It all started in Pretoria, South Africa in the 1970s. Elon musk He was the eldest of three brothers who spent his childhood developing a passion for science fiction novels and great computers. His parents, Canadian model Maye Musk and pilot electromechanical engineer Errol Musk separated when he was eight years old.. His little brothers decided to stay with his mother, but Elon did not want his father to be left alone, so he decided to go with him, not knowing what to expect.
From the age of 8 until his adolescence, Elon Musk was bullied, beaten and intimidated by his schoolmates, he was even once hospitalized. Perhaps that ostracism led him precisely to develop his passion for physics and computer systems, learning to program didactically at age 10 on a Comodore Vic-2 computer and by age 12 he had already sold his first computer program: a video game called ‘Blastar’.
He later took karate and self defense classes, but when he turned 17 and the military service was approaching, young Elon did not think twice. “Serving in the South African army to suppress black people didn’t seem like a good way to spend my time” So he packed what he could and with two thousand dollars in the bag, he left South Africa to join his mother and brothers in Canada, where he carried out various tasks to survive. Musk worked as a farmer and also worked cleaning a lumberyard’s boilers earning $ 18 an hour, while studying in Queens..
But his desire was to fulfill the American dream, there, where as corny as it sounds, great opportunities are possible. In his own words, he wouldn’t do it like anyone else, his master plan was to apply for a scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania where he would receive his degrees in Economics, a postgraduate degree in Physics, to later move to the prestigious Stanford University and continue with the doctorate, a dream that lasted two days, because imposing his emotions above reason, dropped out of college with a debt of $ 100,000.
According to Musk himself, one of the most recurring questions in his adolescence were “What are the three things that will have the greatest impact on the future of humanity?” Young Elon believed that the internet was to society what the nervous system was to humans, so one of his first illusions was to work at AOL, the most dominant internet company at the time, but despite his insistence, they did not hire him.
His response was to found his first business with his younger brother, a project called Zip2, one of the first companies to offer content via online, providing software consulting to build directories and maps and for 1999, Altavista, the online division of the Compact company, bought the Musk startup for $ 300 million.
With the profits, Elon gave flight to his imagination and his portfolio, to found the online bank “X”, revolutionizing e-commerce, but above all electronic payment methods, giving life to PayPal which became the main digital transaction platform. In 2002, eBay bought the company for $ 1.5 billion. Musk was 31 years old and with that fortune, he was able to make sense of one of his life missions: to change the world.
At the beginning of the millennium, Elon Musk almost died of malaria, a disease he contracted on a vacation in Brazil and South Africa. Since then, his life suffered a watershed. The inventor has declared that getting the virus was a great lesson, concluding that “vacations can kill you”, so his passion and dedication made him a ‘workalcoholic’, working seven days a week, for almost 20 hours a day.
After the sale of Paypal in 2002, Musk took his millions to found three new companies: Tesla, SpaceX, and a solar energy called Solar City.
Tesla’s plan with Musk at the head began with the idea of commercializing a high-performance sports car, later equipping it with an engine that would differentiate it from the stereotype of electric vehicles that existed at that time, known to be small and underpowered, so that Later, he focused on designing a luxury sedan and finally turning it into a low-cost, high-consumption electric car.
The work has not been easy, in fact, the US government has had to save Tesla from bankruptcy on occasion. This story was immortalized by Matt Groenning and The Simpsons’ Future Seers, who dedicated a special chapter, where Mr. Burns attempted to kill Elon Musk in anger at having lost all his investment.
At the peak of his career, Musk could not afford to abandon everything and start a new twist, so he moved the chess pieces so that Tesla’s own staff would help him create Space X.
Selecting a group of engineers from the firm, he asked them for help to solve a feasibility study, which was to find out if it was feasible to make advances in rocket technology, the end result was the constitution of the aerospace firm “Exploration Technologies”, better known as ‘Space X’ with which the physicist seeks space conquest.
His progressive ideas have made him a benchmark of the 21st century, being invited to participate in films like ‘Iron man 2’, Like in television series like“The Big Bang Theory“
As the popularity of the tech guru grew, so did his professional commitments. In charge of Tesla and Space X, Musk committed to signing his own authorship “Hyperloop”, the service of mobility in capsules through air under pressure. Project to which “Solar City”, “The Boring Company”, ‘Neuralink’ and ‘Open AI’ were seconded, a company with which it intends to merge the human brain with artificial intelligence.
However, Musk also discovered at this time, that he really enjoyed attracting people’s eyes. In such a way, that he increased his extravagance, making himself known by all means, including social networks. Which somehow led him to put his feet back on the ground.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 19, 2017
An unfortunate tweet in 2018, where he joked that Tesla had so much money, that he was considering removing the brand from the Stock Market, his innocent mess, led to a judicial investigation, for publishing “false and misleading” information, as a consequence, Tesla had to pay a $ 20 million fine, while Musk had to leave the company presidency.
Continuing the losing streak, Musk struck a $ 1.6 million contract with NASA for Space X, carrying supplies to the International Space Station, carrying just 29 flights, a small slip endangered everything. And is that, by participating in the podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” the also Canadian thought it was a good idea to record it while smoking a joint, which the Aerospace Agency did not like at all, questioning the trust of the company.
However, after founding more than nine companies, today Space X is the project that awakens the most smiles. After eight years of development and the Crew Dragon capsule, it will finally serve as the vehicle that will carry NASA’s first manned mission in nine years, and the first private company to lead a space mission of this nature, a milestone that will completely transform space expeditions, courtesy of that South African boy who never stopped dreaming.