“If I die under mysterious circumstances, it’s been nice knowing ya,” Elon Musk tweeted after he was threatened in relation to the technology of his Starlink satellite company being supplied to “the fascist forces” in Ukraine. Elon Musk prefers to get ahead of the news and therefore if you are going to know anything about the billionaire entrepreneur, then it will be from his own mouth, or tweets at least now that he owns the whole thing. But who really is Elon Musk? From a little boy reading books to pass the day in South Africa to the richest man in the world, Elon Musk’s biography reads like a comic story. It is still a true story and there are just so many interesting details about the man.
He was “homeless” when he became the richest man in the world
Elon Musk was worth $219 billion when he appeared on Ted Talk on the 19th of April 2022 and the last thing you expect from such a man is the confession of his homelessness. When asked about who would be offended about his wealth, Elon Musk said if any such person existed, then they would be unjustified because he doesn’t spend his billions on himself. He said that he didn’t own a home at the time and that most of the time when he visits the Bay Area where most of Tesla engineering is done, he spends nights on friends’ couches and spare bedrooms. He also confirmed that he didn’t own a yacht which shows just how simple the man is.
He planned to sell Tesla to Google
Tesla was struggling in 2013 with the car’s Model S electric car was full of bugs and clients were not happy. The company also struggled to deliver on the orders it had and only had two weeks’ worth of cash flow left in the bank. He shut down Tesla’s production facility and mobilized all staff to stop their jobs and focus on sales to get some cash for the company.
He then proposed an $11 billion proposal to Larry Page for Google to buy the company with $6 billion going to shareholders and $5 billion going to the expansion of the production facilities. They agreed on the terms in principle but kept bickering over some details and meanwhile, sales improved at Tesla and the company soon made its first-ever profit causing Tesla shares to rise up fivefold causing Musk to walk away from the deal.
He was fired while on holiday
If being stabbed in the back was a person, then it would be Elon Musk if you consider what the Paypal board did to him. He has merged his financial services company X.COM with a competitor owned by Peter Thiel and he was named CEO of the newly formed PayPal because he was the majority shareholder. He stayed as CEO for most of 2000 but while on vacation later that year, the board which was angry with his decision to move the company servers to Microsoft fired him. They then named a new CEO who brought $20 million to the company shutting out Musk who was still the majority shareholder. He said he had a bigger vision for PayPal which he expected to do a lot more than just online shopping and emailing money.
He quit Stanford after two days
Elon Musk got his bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania where he transferred to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He enrolled at Stanford for his PhD in applied physics but he got another idea and quit university. He believed that the internet would help people more than physics and therefore decided to start working on creating his company ZIP2 which he later sold to Compaq for $307 million.
He is not really the inspiration behind Iron Man
Elon Musk loves the screens although acting is not his best of talents. He guest-starred in Iron Man 2 where he had two lines and many people believe that he is the inspiration behind the main character. However, the real-life billionaire inventor behind the character was Howard Hughes who died in 1976. Musk still allowed part of Iron Man to be shot at a Space X factory. Robert Downey JR. who plays Tony Stark also spent his time watching Elon Musk which helped him with the inspiration for humanizing his character.
He developed his own computer game aged just 12
Musk’s love for computer games is public knowledge but what most people don’t know is that he created his own computer game at one point. Growing up, books and computers are the only things he had for company which is why he started coding at a young age. His trial and error programming saw him create a space fighting game called Blastar. It was obviously not the greatest but being the venture of a 12-year-old, it was more than encouraging. He later sold the game to a magazine for a few hundred dollars.
He created a nightclub in his apartment to pay for college
Elon Musk didn’t have so much money while studying on campus and just like other students, he had to improvise to make a living. Being a natural entrepreneur, he figured out that the best way to make money was to use what he had at hand which was his college frat house. He had a roommate with whom they rented a 10-bedroom frat house. He would turn it into a nightclub to make rent and pay his fees and said it was lucrative as he could make a month’s rent in one night.
Crashing his car inspired him to start Tesla
Elon Musk loves Tesla a lot more than Space X which is why he offered to buy back all its shares from the stock market for $420 each. He obviously started the company way after the 2000 crash in his F1 McLaren but that crash had a lot to do with his idea of safety that was included in Tesla. Peter Thiel and Elon Musk were driving together in the car when they crashed in Silicone Valley leaving the car with everything destroyed and leaving the two entrepreneurs with just their lives.
He has a strained relationship with his father
Errol Musk’s dad was an engineer who owned an emerald mine in South Africa. He divorced Musk’s mother Maye in 1980 with the mother getting Musk’s sibling while Ellon Musk stayed with his dad. His dad taught him a lot about engineering and how to fail and try again which has obviously helped him a lot in life. The two fell out after Ellon Musk realized that his father was an evil person who had killed people for apparent “trespassing” leading to a manslaughter charge. His father also had a baby with his stepdaughter which was just too much for Ellon Musk to stomach. Errol Musk on the other hand claimed that he gave his son the seed money for his company Zip2 which he sold for $307 million but his son never gave him credit for that money.
He doesn’t like Facebook
Ellon Musk secretly bought shares on Twitter and it only came to the limelight after the US securities exchange disclosed that he owned over 9% of the social media company. The board offered him a seat since he was the majority shareholder but Ellon Musk initiated a hostile takeover instead. He has always loved twitter but not their top competitor Facebook whose record with privacy is poor. In 2018, Ellon Musk deleted the official Facebook pages for all his companies and then joined a trend on tweeter calling on people to delete Facebook. Now that he owns Twitter, he called it the new public town square where everyone can have their say.
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