The story of Elon Musk

Matthew Comparda, Tiger Eye News Staff Writer

On Thursday, January 7th, 2021, Elon Musk became the richest man on Earth with 194 billion dollars, surpassing Jeff Bezos who has 184 billion dollars. This uprising in wealth was quick and surprising to many. Since 2017 Jeff Bezos was the richest man on Earth, until he and his wife got a divorce last year. This helped Musk pass Bezos for the title of the richest man. Elon Musk has not always been in the best spot with money, in fact, the story of how he made it to the top is very inspirational, and lets others know that you only need determination and passion for what you’re doing to make your ideas real.

Elon Musk attended the University of Pretoria for five months and then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania to study economics and physics. In 1995 he started a business with his brother and their friend called Zip2, a web software company. In February 1999, Compaq bought the business for 307 million dollars. Only a month later he co-founded X.com, a financial service online where he basically had no competition. One year later X.com merged with another company to form PayPal. In 2002 PayPal was bought by eBay for 1.5 billion dollars. A few months before this though, he and his best friend from college founded SpaceX with the hopes of landing on and colonizing mars. SpaceX has become one of Musk’s most profitable businesses, created project Starlink – a project that would let everyone in the world gain access to the internet -, and rockets that can re-land on Earth.

The founding of SpaceX really boosted Musk’s potential to do even bigger and better things. In 2004 Musk joined Tesla, and in 2008 he became CEO of Tesla. Elon says Tesla’s master plan is, “Build sports car. Use that money to build an affordable car. Use that money to build an even more affordable car. While doing above, also provide zero-emission electric power generation options.” Musk has been very eco-friendly with all of his projects and has little to no greenhouse gas emissions from all of his projects. Another project that he is apart of SolarCity, which was co-founded by his cousins in 2006. SolarCity’s goal is to produce huge solar energy plants to help reduce the need for greenhouse-gas-based energy.

These next few projects of his are some of my personal favorites that he is trying to accomplish. In 2016 Musk co-founded Neuralink. Neuralink aims to merge the human brain with AI to further enhance the human brain. With this technology, humans would be able to come up with even greater and better ideas quicker so humankind could continue to progress technologically at a rapid speed. Musk also said it would cure paralysis, deafness, blindness, and other disabilities. Medical professionals have been skeptical about his ideas and criticized them, though Musk had no response to their claims. Also in 2016, he founded The Boring Company. The Boring Company is making large tunnels underground with huge tunnel boring machines. These large tunnels would be used for transportation uses such as underground highways so traffic issues aren’t as terrible, or merging the tunnels with another one of Musks projects the hyperloop. In 2013 Musk unveiled a concept for a new, faster way of travel known as the hyperloop. It would significantly reduce travel time between its locations so travel is faster, and the traffic issue in major cities is reduced.

Elon Musk’s journey to richest man started with his humble beginning of co-founding only one business in 1995 to over nine very successful businesses and projects with the sole intent of helping humanity. Musk is one of the only billionaires that is putting all of their money into further progressing the human race and making sure that the Earth and humans are around for a very long time. “About half my money is intended to help problems on Earth and a half to help establish a self-sustaining city on Mars to ensure the continuation of life (of all species) in case Earth gets hit by a meteor, like the dinosaurs or WW3 happens and we destroy ourselves”,  said Musk in a tweet on January 6th. If we had more people with the same mindset as Musk, civilization would be ensured and better off for years to come.