaceX is contracted to build the lander for the astronauts returning to the Moon by 2025 as part of NASA’s Artemis space program.
- Musk had long been interested in the possibilities of electric cars, and in 2004 he became one of the major funders of Tesla Motors (later renamed Tesla), an electric car company founded by entrepreneurs Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. In 2006 Tesla introduced its first car, the Roadster, which could travel 245 miles (394 km) on a single charge.
- Unlike most previous electric vehicles, which Musk thought were stodgy and uninteresting, it was a sports car that could go from 0 to 60 miles (97 km) per hour in less than four seconds. In 2010 the company’s initial public offering raised about $226 million.
- Two years later Tesla introduced the Model S sedan, which was acclaimed by automotive critics for its performance and design. The company won further praise for its Model X luxury SUV, which went on the market in 2015. The Model 3, a less-expensive vehicle, went into production in 2017 and became the best-selling electric car of all time.
- Dissatisfied with the projected cost ($68 billion) of a high-speed rail system in California, Musk in 2013 proposed an alternate faster system, the Hyperloop, a pneumatic tube in which a pod carrying 28 passengers would travel the 350 miles (560 km) between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 35 minutes at a top speed of 760 miles (1,220 km) per hour, nearly the speed of sound.
- Musk claimed that the Hyperloop would cost only $6 billion and that, with the pods departing every two minutes on average, the system could accommodate the six million people who travel that route every year. However, he stated, between running SpaceX and Tesla, he could not devote time to the Hyperloop’s development.
X (formerly Twitter)
- Musk joined the social media service Twitter in 2009, and, as @elonmusk, he became one of the most popular accounts on the site, with more than 85 million followers as of 2022.
- He expressed reservations about Tesla’s being publicly traded, and in August 2018 he made a series of tweets about taking the company private at a value of $420 per share, noting that he had “secured funding.”
- The following month the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Musk for securities fraud, alleging that the tweets were “false and misleading.”
- Shortly thereafter Tesla’s board rejected the SEC’s proposed settlement, reportedly because Musk had threatened to resign.
- However, the news sent Tesla stock plummeting, and a harsher deal was ultimately accepted. Its terms included Musk’s stepping down as chairman for three years, though he was allowed to continue as CEO; his tweets were to be preapproved by Tesla lawyers, and fines of $20 million for both Tesla and Musk were levied.
- Musk was critical of Twitter’s commitment to principles of free speech, in light of the company’s content-moderation policies. Early in April 2022, Twitter’s filings with the SEC disclosed that Musk had bought more than 9 percent of the company.
- Shortly thereafter Twitter announced that Musk would join the company’s board, but Musk decided against that and made a bid for the entire company, at a value of $54.20 a share, for $44 billion. Twitter’s board accepted the deal, which would make him sole owner of the company.
- Musk stated that his plans for the company included “enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.”
- In July 2022 Musk announced that he was withdrawing his bid, stating that Twitter had not provided sufficient information about bot accounts and claiming that the company was in “material breach of multiple provisions” of the purchase agreement.
- Bret Taylor, the chair of Twitter’s board of directors, responded by saying that the company was “committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk.” Twitter sued Musk to force him to buy the company.
- In September 2022 Twitter’s shareholders voted to accept Musk’s offer. Facing a legal battle, Musk ultimately proceeded with the deal, and it was completed in October. Among Musk’s first acts as Twitter’s owner were to lay off about half the company and to allow users to purchase for $8 a month the blue check-mark verification, which had previously been bestowed by Twitter upon notable figures.
- In addition, he disbanded Twitter’s content-moderation body and reinstated many banned accounts most notably that of former U.S. president Donald Trump, which had been suspended after the U.S. Capitol attack on January 6, 2021. Advertising revenue fell sharply as many companies withdrew their ads from the platform. Musk changed the name of the company from Twitter to X in July 2023.
Elon Musk Net Worth
- Musk is currently said to be the richest person in the world, overtaking former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
- Musk’s net worth sits at over $260 billion, nearly $70 billion more than Bezos’ current estimation of about $190 billion.
- His wealth skyrocketed over the past few years thanks to his majority ownership of Tesla, which increased in value substantially since 2020. SpaceX also has helped Musk’s net worth skyrocket and could catalyze even more growth in the next two years.
- Since 2017, Musk’s fortune has shown an annual average increase of 129 per cent, which could potentially see him enter the trillion-dollar club in just two short years, achieving a net worth of $1.38 trillion by 2024 at age 52
- SpaceX generates massive incomes by charging governmental and commercial clients to send various things into space, including satellites, ISS supplies, and people
Unlocking Genius Mind-Elon Musk
The importance of having a big vision
- One of the most valuable lessons we can learn from Elon Musk is the importance of having a big vision for your life and work. Musk has always been driven by a desire to create a better future for humanity, whether it’s through colonizing Mars, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, or developing brain-machine interfaces.
- He believes that we need to think big and aim high if we want to achieve great things and leave a lasting legacy.
- Musk’s big vision has inspired him to take on some of the most challenging and ambitious projects in history, such as building reusable rockets, creating electric cars, and revolutionizing transportation. His vision has also attracted top talent, investors, and partners who share his passion and want to be part of something meaningful and impactful.
The power of persistence and determination
- Another lesson that we can learn from Elon Musk is the power of persistence and determination in achieving your goals. Musk has faced numerous setbacks, failures, and obstacles in his career, but he has never given up or lost faith in his vision. Instead, he has used each setback as a learning opportunity and a chance to improve his skills, knowledge, and strategies.
- For example, SpaceX had multiple failed launches in its early days, but Musk and his team continued to refine their technology and processes until they achieved success. Tesla faced skepticism and criticism from the auto industry, but Musk and his team persisted in their mission to make electric cars mainstream and affordable. Neuralink is still in its early stages, but Musk is determined to create a brain-machine interface that could change the way we live and work.
Taking risks and embracing failure
- A third lesson that we can learn from Elon Musk is the importance of taking risks and embracing failure as part of the innovation process. Musk has never been afraid to take bold bets and pursue untested ideas, even if they seem crazy or risky at first.
- He believes that the biggest rewards come from the biggest risks, and that failure is not the opposite of success, but a necessary stepping stone on the path to success.
- For example, SpaceX’s reusable rockets were once considered too risky and expensive to develop, but Musk saw the potential for reducing the cost of space travel and increasing its accessibility. Tesla’s electric cars were once seen as a niche market for eco-conscious consumers, but Musk saw the potential for disrupting the entire auto industry and accelerating the transition to sustainable energy. Neuralink’s brain-machine interface is still in its early stages, but Musk sees the potential for enhancing human cognition and communication.
The value of innovation and disruption
- A fourth lesson that we can learn from Elon Musk is the value of innovation and disruption in creating transformative change. Musk believes that innovation is the key to solving many of the world’s most pressing problems, such as climate change, resource depletion, and inequality.
- He also believes that innovation requires disruption, or challenging the status quo and creating new solutions that are better, faster, and cheaper than existing ones.
- For example, Tesla’s electric cars disrupted the traditional auto industry by offering a superior driving experience, longer range, and lower costs. SpaceX’s reusable rockets disrupted the space industry by reducing the cost and time of space travel, and opening up new opportunities for exploration and research. The Boring Company’s tunneling technology could disrupt the transportation industry by enabling faster and cheaper underground travel.
The art of delegating and leading a team
- A fifth lesson that we can learn from Elon Musk is the art of delegating and leading a team to achieve a common goal. Musk is a master of assembling and motivating high-performing teams that can tackle complex and ambitious projects with speed and precision. He knows how to delegate tasks, empower team members, and align their efforts towards a shared vision and strategy.
- For example, SpaceX’s rocket launches involve hundreds of people from different disciplines and backgrounds, but they all work together towards a common goal of delivering payloads into space. Tesla’s production lines require coordination and collaboration among thousands of employees, but they all share a commitment to quality, safety, and efficiency. Neuralink’s research teams include experts from neuroscience, engineering, and computer science, but they share a passion for advancing human knowledge and capabilities.
The need for continuous learning and self-improvement
- A sixth lesson that we can learn from Elon Musk is the need for continuous learning and self-improvement in staying ahead of the curve and adapting to change. Musk is a lifelong learner who is constantly seeking new knowledge, skills, and experiences that can enhance his creativity, innovation, and leadership.
- He reads extensively, attends conferences and workshops, and seeks feedback from his peers and mentors.
- For example, Musk’s interest in physics, engineering, and space exploration led him to pursue degrees in those fields, even though he could have started his career without them. Musk’s curiosity and passion for innovation led him to explore new industries, such as electric cars and brain-machine interfaces, that were outside his comfort zone. Musk’s willingness to learn from failures and mistakes led him to refine his strategies and approaches until he achieved success.
The impact of technology on society and the environment
- A seventh lesson that we can learn from Elon Musk is the impact of technology on society and the environment, and the responsibility that innovators and leaders have in shaping its future.
- Musk believes that technology can be a force for good, but also a source of unintended consequences and ethical dilemmas. He advocates for responsible innovation and a long-term perspective that takes into account the social, economic, and environmental implications of technology.
- For example, Musk’s electric cars and solar panels aim to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable energy, while also creating jobs and economic growth. Musk’s space exploration and colonization ambitions aim to inspire and educate people about the wonders of the universe, while also advancing scientific knowledge and discovery. Musk’s brain-machine interface aims to enhance human cognition and communication, while also raising ethical and privacy concerns.
Elon Musk’s genius mind offers many valuable lessons for anyone who wants to achieve great things and make a positive impact on the world. From having a big vision to embracing failure, from taking risks to leading a team, from continuous learning to responsible innovation, Musk’s lessons can inspire and guide us towards a better future. By applying these lessons to our own lives and work, we can become more confident, creative, and impactful individuals who contribute to the common good and leave a lasting legacy.