Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk turns 50 today (28th June 2021) and so we decided it was a good idea to give our readers a few interesting facts about the eccentric, but widely popular business magnate as he reaches his half-century milestone.
- Musk’s first foray into being a tech tycoon came at the tender age of just 12, when he sold a space-fighting video game he had created called “Blastar’ to PC and Office Technology magazine netting a cool $500 in the process. Not bad for a pre-teenager.
- Musk’s first main business venture was founding the company Zip2, which provided online city guide software and business directories to newspapers. The company was originally called Global Link Information Network, and was designed to provide local businesses with an internet presence back in the early days of the web. Zip2 was acquired by Compaq for $305 Million in 1999.
- Elon’s fortune really came when Paypal another one of his early ventures was acquired by Ebay for $1.5 Billion, with Musk making over $165M in stocks in the company.
- Musk received the FAI Gold Space Medal from the Federation Aronautique Internationale for designing the first privately developed and funded rocket to reach orbit. His Space Exploration Technologies company (better known as SpaceX) was founded in 2002, with Musk’s motivation being that he believed the survival of the human race depended on being able to become a multi-planetary species. It took only 4 years for the first successful launch of Falcon 1.
- SpaceX wasn’t initially received well, and lacked funding in its early days. Musk had to invest his own money into the development of the SpaceX rockets.
- SpaceX has had a massive impact in off-world technology, reducing the cost of travelling to the ISS by 90%. Instead of it costing a billion dollars to get people up and down, it now costs just a cool $60 Million. The company now has a 1.6 Billion dollar contract with NASA for resupply missions, and to eventually act as a taxi taking astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS).
- One of Musk’s sons was named Xavier, which he admits was a nod to the X-Men character Professor Charles Francis Xavier, from the Marvel comics, and famously played by Patrick Stewart in the first 3 X-Men film series.
- Musk owns a James Bond custom car called Wet Nellie. the car is a custom built Lotus Esprit S1 submarine-car which appeared in the film “The Spy Who Loved Me” with Roger Moore. The submarine does not maintain a dry interior, and thus is a “wet sub” that requires occupants to don scuba gear.
- Elon not only made an appearance in The Simpsons, he even had a title with his name in it. The Simpsons Episode “The Musk Who Fell To Earth”. Of course he played himself. In the episode, Musk lands his space craft in the Simpsons’ garden and, inadvertently inspired by Homer’s ramblings, comes up with a host of new products to benefit the town. This includes running the power station on eco-friendly electricity though this leads to a fall in profits and mass unemployment and Homer must reluctantly tell his new friend that he is no longer welcome.
- One of the world’s richest men, as Elon turns 50, his net worth is estimated to be somewhere between $151 Billion and $166 Billion. It must be great to not really know where the extra 15 Billion is! This means for ever year of his life, Elon has on average earned over $3.02 Billion per year.
- Musk founded Neuralink in 2016, which aims to develop a brain-machine interface, designed to assist individuals suffering from paralysis. It is also hoped that the company can develop the ability to allow users to interact mentally with their computers and smart-devices, but the very idea of a human-brain interface has drawn heavy criticism, with a great deal of opposition on ethical grounds.
- Musk also founded the interestingly named drilling company The Boring Company in 2016, which develops boring machines for the purpose of drilling underground tunnels ostensibly for creating underground transportation systems. The company also briefly sold a handheld flamethrower, with Musk tweeting at the time that “The rumor (sic) that I’m secretly creating a zombie apocalypse to generate demand for flamethrowers is completely false”
Musk has been credited with being responsible for crypto pops and dips. He has been famously bullish on the joke crypto Dogecoin, and was lambasted for tweeting about Bitcoin being unfeasible due to the environmental impact of Proof of Work mining, which was followed by a massive almost 50% drop in the price of the King of crypto’s in May 2021. He has however told crypto investors to be careful, as we reported here.