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Throughout this essay I will be discussing the life and achievements of the life changing inventions of Elon Musk. I chose Elon because of his amazing, creative, and futuristic inventions. Elon is such an inspiration in the physicist world in my opinion. He has overcome what seemed to be “the impossible” which I will discuss throughout this essay.
Elon was born June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. The South African native born to his mom Maye, and his father Errol. His mother was a Canadian born model and dietician. His father was an electromechanical engineer also born in South Africa. Elon was the oldest of two siblings. His brother Kimbal, and his sister Tosca. At ten years old, Elon’s parents divorced and Elon, spending most of his time with his father, traveled all around South Africa. Errol was reportedly abusive and cruel to the children, especially Elon and his brother Kimbal often lecturing the two brother for several hours. Although the young Elon had a rough childhood, he managed to gain a few friends in the tough culture he grew up in. Elon thought he made a good group of friends but was continuously bullied as he said “They got my best friend to lure me out of hiding so they could beat me up. And that hurt. For some reason they decided that I was it, and they were going to go after me nonstop. That’s what made growing up difficult. For a number of years there was no respite. You get chased around by gangs at school who tried to beat the shit out of me, and then I’d come home, and it would just be awful there as well.” The only way for Elon to escape the bullying and harassment was through technology. Elon attended the English speaking Waterkloof House Preparatory School’s. Later graduating from Pretoria all boys high school.
Elon’s first technological asset was the VIC-20 (an expensive home computer). Not long after that his intelligent self created the program/game “Blastar” a video game with the same concept of “space invaders”. He sold this “code’ for the game at an astonishing $500. He moved at the age of 17 to Canada and later obtained citizenship of Canada to best refrain from the South African Military whose main objective in the 80’s was apartheid (a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race).
After two years of study at Queen’s University, he traveled to the University of Pennsylvania. At the university of Pennsylvania he had two majors, Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics at Wharton School. The two majors had a huge impact on his future plans. Physics is what sparked his ways of thinking and impression on everyday life. As he said ¨physics is a good framework for thinking, boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there.” During his college time in order to pay for college, he sold computer parts and full PC´s for some extra cash. People on campus would bring their computers to him filled with virus´ and he would fix them. In college he was known go be able to fix all and any computer problem.
His entrepreneurial spirit greatly increased when him, and a friend he met in college (Ressi), had a great idea. They would buy a ten-bedroom, old invented fraternity house. During the weekdays, Musk and Ressi decided to dedicate those days for studying purposes. On the weekends, they transformed the ten-bedroom house into a nightclub. Covering the windows with trash bags and other decor, making the house pitch black. They would have around five-hundred people to come party and drink for 5 dollars each, making an unbelievable profit, up to $2500 dollars a weekend to help profit future inventions. They had a second home, this one had fourteen bedrooms. They would fashion up the tables by laying plywood on empty kegs, also used for a “party house’. Elon stated he would have an occasional vodka and diet coke. Each weekend’s parties he would hope he could make enough money for rent for the month.
At 24 years old, he moved to Palo Alto California, to pursue a PhD in applied physics at Stanford University. In just two days of the program, he dropped out to start new entrepreneurial ideas. Musk and his younger brother Kimbal, with $28,000 in hand, started “zip2′ which provided, licensed and helped newspapers develop an online city guide. Although Elon wanted to be CEO of the company, the board wouldn’t let him. The board sold the company for $307 million plus some $34 million. He was granted 7% of the sale, which was $22 million
Soon after, he co-founded the company “X-.com” which was an online banking account. He used ten million of the sale of Zip2. Later the dot-com bubble popped and tech companies closing, he purchased the company Confinity (another online banking tool) and its money transfer service called “Paypal”. Paypal quickly became the biggest part of X.com. Soon after realizing that he renamed x.com, paypal in 2001. Paypal quickly became the biggest payment method used. Yet again the boardroom removed Elon from his CEO position, resulting in another sale of another company. He sold his service Paypal to Ebay in 2002 and he received $165 million for his 11.7% stake he had in the company.
In 2001, He went on a trip to Moscow to shop for a ICBM, that he could remodel to haul loads into space. Elon and his advisors failed to see eye, to eye and he didn’t continue again. He tried again in 2002 but failed again because the Russian aerospace firms wanted what was way over his budget. On his trip back to America, he thought he would start a company to build affordable rockets using vertical integration and modular engineering. All of his idea came together and he launched “Space X” in 2002 with a mission to be able to create “true space-faring civilization”. He invested $100 million to get this mission started. His first project being “Falcon 1” setting a record in 2009, being the first privately funded, liquid filled rocket to launch a satellite into Earth’s orbit. Along the way SpaceX has continued to make history. In 2012, SpaceX Dragon docked at the international space station. In 2015, the same rocket made history again as the company was able to successfully land the first stage of the Falcon rocket back at the launch pad. To make this all possible NASA gave Spacex $1.6 billion to fund missions.
Musk didn’t slow down as he decided to drive yet another major project. Going back to 2003, the company Tesla Motors Inc. was just starting up. Two guys, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, started off this company but didn’t last the first round of funding in 2004. At that time, he came into power as he put $7.5 million into the car company. He already had ans for the car, insisting on a leading the design of the Tesla Roadster and requiring an all carbon fiber body. The first car sold 2,500 vehicles in 31 different countries. The biggest problem the company face was the shortage of charging station around the world compared to the crazy amount of gas stations available. In 2013, he decided to invest in more charging stations on the east and west coast. He also let all other car companies to use its technology patent to help the production of electric cars worldwide. With his work with Tesla, he earned a yearly salary of just one dollar as of 2014, but has gained compensation in stocks. He insisted that the Tesla was not about making money, but was about advancing technology.
Along with many other investment he made, another big one is “Hyperloop’ which is a hypothetical machine that would carry passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 35 minutes or less. The estimates cost is $6 billion. In 2016 the 5 mile Hyper track would begin as a pilot program. Since then, he has invested in a design competition for the pod creation. As of 2017 he has received the verbal approval from the government t to begin construction on a hyper track between Washington D.C. and NYC.
The biggest achievement in my opinion is the creation of the Tesla Roadster. Being named the quickest car in the world with a 0-60 time of 1.9 seconds, quarter mile time of 8.8 seconds, a top speed of over 250 mph, and a range of 620 miles. With 1,000 cars available for reserve, the prince on this one is $250,000. Seemingly pretty reasonable.
Throughout all of the risk he has taken and all his investments and further ideas he has accumulated a net worth of $22.1 billion U.S. dollars. With no doubt there is more to come. Not only his impact on physics and what he has accomplished is astonishing. Musk not only created the fastest car in the world but started a new trend, a new way of living every day life. Driving around Duluth, It’s amazing to see one of these cars on the roads. In ny mine, he truly believes the future is now. With all the inventions and things he has accomplished since his first ever invention with his brother in 1995 there is no doubt in my mind more will come. This amazing entrepreneur made a huge impact on everyday life and jump started the idea of electric cars. The use in everyday life of these cars is going to get more and more popular. The ideas will keep getting better and better. Soon they will be faster, smarter, and stronger. I mean come on, him and his team have already engineered the self driving Tesla car. And I will say it again, with no doubt there is definitely more to come.
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