The name Elon Musk conjures up several images in our heads at once; wealth, innovation, technology, and many other things. Amongst the top three richest persons on the planet and one of the most powerful people in the world, he is known for his brilliant innovations and ideas that have been reshaping our world since the 1990s tech boom.
Especially known for Tesla, his electric vehicle company, and SpaceX, the aerospace company he founded, Musk is known for his dedication towards clean energy and his unique desire to establish a new world for human beings on Mars.
This article will take a look at ten interesting facts about one of the most interesting men alive today, Elon Musk.
1. Early Life and Childhood Struggles
Musk describes his childhood as awful and probably the worst phase of his life. Both Kimbal, his brother, and Elon were subjected to occasional long-winded lectures by their father at home, and constant bullying at the all-boys school he studied at.
As a result, young Elon Musk busied himself with computer research and reading. According to a family source, Musk had read the complete Encyclopedia Britannica at age nine. By the time he was 12, he was a self-taught computer code writer, and creator of Blastar, a video game he sold to a computer magazine for $500.
2. Two Day Attempt with Stanford
Musk joined Stanford to study applied physics in 1995 but applied for an academic hiatus soon after to try his luck in the fast-emerging world of the internet which excited him much more at the time. The same year, he went on to found Global Link Information Network with his brother Kimbal, and Greg Kouri.
The company, later called Zip2, started by providing an online presence to local businesses, but later worked on creating online city guides to newspapers, and was eventually bought by Compaq in 1999. Elon Musk never looked back after that and did not feel the need to resume formal education.
3. Member of the $1 Salary Club
Musk is one of the few Silicon Valley CEOs who draw a salary of just one dollar from their companies. The select few include Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The bulk of his wealth is derived from his 170 million shares in Tesla.
4. Regularly Pulls Off 100-Hour Weeks
Musk reportedly schedules 80 to 100-hour workweeks and is famous for breaking up his day into five-minute time slots. He often combines lunch breaks with meetings in order to save time.
5. Real-Life Inspiration Behind Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man), the larger-than-life and charismatic protagonist, in the film Iron Man. Before taking the role, Downey Jr. arranged a meeting between the writer and director Jon Favreau, who was looking for ways to flesh out the character, and Elon Musk.
Favreau ended up shooting parts of the story’s second franchise at the SpaceX factory, and Musk got to play a cameo role in it.
6. The Name is Musk. Elon Musk.
Musk owns the Lotus Esprit that was featured in the 1997 James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me. In the film, the car turns into a submarine to help Bond and his female companion zoom off in a thrilling escape sequence.
Forgotten after the shoot, the car, named Wet Nellie, was discovered after being in a storage container for years. An anonymous buyer bought it in an auction in 2013, for an astounding $866,000. As it later turned out, the buyer was none other than Elon Musk, who expressed disappointment at the car not really turning into a submarine. He later added that he would work on transforming it for real.
7. Hyperloop Ambitions
Musk unveiled designs of a train that would cover the distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco in roughly half an hour, carrying passengers at speeds touching 800mph. The carriages, elevated on a cushion of air to reduce friction, would travel at dramatically high speeds inside a low-pressure tube.
8. Tesla Could Have Been Faraday
Musk claims that he thought of naming his company Faraday, after the renowned British scientist Michael Faraday, if he had failed in securing the rights to Tesla. The company is named after Nikola Tesla, the famous Serbian-American inventor, and futurist, known for his role in designing the alternating current (AC) supply system.
9. Message in a Bottle
Musk is famous for sending messages into outer space for aliens if they ever found one of his rockets someday. The messages are his way of paying homage to his favorite fictional characters or films he grew up watching, like the DON’T PANIC! sign on the Tesla Roadster from a phrase from the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
10. Serial Entrepreneur
To date, Elon Musk has founded and co-founded several companies, including Zip2, The Musk Foundation, PayPal (X.com), SpaceX, SolarCity, Tesla, OpenAI, The Boring Company, Neuralink, and Thud.
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