Elon Musk: from bullied schoolboy to world’s richest man

The journey of Elon Musk is a unique and extraordinary story that has left an unforgettable mark on the modern business world. Born in Pretoria in 1971, whose parents divorced before he turned ten, Musk’s latest life forays into deep organizational computing and self-taught computer programming. However, his school years were darkened by a serious concussion, in which he was hospitalized for two weeks.

Despite the challenges, Musk had a deep desire to visit America, which he considered a land of opportunity. His pursuit of education took him through various universities, such as the University of Pennsylvania, and ultimately led him to Stanford University’s Dr.PhD program. However, Musk’s entrepreneurial spirit and the pull of Internet startup Skin got him kicked out of Stanford after only two days.

Musk’s first venture was with a software firm in Palo Alto, California, called Zip2, which he co-founded with his brother Kimbal. Despite initial struggles, including problems such as sleeping in the office due to financial circumstances, he eventually sold the computer software company to Compaq in 1999, netting Musk a profit of $22 million.

The real turning point in Musk’s career came in 1999 with the founding of X.com, a digital financial services business. X.com combined with a company in Melbourne to own a new payment processing business, creating PayPal. Despite internal disagreements, PayPal became a global leader in online payments, being purchased by eBay in 2002 for $15 billion in shares. Musk’s share in the deal was valued at $165 million.

Musk’s fascination with space exploration led him to consider investing approximately $100 million to establish SpaceX in 2002, with ambitious plans to establish a human colony on Mars in the future. SpaceX marked significant milestones, including becoming the first private company to send a person into space in 2020. Musk also became enthusiastic about underground travel, investing in the Hyperloop concept.

While Musk’s forays into space and transportation made history, his most significant success story came with Tesla. Musk was not present at Tesla’s formation in 2003, but his financing and strategic approach played a key role in transforming the company from a small electric vehicle specialist to a stock market juggernaut.

Tesla’s skyrocketing stock market valuation, which has overtaken even established automobile manufacturers like Ford, is a recent phenomenon. Musk’s ownership stake of about 20% elevated him to the position of the world’s richest person. However, Tesla’s profitability has been a subject of debate, with the company never making a full-year profit when it joined the S&P 500 at the end of 2020.

Beyond his business achievements, Musk is a controversial and colorful personality. His involvement in high-profile controversies, such as a drunken drug abuse incident during a podcast in 2018 and calling a cave diver involved in the rescue of Thai school children a “pedo man” has earned him both praise and criticism.

As long as Musk continues to push the boundaries in technology, space exploration, and environmentally beneficial energy, his reputation is firmly established. There may be more challenges and controversies for Elon Musk in the future, but his influence on the business world remains lasting.

39460cookie-checkElon Musk: from bullied schoolboy to world’s richest man

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