Who Is Elon Musk?

We look at the entrepreneur's life


There aren’t many people who can say, ‘I’m planning to retire to Mars’ and be taken seriously. One of these people, however, is Elon Musk.

The South-African born, American entrepreneur has gradually built up his empire, with his net-worth now standing at an enviable $13.6 billion. While Musk’s story is not one of ‘rags to riches’ - he started his first company ‘Zip2’ with $28,000 of his father’s money - his ability to turn a few thousand dollars into a company worth $307 million, is not the domain of a spoon-fed daddy’s boy.

Musk’s portfolio would imply that he’s from Google’s school of thought, founding almost unrelated companies, which can only be tied together by their willingness to test boundaries. He’s perhaps best known for co-founding PayPal, the first company to attempt to break the resolve of the seemingly immoveable force of the banks.

He’s also responsible for SpaceX - the first private aerospace manufacturer to send a rocket into space - leading The Guardian to call him ‘the real-life inspiration for the movie character Tony Stark’. There are clearly a few similarities. Apparently, he drives around in a Tesla electronic sports car - he owns Tesla by the way - and frequently flies around in his own military jet fighter.

He doesn’t mince his words either, a trait which occasionally makes him sound either a little insane, or just straight up deluded. He’s pretty obsessed with Mars. In fact, he has his heart set on reaching it in 12 years time. In a Reddit AMA, he claimed that the much anticipated ‘Mars Colonial Transporter’ would be released at some point this year, effectively allowing him to send people up to the Red Planet, something which even Tony Stark hasn’t attempted yet.

In 2006, following a spate of successful investments, Musk founded Tesla Motors. As the company’s sole product architect, he’s played a central role in building a range of electronically powered vehicles, as well as their latest ‘Powerwall’ battery, which Musk hopes will put an end to the world’s energy crisis.

So far then, Musk is trying to send people to Mars, solve the energy crisis and get everyone driving electronic cars. While that seems like an awful lot for one man to achieve, he continually brings success wherever he goes. Call him what you want, but one thing’s for sure, Elon Musk is one of a select handful who are actually trying to change the world.


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