So how did Elon Musk make his money? Did that thought ever cross your mind?
Well, if it did, you are just in luck because this article aims to talk and discuss in detail how Elon Musk became what he is today, starting with one of his many inspirational and meaningful quotes.
“I don’t create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done”
This is one of Elon Musk’s famous quotes and what it shows us is the mentality that he has always had and his attitude towards achieving something for every person in the world.
Who is Elon Musk?
Born in Pretoria, South Africa, on June 28, 1971, Elon Reeve Musk is currently one of the most highly celebrated, most influential entrepreneurs and innovators in the world.
Elon Musk’s net worth is estimated to be around $222.2 billion; hence he is also regarded as one of the wealthiest people in the world.
Making that amount of money is certainly not a day’s work, and here we take a look into his entire journey of becoming something from nothing and answer the question, how did Elon Musk make his money?
Elon was born to a Canadian mother and a South African father in Pretoria, where he was also brought up. He moved to Canada by the age of 17 to avoid certain laws of the country, which made it compulsory for him to serve the country in the military.
Musk had 5 people in his family, including Maye Musk, his mother, Errol Musk, his father and his younger siblings Kimbal and Tosca Musk. Their family was relatively well off, and Musk did not face any financial challenges in the early stages of his life.
However, his parents split up when he was 9 in 1980, and he chose to stay with his father afterwards, which he went on to regret a lot. Elon has openly talked about his father being a terrible human being and how he did not like him.
He was always a very silent and introverted child during his school days and was also bullied at certain times in school. A few boys from his school pushed Musk down a staircase that caused him to spend a few days at the hospital.
Musk developed a liking for computers and computer programming from a very young age and learnt pretty advanced things for a 12-year-old on his own.
At a very young age, Musk managed to code and develop a computer game which was called Blastar of his own, and this was a BASIC based video game.
He then sold the codes of the video game, which he had developed to a tech magazine at the time called PC and Office Technology, for 500$.
Now that is something that a normal kid can only dream of doing.
In South Africa, Musk attended the Waterkloof Preparatory School and Bryanston High School. He eventually graduated from Pretoria Boys High School.
He knew what he wanted to do in life and started thinking accordingly from the beginning. His goal was to make it big in life, and he was aware that to do so, the United States was the place to be.
Therefore, he applied for a Canadian passport and visa as moving to the US from Canada was far easier than in South Africa.
At the age of 17, he moved to Canada and started doing small jobs here and there to make a living. Eventually, he was admitted into Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
After studying there for 2 years, he was transferred to the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics.
After this, Musk wanted to go for even higher studies and for which he also kept a few internships in the ever famous Silicon valley during the summer of 1994.
In 1995 he joined Stanford University, California, to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in materials science.
But this did not last long, and just after his first two days at Stanford University, Musk decided to drop out and start something of his own by taking advantage of the internet boom that was taking place at the time.
Elon Musk also tried to get a job at Netscape, but he never heard back from them.
Illustrious Business Career:
Elon Musk started early and has not stopped ever since. He has made numerous investments in companies and has started many himself. He is a true self-made millionaire who has taken it upon himself to do good to society and grow individually.
We now look into Musk’s projects that he has worked upon over the years and see how they all started and how he applied his brilliant mind into becoming what he is today. Musk’s net worth is something that is increasing day by day.
Elon Musk founded this software company along with Kimbal Musk and Greg Kouri in 1995. The capital used for the setting up this company came in the form of funds from Angel investors.
They set up the company and operated it from a small office in Palo Alto in California. Few records suggest that Musk’s father also supported him by providing him with a certain amount of money.
Zip2 was a company that provided a means of communication between people and made moving from one place to the other easier for them, and the company provided a city guide.
By providing important information about landline numbers, addresses, yellow pages, especially for the newspaper industry, the company started its journey.
Musk has talked about how he was not able to afford day to day activities before this company and has talked about his struggles.
Eventually, they acquired contracts from big newspaper companies such as the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. Knight-Ridder and Hearst Corporation were two other companies that had made deals with Zip2.
In 1999, the Zip2 company was bought by Compaq computer corporation for a whopping $307 million, and Musk received about $22 million for his share in the company.
Compaq computer corporation was an American IT company that mainly sold computers and related services.
In March 1999, Elon founded payment company X.com with Harris Fricker, Christopher Payne and Ed Ho. X.com was an online company that provided many facilities such as financial service, e-mail assistance and more.
It was one of the world’s first online banking systems, and it had ties of deposits insurance with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). However, the customers were not fully satisfied with Musk; hence, they replaced him a year later.
After this, the company eventually sold and merged with Confinity, which was, in fact, a competitor. Confinity had an online payment method of its own, Paypal, which was one of the best at the time.
Elon Musk was an early investor in eBay, and in 2002, eBay acquired Paypal for $1.5 billion. Elon had the higher share of stock in eBay with 11.7%, for which he received $100 million. This was a major thing that added more to Elon’s net worth. After a while, Musk debuted as the CEO again, which lasted for a short period before he was replaced again.
Here we are slowly seeing how Elon Musk made his money and made smart investments to add to his net worth.
The revolutionary SpaceX
Musk was always very interested in space projects, and he got into talks and discussions with the Mars Society. The Mars Society is a non-profit organization in the US that deals with thinking about the future and making people aware of possibilities of further studies about the universe.
Elon was largely impressed by plans to make breathing chambers for plants on Mars and was fully ready to invest in the funding himself. Musk also travelled to Moscow to purchase Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, which could do what they had thought, but the two parties could not agree.
Instead, Musk decided to start his venture that could build affordable rockets. In May 2002, Musk founded SpaceX, earlier known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. He has used the money raised from the eBay buy out to do so. He aimed to reduce the cost of movement in space and the colonization of Mars.
SpaceX launched its first attempt at the Falcon 1 in 2006, unfortunately, a failure. Two more failed launched followed this, after which Musk was under immense pressure. After a few years, SpaceX achieved the first privately funded liquid-propellent rocket to orbit the Earth.
Starlink is an internet satellite model currently in the development stage by SpaceX. It aims to provide satellite internet access and give Musk the means to build his Mars colony.
If anyone comes up to you and asks you, who is Elon Musk? How did Elon Musk make his money? and other questions like these, it is almost a surety that the word Tesla comes to your mind.
Tesla Motors, now known as Tesla Inc., was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. After a series of investments in the company, Musk purchased majority shares in the tesla stock and joined Tesla’s board of directors at the chairman position.
Due to various internal reasons and the financial crisis of 2008, Eberhard was taken out of position and Musk was named Tesla co-founder and Tarpenning.
Tesla then went on to build an electric car, Roadster, in 2008. This was the first car of its type that made lithium-ion batteries.
Various models such as model X, model Y, model Y of the car have followed.
Due to these innovations and the constant upgradation of existing facilities, Tesla stock skyrocketed significantly. The company also attained the title of the most valuable car company globally. Tesla’s stock price has been growing ever since.
There is absolutely no doubt in this that Musk appeared to be one of the sharpest minds of our generation. Increasing the value of a particular stock is not an easy job to do.
Spread and Globalization
As mentioned earlier, one of Elon Musk’s main goals was to reach out to as many people as possible to spread his ideas and innovations to the world.
Tesla motors have also been continuously and rapidly globalizing and expanding their sources to achieve the same. Musk is aware that the Asian market would be a step ahead for him, and hence he has paid attention to it.
In 2019, Tesla opened its first Gigafactory, not in the United States. This is located in Shangai, China. They have also started constructing more such factories in Berlin, Germany, and one in Texas, United States.
The company also continuously works on the social forum by providing aid and financial service in times of need.
The Boring Company
The Boring Company is a relatively new venture started by Elon Musk. Elon Musk is one of the smartest investors out there, and hence he started The Boring Company.
The Boring Company is a tunnel construction company founded by Musk in 2016. The company’s main aim is to undertake infrastructural projects in and around the United States and increase development.
One of the companies major projects include a deep tunnel under the Las Vegas Convention Center. Initially, the Boring Company was a subsidiary of SpaceX, but later on, it became an individual company.
The people involved in the company and its projects say that tunnels built especially for electric cars have seen a reduction in the area, size and complexity of construction, hence reducing costs by manyfold.
Investing makes a man rich. This is the strategy that Musk followed, and it shows how it worked in the form of his massive bank account.
He has been an early investor in many projects, ideas, companies which have benefitted him a lot.
Since his university days, he had always been more interested in physics, and he wanted to explore more and more in the field.
The concept of Hyperloop
The basic concept of Hyperloop was on the lines of a kind of a vacuum train initially for the engineers of SpaceX and Tesla. The design was decided upon and sent to the concerned authorities of both companies.
Their thinking was that if successful this could reduce the transport costs a lot and make it cheaper.
With this project, Elon aimed to generate artificial intelligence for all, which was safe and affordable.
However, Elon left this venture after a while to focus more on Tesla.
This company, started by Elon Musk, aims to get what we have only seen in movies up to now, in real life. The aim is to get implantable brain chips in the human mind by which people can talk to each other without using words.
These chips help to transfer information from one mind to another in signals. Tests of the same have been carried out on animals such as Monkeys and pigs.
The results have been relatively positive so far, and Musk hopes to make this a reality soon enough.
Just a single person did the things mentioned in the article. This is, without doubt, the definition of self-made. Elon is currently one of the wealthiest people in the world, right up there in the list alongside Jeff Bezos.
So the next time this question arises in any conversation, How did Elon Musk make his money? You know which article to refer to.
All these investments, smart decisions, and companies made Elon Musk who he is today.
People like Musk can be called the true saviour of society and the Earth as a whole. There is absolutely no doubt that he will expand his business even further with newer technologies and innovations in the coming years.
Be like Musk, think like Musk.