In many interviews, Elon Musk has stated that, “It is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.” While the man is far from ordinary, Elon Musk has gone above and beyond by taking the ideas and dreams of millions of people across the globe and turning them into a tangible reality. For Musk, he is not just a person. He is an inventor, a dreamer, and most importantly, a game changer for our future. With 2015 coming to an end, I like to spend the time to reflect on Elon’s accomplishments and future aspirations for generations to come.
During his adolescent years, Musk was always driven by his imagination. He began showing strong capabilities at the young age of ten where he self-taught himself how to program. By twelve, he was able to take that foundational knowledge of coding and programing and created and sold a code for BASIC-based video game called Blastar to a magazine company. While the offer was only a few hundred dollars, the sale itself was the start to Musk innovation and drive for a better future. By age nineteen, Musk decided to cultivate his studies of computer science, physics, and business at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania. While he intended to further his knowledge with a PhD in applied physics at Stanford University, Musk felt that the best course of action was to leave his program and begin his journey to the innovator we know today.
As an entrepreneur, many people can attest to the difficulties and uncertainties a person will face trying to find financial success within their particular field. For Elon Musk, that success came early after selling his start-up company, Zip2, to a division of Compaq Computers. While making millions from the sale, Musk optimized his financial gain to drive his vision, beliefs, and fantasies to the companies we know today. Because of that, he achieved incredible success by founding X.com, now referred to as PayPal, in 1999, SpaceX in 2002, and Tesla Motors in 2003. With these three companies, he has given the idea of doing the impossible a reality by setting the imagination of the modern-day person into tangible and realistic goal for the betterment of the humankind.
SpaceX: A New Way to an Unknown World
Though the idea of colonizing on Mars was discussed for decades, the resources and manpower of his predecessors were always obstructed by the financial cost to make the dream a reality. While many people urged Musk that the idea was only meant for science fiction, Elon did not allow that negativity to drown him. Instead he believed that is something is important enough, you should try it even if the probable outcome is failure. Thus began the birth of SpaceX. Founded in 2002, SpaceX became a fantasy company for astronauts and engineers. Their goals were simple. Musk and his team wanted to revolutionize the space transportation equipment in a cheaper and more cost effective way. After gathering a holistic view of the materials, assembly methods, and production cost, SpaceX was successfully able to launch their first rocket in 2008. But that did not stop there. Before ending the 2015-year, SpaceX was able to make history by ground landingthe Falcon 9 on December 21st, 2015.
Tesla Motors: the Road to a New Future
Today, one of the biggest problems going on in the world is global warming. While many efforts were made to sustain the negative effects of greenhouse gases, Elon Musk felt that there had to be another way. Thus sparked the idea of a fully functional electric car. To think about it logistically, one of the main causes for greenhouse gas emissions is driving. The gas used to drive and the exhausts from driving has forced many people to wonder if there is another way to prevent this from damaging the earth. In 2004, Musk began his journey in finding that new way. There he was able to lead the Series A round of investments and took the necessary active roles within the company during its production and designing phase of the Roadster prototype. By 2008, Musk assumed leadership of Tesla Motors as CEO and product architecture. Through his guidance, management, and mindset, Tesla Motors was able to produce their first electric sports car. Today, the company has thrived in creating a new generation of eco-friendly cars.
Green Technology: the Hand to Save the Planet
To continue his impact on the world, Musk decided to invest millions of dollars on research that utilized green energy technology such as wind, solar, or biofuel products. To add on to his companies, Musk founded and invested into Hyperloop and SolarCity as an alternative and more efficient way of using public transportation and energy. Their mission is, like that of his other companies, to change the world for the betterment of mankind. For them, they want to create a mass adoption of sustainable energy and utilize those resources within the public’s everyday need. While still in their developmental stages, we can already tell that both are on the right path for success. Currently, the first Hyperloop train is said to be in construction starting 2016. This high-speed transportation system incorporates reduced-pressure tubes that pressurize capsules ride on an air cushion that is driven by linear induction motors and air compressors.