Elon Musk is one of the richest people on earth. Known for his Twitter memes, electric car business, and space company, Musk's success can be considered exceptional. But how did he get there?
Elon Musk Net Worth 2021
Currently, Elon Musk is worth $161.3 billion and is the second wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes.
Growing up in South Africa and immigrating to Canada at age 17, the billionaire found himself in the U.S. as a transfer student at the University of Pennsylvania. The billionaire, however, always had a knack for setting up businesses.
According to The News Portsmouth, Musk sold his first product at the age of 12. A video game he coded himself netted $500 in cash after selling it to a PC publication. He created Zip2 with his brother Kimbal to provide city guides that were available for online newspapers. Compaq acquired the software in 1999 and Musk got $300 million from that deal.
Musk used the money to co-found the online bank X.com that same year. The following year, Confinity merged with the online bank to form PayPal, which was bought by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion.
LIVE: The @SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour, with four astronauts aboard, relocates from the forward-facing port of the @Space_Station's Harmony module to its space-facing port. Watch: https://t.co/X7DHLs75mC— NASA (@NASA) July 21, 2021
Elon Musk's Twitter Memes and Revolutionary Companies
SpaceX was Musk's biggest project at the time after imagining a human community living on Mars and making space exploration accessible. First asking assistance from Russian aerospace experts and designers and being brushed off, Musk took it upon himself to launch SpaceX which was born in 2002.
Since then, SpaceX was able to build and launch space crafts and performed multiple missions for NASA. The rockets are reusable, cutting down on costs and opening up the doors of commercial space flights like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin.
He has also been on top of the Starlink project, which aims to provide internet to even the most remote of locations.
Musk did not stop with one revolutionary company. By 2003, he took on the challenge and funded the car company Tesla which was incorporated by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. He joined them as the company's board of directors chairman.
Cybrrrtruck pic.twitter.com/rdiMFdYOS6— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 18, 2021
He oversaw the development of the Roadster and other vehicles and took over as CEO of the company in 2008 after Eberhard's departure. Musk has since stepped down as chairman after an SEC probe claiming he was making alleged "false statements" about Tesla's privatization in 2018.
What makes Musk a compelling wealthy character is that he defers from the uptight and closed-off image many billionaires and multimillionaires sport. He is quite active on Twitter, replying to tweets and also sharing a lot of his thoughts and opinions--which have gotten him into trouble with SEC before.
Musk also smokes weed in podcast interviews and posts memes that make him chuckle. He normally does not hide behind a PR team and lawyers before sharing what he thinks on the microblogging social media platform.
He has been known to also influence the prices of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin, which has also made him a target of the hacktivist group Anonymous for "trolling" tweets that have affected the holdings of average working people whose investments have been volatile.
Musk has been polarizing to many individuals, but one cannot deny the impact he has made in technology today. He has made patents for Tesla's battery and other electronic components open-sourced so other car companies can follow suit and make electric companies accessible. Reusable rockets have made space missions more common for NASA, providing more chances for studies to be conducted in the International Space Station. Starlink's global internet coverage is also becoming a reality as the company plans to offer global service in August.