He is unconventional; he is driven; he is inventive. He is about the FUTURE.
“Yes, this is possible, absolutely.”
Elon Musk, Inventor Rational, (born 28 June 1971) is a South Africa-born American entrepreneur and inventor best known for founding SpaceX, and co-founding Tesla Motors and PayPal (initially known as X.com). While at those companies, he oversaw the construction of the first electric car of the modern era, the Tesla Roadster, a private rocket and spaceship successor to the Space Shuttle known as Falcon 9/Dragon, and the world’s largest Internet payment system, PayPal. He is currently the CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors and Chairman of SolarCity. [Wikipedia, revised]
Inventors often begin building gadgets and mechanisms as young children, and never really stop, though as adults they will turn their inventiveness to many kinds of organizations, social as well as mechanical. There aren’t many Inventors, say about two percent of the population, but they have great impact on our everyday lives. With their innovative, entrepreneurial spirit, Inventors are always on the lookout for a better way, always eyeing new projects, new enterprises, new processes. Always aiming to “build a better mousetrap.” Inventors are keenly pragmatic, and often become expert at devising the most effective means to accomplish their ends. They are the most reluctant of all the types to do things in a particular manner just because that’s the way they have been done. As a result, they often bring fresh, new approaches to their work and play. They are intensely curious and continuously probe for possibilities, especially when trying to solve complex problems. Inventors are filled with ideas, but value ideas only when they make possible actions and objects. Thus they see product design not as an end in itself, but as a means to an end, as a way of devising the prototype that works and that can be brought to market. Inventors are confident in their pragmatism, counting on their ability to find effective ways and means when they need them, rather than making a detailed blueprint in advance. A rough idea is all they need to feel ready to proceed into action. [Please Understand Me II]
Musk bought his first computer at age 10 and taught himself how to program; by the age of 12 he sold his first commercial software for about $500, a space game called Blastar. He left home in 1988 at the age of 17, without his parents’ support and in part because of the prospect of compulsory service in the South African military: “I don’t have an issue with serving in the military per se, but serving in the South African army suppressing black people just didn’t seem like a really good way to spend time”. He wanted to move to the US, saying: “It is where great things are possible.” He bought a plane ticket to Canada, figuring that was the easiest way to get the US. He arrived in Canada with essentially no money.
In 1992, after spending two years at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Elon left Canada, pursuing business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia on a full scholarship. From the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, he received an undergraduate degree in Economics, and stayed on another year to finish a second bachelor’s degree in Physics.
He started graduate school at Stanford, but quit after two days, created a start up company called Zip2. He sold his company in 1999, for over $300 million to Compaq.