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Elon Reeve Musk, born on the 28 June 1971, is an engineer, industrial designer, and technology entrepreneur. He is a citizen of South Africa, USA, and Canada and is the son of Maye Musk, a model, and Errol Musk, a electromechanical enginee. Musk was a bookish and awkward young boy, interested in computers and sci-fi and at the age of 10, he taught himself computer programming.Born and raised in Pretoria, Musk had a tough childhood. Musk was severely bullied throughout his childhood and on top of that, his father was emotionally abusive.
Musk briefly attended the University of Pretoria before moving to Canada when he was 17 to attend Queen’s University. He transferred to the University of Pennsylvania two years later, where he received a bachelor’s degree in economics and physics. He began a Ph.D. in applied physics and material sciences at Stanford University in 1995 but dropped out after two days to pursue a business career.
In 1995, he founded Zip2, a company that provides maps and business directories to online newspapers. Zip2 developed and in 1999, it was bought by the computer manufacturer Compaq for $307 million. Musk then founded an online financial services company, X.com, which later became PayPal, which specialized in transferring money online. From an online auction, eBay bought PayPal in 2002 for $1.5 billion. After he founded SpaceX in 2002 with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars. Space X builds spacecraft for commercial space travel and have accomplished many achievements and made history including developing Falcon 1 which would become the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to reach Earth orbit. Further in 2003, Musk founded Tesla Motors to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable energy future with electric cars. Elon musk’s estimated net worth is 51.1 billion AUD.
Musk became successful because of how he thinks. One of his most successful thinking tools is first-principles thinking (the act of boiling things down to their most fundamental truths). Musk takes the quest for criticism seriously because he thinks that few things are more important for a successful business. As he explains, ‘A well thought out critique of whatever you’re doing is as valuable as gold.” Musk has additional experience in a wide variety of fields. Despite all this knowledge, he’s still aware that he doesn’t have all the answers, and he gets advice from the people around him regularly. Even if you don’t agree with their input, Musk advises that ‘you at least want to listen very carefully to what they say.’ While he’s very candid about the pain of starting a business, he also acknowledges the light at the end of the tunnel. Musk says he didn’t become an entrepreneur in order to be financially successful. He wanted to radically change the world for the better.
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