1971 was a great year. Popular bands had names like “Ringo”, and “Ram”. Our country was known to be the one that ‘smokes excessively’. But that year also gave us a man who changed and dominated many industries today. Before I give you his name, I’m going to tell you a bit about what he’s done first.
Jumping forward in time (time travel, yay) to 1995, our mystery man and his brother both started a company called “Zip2”, which was a web software company. They funded their campaign using $28,000 of their father’s money. Among other things, the company created an Internet “city guide” for the newspaper publishing industry, but that is beside my point. What happened a couple years later was that Compaq decided to purchase Zip2 from these brothers for $307 million dollars. So a $28k investment made them hundreds of millions of dollars in profit. That’s insane.
But wait, there’s more. In March of 1999, our still mysterious man co-founded a company called “X.com”. To put it briefly, X.com was an online financial services and e-mail payment company (sound familiar yet?), and he was able to fund this campaign on his own using the money from the sale of Zip2. Long story short, he merged his company with another one called “Confinity”, the newly merged company kicked him from his position of CEO, and today this company is known under the name “PayPal”. Our guy really didn’t have a great time back in the day, and he was probably upset when he heard PayPal sold to eBay for $1.5 billion, although he did receive a portion of that sale for owning a lot of equity in the company (about $165 million).
If you still don’t know who this guy is, there’s no way you won’t after this. Finally, in 2001, our brilliant entrepreneur decided he was going to bring his childhood dream into reality. He was going to put humans on mars. This dream came into reality in the form of the company “SpaceX”. Elon Musk has had a lot of trouble with SpaceX as long as it has existed, but they were troubles all entrepreneurs face, and he powered through every problem he had. In 2006, he landed a contract from NASA which allowed him to continue work on his “Falcon 9” rocket and “Dragon” spacecraft. Today, SpaceX is very successful (with a couple failed experiments here and there), and is raking in billions of dollars a year.
This man is impressive in his work, and he inspires me deeply. But before I close this show, I want to mention something about his final project which I didn’t mention. The thing with Tesla is Elon joined their board of directors in 2004, but wasn’t heavily involved even in the slightest. Not until 2008, when Tesla was having a financial Crisis, did Musk step in as CEO and became more involved. But under his leadership, Tesla created their first electric sports car, and they just kept going from there. Today, Elon has enormous plans for Tesla including the construction of a “Giga Factory” to produce a large number of Electric cars per year. Elon Musk’s story is a great one, and there are a lot of things we can learn from his success.