If you’ve been following the news lately, you’re probably aware that there’s an interesting new leader occupying the throne at the helm of Tesla, SpaceX, and all their other ventures. His name is Elon Musk, and he’s one of the most fascinating people on the planet. The most obvious reason for this is that Mr. Musk is impossibly driven. He has a mission to improve our lives through technology and wants us to be excited about that mission as much as he is excited about it himself. The result? A man who makes a habit of showing up places early with his teams ready to make a difference in the world. Whether it’s launching a public transportation service in South Africa or creating electric cars that consumers can afford and enjoy driving themselves free of charge, his ability to see opportunities others cannot and act upon them with such speed has made him into something of a superhero in our eyes.
He’s a serial entrepreneur.
When it comes to Musk’s accomplishments as an entrepreneur, it’s hard to talk about any single one without talking about all of them. He started his first company at the age of just 17, when he created the online gaming site called Zip2. In 1998 he sold the company for millions of dollars, and he reinvested a large portion of that money back into his next business: X.com, which would go on to be PayPal. Musk’s portfolio of companies include SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity, and Zip2. He’s done it all, and he’s done it with style.
He co-founded two internet companies.
In his early 20s, Musk was already making waves in the tech world. In 2001, he and his brother, Kimbal, launched an internet payment system called X.com. When they sold the company to eBay in the mid-2000s, they walked away with around $180 million. Musk decided to use some of that money to launch an entirely new venture. He and a team of investors in 2006 launched a company called OpenWall that developed an operating system for internet-connected devices. The idea was to provide a secure and scalable system for devices to communicate with one another and with the web, but the company ran into issues with the open-source community who took issue with how the company was using their software and with what appears to be Musk’s lack of experience in the field. The company eventually shut down in 2010.
He founded a music company that helped change the world of music.
Musk isn’t afraid to talk about how technology can change the world. This passion for change is apparent in his third turn as an entrepreneur. In 2000, he joined forces with the CEO of a recording studio called JAM Creative to help him launch Archive Records. In the years after, Archive became one of the most significant sources of music in the world, releasing some of the most important albums of the 21st century including Adele’s 21, OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, and Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Musk himself has also released a number of albums as a solo artist including Everything and Nothing and Suck It. His latest, a self-titled work called Musk, debuted in early 2018 and made it to No. 12 on the iTunes charts less than a week after its release.
One of his most recent ventures is building an electric car company.
Tesla has been a key part of Musk’s portfolio for the last decade, and the company’s recent successes have made for a thrilling ride for investors. Musk became CEO of Tesla in 2008 when he was at X.com. Since then, Tesla has gone from a company that lost money to one that has delivered impressive numbers. Tesla’s market cap is nearly $50 billion, it’s built a small fleet of vehicles that customers have loved, and it’s set the standards for the self-driving car industry. On top of that, Musk expects Tesla to continue to deliver impressive numbers in the years ahead. Tesla’s Model 3 is a car that’s easy to drive, has a range that’s suitable for most consumers, and doesn’t require a huge financial commitment. Even better, Musk sees Tesla as the company that will open up the market for electric vehicles to a wider range of consumers.
But he’s also got several other companies under his belt.
Before Tesla, Musk co-founded Paypal. After that, he became CEO of Tesla and later, SpaceX. In addition to Tesla, SpaceX, and SpaceX’s new Starlink internet satellite system, Musk also sits on the boards of several other companies including Neuralink, Hyperloop, and OpenAI. It should also be noted that Musk owns the US-based media company, The Washington Post. It’s unclear whether he plans to sell The Post, but either way, it’s a good indication of his broader influence in the media space.
And he didn’t stop there.
Musk is an avid investor who’s also made a name for himself as an investor who backs young companies. This includes everything from internet companies to biotechnology. He’s donated millions to charity, including a $10 million donation to the UN to help fund disaster relief efforts in South Africa. He’s also made a name for himself as a crusader for gender equality in the workplace. Musk founded the electric car company, Tesla, with the intention of making electric vehicles affordable for consumers and making public transportation a reality. Along the way, he’s also become a crusader for AI, artificial intelligence, and even depression awareness.
Elon Musk is a hardcore philanthropist and activist.
Mr. Musk doesn’t just make headlines with his entrepreneurship and investments. He’s also made a name for himself as a philanthropist. In 2014, Mr. Musk founded the non-profit, The Musk Foundation, to help fund scientific research, especially in the fields of sustainable energy and artificial intelligence. He’s also made a name for himself as an activist, especially when it comes to climate change. Mr. Musk has made a number of public appearances and even written a paper on the subject, and he’s used his influence to push the government to enact greater regulations on emissions.
He doesn’t shy away from controversy too, especially when it comes to gender in the workplace.
Mr. Musk isn’t afraid to talk about how he feels or to push for change. This includes talking about gender in the workplace, In October of 2017, Mr. Musk tweeted that he was considering taking legal action against an unfortunate journalist who questioned the necessity of the company’s new code of conduct. In response, Mr. Musk tweeted that the journalist should be fired for his inappropriate behavior. This was completely out of line and not what a leader should do. His response was completely warranted and appropriate, and it was clear Mr. Musk wasn’t going to take any of his actions sitting down. However, Mr. Musk didn’t stop there. Within a few weeks of his first tweet, Mr. Musk introduced a new code of conduct for employees at Tesla. It included rules on how employees should behave toward one another, but there was also a rule that allowed men and women to spend equal time at lunch and in their free time. As one of the first companies to introduce a new code of conduct for gender equality, Tesla was under scrutiny and had to tread carefully. However, Mr. Musk was clear, and he didn’t waver in the face of controversy.
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