How Elon Musk Became Elon Musk

8 min readSep 17, 2020


The Success Story:

Elon Reeve Musk was born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa, the son of Maye Musk and Errol Musk. His father was an engineer, and his mother was a model and dietitian. He has a younger brother Kimbal Musk, a venture capitalist and environmentalist, and a younger sister Tosca, an award-winning producer and director. Musk spent his childhood with his brother and sister in South Africa. He was a child when his parents separated, and he chose to live with his father. At the age of 10, he taught himself computer programming, and when he was 12, he sold a fully functioning video game called blaster for 500$.

When he was studying in a school, he was an easy target for bullies. In one incident, he got beaten by his schoolmates until he was thrown down a staircase, and then he was hospitalized. His childhood is difficult because other children used to get messed with him. After graduating from a secondary school in Pretoria, Musk moved to the United States against his father’s wishes. In 1989 Elon Musk moved to Canada and obtained citizenship through his mother. After moving to Canada at the age of 19, Musk enrolled in Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. It was there he met his future wife Justine; they married and have five sons before divorcing in 2008.

After two years at Queen’s University, his dream came true, and he relocated to the United States after receiving a scholarship from the University of Pennsylvania. Musk graduated in Physics Bachelor but decided to continue his study and obtained a bachelor of arts degree in Economics from the Wharton School. Physics made the deepest impression on his thinking. Musk moved to California to pursue Ph.D. in applied physics at Stanford University to pursue the opportunities of the internet exploding and Silicon Valley booming, but he left the Ph.D. program after two days because he had an entrepreneurial vision.

In 1995 Elon made an important decision in his life; with his brother Kimbal Musk, he started Zip2, an I.T company that helps newspapers to offer their customers some additional commercial services. The company developed online city guides for the newspaper with directions, maps, vector graphic mapping, and direction, which is implemented by Musk in java. In 1999 the biggest search engine Compaq bought zip2 for US$307 million in cash. Musk used his money to create, which is an online financial service and email payment company. After that, merged with a company Confinity, which provides money transfer services. After the merger, was renamed to Paypal, and Elon Musk became the chairman and chief executive of Paypal.

Musk conducted the marketing campaign, which increased the number of customers. After the success of Paypal, Musk had enough funds to pursue his interest in space engineering and alternative energy sources. Elon Musk started thinking about space exploration technologies. SpaceX, which was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Hawthorne, California, USA. Musk created Mars Oasis, which purposely created automated greenhouses; it became a basis of a self-sustaining ecosystem. When Musk tried to launch vehicles from the Russian federation and discuss with Russian officials, but he did not deal.

Later, Musk started thinking about designing his reusable launch vehicles and spaceship. Elon invested more than $100 million, which is too high. The primary mission of SpaceX is to colonize the planet Mars, and he wants to do it efficiently. His Paypal partner Peter Thiel, Dave Mcclure, supported him financially. After all the investment Musk owns 66% of SpaceX shares. DFJ venture led the undisclosed investment, which executed $15 million, and another round of investment raised $50.2 million.

SpaceX started working on the Falcon 1 launch, which involved hundreds of millions of investments and four years to design it. Many companies like DARPA, NASA, ORS, Celestis, ATSB, SpaceDev, Orbcomm, NSPO, and Astrium got interested in SpaceX in 2006–2015. The first three attempts failed, and the fourth flight finally reached orbit on September 28, 2008. NASA was impressed and signed a contract of $1.6 billion and decided that American astronauts fly to and from the earth orbit. NASA also decided to fly 12 flights using SpaceX robotic Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket. As of October 2012, SpaceX developed many types of engines: Kestrel, Merlin 1, Draco, SuperDraco.

Experimental launch of Grasshopper and Falcon 9, which purpose to make vertical landing and vertical takeoff but the first attempt to land on the earth failed because it landed too roughly, the team managed to land a rocket on a floating platform off the coast of Florida. On February 12, 2015, Falcon 9 rocket successfully delivered the best Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite to deep space orbit from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40 located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. NOAA, NASA, and the United States Air Force developed to detect and inform extreme emission from the sun. It may affect the communication infrastructures and the satellites close to the earth.

The hope of the successful landing of the rocket at sea in non-stormy weather is started when the rocket lands in the ocean within 10 meters. After four unsuccessful attempts, the history was made by SpaceX when the Falcon 9 rocket landed on a drone ship at sea. In the future, SpaceX can reuse rockets, which are cost-saving for the company. Tesla Motors founded by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning; the company is the first serial manufacturer of electric vehicles; the dream of the founder is to free the customer from the burden of oil. In 2004, Elon Musk came into the project with leading investment.

After that, he became the chairman of the board of the director and participated in designing the first electric car, which was a Tesla Roadster Sports car but was not deeply involved in the day to day business operations. The release of the Tesla Roadster was delayed for more than one year due to the strategic miscalculation of Martin Eberhard. After that, he headed the company by himself and the first electric sports car, with sales of 2500 vehicles to 31 countries. Tesla Motors started its initial public offering, and it was the second car manufacturing company in the U.S.

When Tesla is in crisis, Musk takes additional funds from the software company which he invested in the company and saves from bankruptcy. In his most difficult time, Elon filed for divorce, and for reasons, he did not make it public. A German multinational company automotive corporation Daimler, invested in Tesla Motors and The department of energy, including Tesla Motors in a pool of innovative transport, authorized companies; Tesla Motors received a preferential interest-bearing loan. Tesla Motors remained unprofitable for ten years, but it attracted more than $225 million investment.

The reason for the financial success of the company is Sedan Tesla, which is known as Model S; the production of the Model S started in June 2012 with the price tag $69,900 and the highest safety ratings, which are 4.5 out of 5. The unique feature of the Model S is that its battery supplies 265 miles of range in the EPA- cycle test, and it was ranked 99 out of 100 by consumer report. On October 9, 2014, the company unveiled Model S 85D and P85D, which is the first best electric car with the dual motor. The new model S the battery capacity is increased, and it has many unique features like Model S P85D has 691 hp motor, and the car can be equipped with an autopilot system, forward-looking cameras, radar, 360-degree ultrasonic sensors that actively monitor the surrounding roadway.

The cost of the car is $79 900, and the car was rated the best car in the world for the second year in the row. On March 31, 2016, Elon Musk unveiled the five-seater car, which is the most affordable Tesla car and which would be one of the safest cars in the world. In November 2017, the new Tesla semi-truck and roadster was unveiled by Musk. The truck can drive 500 miles, and its battery capacity is designed to last 1 million miles. On May 1, 2015, Tesla Motors introduced a wall-mounted, best rechargeable lithium-ion battery with liquid thermal control called power wall. There are two models of it one goes with 10 kWh, which is best applicable for backup purposes, and the other battery goes with 7kWh, which can be best used for daily cycle applications. These batteries increase the total storage capacity and provide a 10-year warranty.

Tesla Motors also provides Powerpack, which can be best used in offices, industrial facilities, and utilities. Solarcity Corporation provides energy services, and the co-founder is two cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive. Elon Musk is the shareholder of the company. In May 2008, the company provided a solar-powered electric system for British Motors and eBay. They were tied up with Credit Suisse Group AG to start a solar financing facility that enables customers to own solar systems. Some critics state that solar electric power will never turn into efficiency and considering that competition is too high. The company got phenomenal success and entered the IPO market, and now Musk owns 25% of SolarCity.




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