The South African born businessman, entrepreneur, engineer, inventor, real life iron man and probably the savior of the human race, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX has done an immense amount of work in his career of 45 years.
He is the 83rd richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $11.5 billion, and that’s rapidly growing. He is the brain behind some of the most exciting technology companies. We have to put it out there and we will be completely biased today as we are very very fans of his.
The questions we’d like to answer in this article are:
Who is Elon Musk?
How Rich is Elon Musk? What is Elon Musk’s Net Worth?
How did Elon Musk Get Started?
How much money is Tesla generating?
How much revenue is SpaceX Generating?
Where did Elon Musk Get Money to invest and buy Tesla?
How much is the Tesla Model 3?
How will Elon Musk Colonize Mars?
What is the best Elon Musk documentary?
What is the best Elon Musk Book?
What is the best Elon Musk Interview?
With that sense, here are 15 things you didn’t know about Elon Musk.
1. He Started Out Young
He coded his first game when he was 12 and sold it for $500, basically making him a prodigy. The game was called Blaster and he created it using Commodore VIC-20. A web version of the game is still available online so that you can play it to this day.
Much like Bill Gates, he started coding when he was very young. He have been reading for 5 hours per day most of the days during his childhood and quickly assimilated knowledge. One of the most memorable thing; he cured his own fear of the dark.
By studying physics he realized that darkness is the absence of photons (the visible wavelength) and it is silly to be scared of lack of photons. Because he was pretty small and into science, school was terrible for him as he was bullied everyday. So be careful who you bully in school as they might turn into future billionaire.
2. He Survived For $1/Day
When Musk was at college he fed himself for less than $1 a day. He might have come from a reasonably fortunate background but he lived on almost nothing while he was studying. He said that he used to prevent scurvy and illness by adding red peppers to his cheap noodles.
Something you guys might not know is that in order to make some money and pay for college he had a best friend turn their house into a night club. They rented a 10 bedroom house and threw massive parties during the weekend. Sometimes up to 500 people show up and pay $5 per person.
While his friend ensured to hit the party lit, Musk remained sober to maintain control over the party.
3. He Dropped Out After 2 Days
Elon Musk dropped out of his applied physics PhD course after 2 days to pursue his entrepreneurial vision. After completing two degrees in both physics and economics he enrolled in a PhD course at Stanford University in 1995 when he was 24.
After 2 days he got bored and started a business with his brother called Zip2. He borrowed $28,000 from his father and funded a software company designed as a city guide for newspaper publishers. And that was before Google Maps.
I an age when Yellow Pages was still a thing, not sure how many of you entrepreneurs know what that is. Just a couple of years later he sold it for $22 million.
4. He Wrote Off A McLaren F1
He bough a McLaren F1, didn’t ensure it and then wrote it off. He bought it in 1999 when he was 28 years old for $1 million. It is probably quite difficult to get an insurance quote for a McLaren. So he didn’t bother and then he crashed it. He even made fun of himself at that age.
But his passion for cars was clear. He also owns the Lotus Espirit from 1977 Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. He bought the car in auction in 2013 for nearly $1 million and intended to convert it into a submarine for real as a pet project.
He loved the film as a child and was quite disappointed to learn that it can’t actually transform into a submarine.
5. Tony Stark was modeled on Musk
The eccentric genius billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark in the Marvel films was flatteringly based on Elon Musk. According to Robert Downey Jr. and the franchise’s director, Tony Stark’s character was just more or less a more flamboyant version of Elon.
Musk got a cameo in Iron Man 2 as a thank you for letting Downie Jr pick his brain.
6. Founding member of PayPal
After his Zip2 success it didn’t take Elon to pick his next target, the banking industry so he started X.com. X.com and PayPal went head to head for a couple of years until they decided to join forces.
Unfortunately though he was ousted from his CEO role in 2000 because of leadership disagreements. When they sold PayPal his cut was $165 million. But what is the PayPal mafia?
You think that cashing in on PayPal would be enough but the people who created PayPal all went on to create other companies of humongous success.
Three of them went on and created YouTube, one of them created LinkedIn which was recently acquired by Microsoft for $26 billion. Another created Yelp, another founded Kiva and few others have become some of the most respected investors in the Silicon Valley with very early investments in Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Uber and more.
Among these guys was Elon Musk who went ahead and is changing the world with Tesla and SpaceX.
7. The Moksha Moment
He went through a Moksha moment where he was all in. Many of the world changers went through Moksha or the Monk moment. It is more or less when someone puts everything he owns on the table and success is the only option for survival.
After the sale of PayPal with all of his savings he had $180 million. He put $100 million in SpaceX, $70 million in Tesla and $10 million in Solar City. At that point he had to borrow money to pay rent.
8. Married the same women twice
Like Elizabeth Taylor he married someone, divorced them and remarried them again. Musk married British actress Talulah Riley in 2008 and they announced their separation in 2012 and all seemed quite amicable.
And then they remarried in 2013 and filed for divorce again in 2014 and their divorce finalized in 2016. Hopefully they won’t do it again. It’s clearly not working. Elon Musk is sacrificing his family life for his goals and ambitions.
We can even compare him to modern day Henry Ford or even to the original Tesla.
9. His Salary is $1/Year
His basic salary at Tesla is still $1 a year. Few people know that he wasn’t a founder at Tesla. He discovered the company and bought himself in. After arguing with the CEO he fired him and installed himself as the Chief Executive Officer of the company.
Tesla have two of their cars ranked in the most expensive electric cars in the world. You can check them out but we are quite excited on finally getting our hands on the Model 3. Deliveries can start soon enough for us.
10. He wants to die on Mars
Musk has said that he wants to die on Mars not earth. Elon’s SpaceX is planning an ambitious mission to Mars with a view to making our lives interplanetary. He is spearheading a movement to colonize the planet Mars.
His main goal is to drop the cost of interplanetary travel to close to $100,000. The current price is at $10 billion. So there’s a long way to go. But he is serious about it. He wants to put people in Mars in six years from now.
Before that he will be sending several rockets filled with resources in order to get the colonization process started. Mars has already proven to be our best option and Elon even came up with a few theories on how to transform Mars. One would be to nuke the North and South pole of Mars in order to heat up the planet and begin creating an atmosphere.
His personal goal is to send 1 million people on Mars in order to make sure our species gets a better shot at survival.
11. He Considers AI a Threat
Musk thinks that AI is the most serious threat to the survival of the human race and believes that the world is coming after AI in a wrong way. It’s easy to assume that a tech entrepreneur would be head over heels in love with the idea of artificial intelligence.
But Elon Musk is apparently now one of them. Confusingly, however, he has invested in various AI firms and even founded a non-profit AI research company. He believes that creating a neural network which basically means that we all connect our brains to the internet is the way to go.
That way we can democratize the artificial intelligence. And if we’re all a part of it it cannot kill us. He compared traditional AI to summoning a demon.
He is building the second largest building in the world from a footprint point of view. It’s called the Gigafactory. Because he is serious about shifting the world from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, he will be needing a lot of batteries more than the rest of world combined could produce.
So he built his own factory. The place is massive. When completed and running at full capacity, it will be able to create more batteries in one year than the entire world ever created. To put things into perspective if there were 99 more Gigafactories, the entire planet would be completely sustainable from an energy standpoint.
13. Roof Tile Lookalike Solar Panels
You can go completely off-grid from an energy point of view because of him. A few months ago he unveiled a new type of solar panel that looks like traditional roof tiles but have the capacity to capture sunlight. Add that to the Tesla Powerwall and advanced battery that could power an entire house and a Tesla car and you don’t need to be on the grid anymore.
The best thing is that the price for buying Model 3 is cheaper than buying a petrol car and paying for petrol for 1 year. The price of the magical rooftop that captures solar energy will be lower than that of a normal roof. If you buy a Tesla car you will get free energy for life from his supercharging stations that he is building all over the world.
14. Three Official Nationalities
Musk was born in South Africa but left for Canada when he was 19 and became a citizen. He then became an American citizen in 2002 and has described himself as passionately patriotic about his adopted country.
15. Donated to Republican and Democrat Candidates
Elon Musk describes himself in between Republican and Democrat. So he donated money to both Republican and Democrat Presidential candidates. There are some noticeable discrepancies in terms of amount though.
He contributed $100,000 to Obama’s re-election campaign and just $2000 to George Bush’s. In a recent statement he said that Tesla’s future is not threatened by Donald Trump’s presidency. Despite Trump’s saying that he doesn’t believe in climate change
In an interesting turn of events, Peter Thiel, member of PayPal Mafia and friend of Elon’s is currently in Trump’s cabinet helping Trump with the transition.
He wants to bring the entire world online. Elon Musk asked the government to allow him put 4425 in Earth’s orbit so he can provide free internet to the entire world. This is an incredible project that would generate him enough money to create the first city on Mars.
The internet problem is something both Facebook and Google are trying to solve; Facebook with solar drone like planes Google via helium balloons. Out of the three of them, Elon has the best shot at getting this done because he already has the infrastructure in place.
People like Elon don’t come along that often. So researching about him was quite difficult. We hope that he succeeds with his visions and projects.