The Rise Of Elon Musk

On January 7th, 2021, Elon Musk was announced the richest man on earth, surpassing the mighty man of Amazon – Jeff Bezos.

On January 7th, 2021, Elon Musk was announced the richest man on earth, surpassing the mighty man of Amazon – Jeff Bezos. In case you have been living under a rock and you do not know who Jeff Bezos is, he is the founder of the current most successful Electric Vehicle globally, Tesla.

At this time last year, Musk wasn’t even close to becoming the top 10 richest people on earth. In fact, in January 2020,  he wasn’t on the list of the top 50 richest people. So how did he become so rich in the space of 11 months?

Let’s Take a Journey Through His Entrepreneurial Path

Musk started his entrepreneurship journey with his brother, Kimbal, on a startup project called Zip2. Zip2 provided city travel guides to several newspapers including The New York Times and Chicago Tribune. One major thing to note about Elon is that his businesses have never lacked investment. Zip2 got investors from Silicon Valley and was eventually sold to Compaq for $341 million, and Elon Musk made $22 million from the deal. 

You won’t be completely wrong if you call Elon a dreamer, except that he dreams with his eyes wide open, fishing for the next big thing. This next big thing was

Musk took $10 million from his Zip2 deal to start another online banking company called during the dot com bubble. He later merged his company with that of Peter Thiel, Confinity, to form Paypal.

In 2001, shortly after Paypal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion, Musk was named Paypal’s chairman and CEO.  Although he was removed from the position of CEO after the deal, as a major shareholder, he made himself a handsome $165million from the acquisition.

He then invested $100million of this money into another brilliant idea “sending plants to mars”. The year was 2002 and SpaceX was born with the sole focus of making spaceflight cheaper by a factor of 10. However, Elon Musk knew making spaceflight a regular thing was not going to come cheap or easy, and so, he kept his focus on it while investing in what will eventually make him the richest man on earth. 

In 2004, Elon Musk began an investment journey into an already established company called Tesla Motors, founded by Martin Eberhard. By 2008, with the financial crisis seriously limiting Martin’s options, Musk personally saved Tesla from bankruptcy. Musk invested $40 million in Tesla and loaned the company $40 million more. In an uncoincidental twist of events, he was named the company’s CEO that same year.

The year was now 2008 and Elon had invested all his money into projects, SpaceX, Tesla and a host of other companies. He would later describe 2008 as the worst year of his life. 

As the saying goes, “there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.” Elon’s big break was around the corner as December 2008 came with a bang. SpaceX had landed a $1.5 billion contract with NASA to deliver supplies into space, and Tesla finally found more outside investors.

By 2010, Musk took Tesla public, raising $226 million. Seven years later, he has added 4 more companies under his portfolio:

  • Neuralink, a company that builds devices that can be implanted inside the human brain.
  • OpenAI, a non-profit company dedicated to researching artificial intelligence and ensuring it doesn’t destroy humanity. 
  • Hyperloop, a super-high-speed train that travels in a vacuum tube. The Hyperloop could theoretically transport passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes.
  • The Boring Company, which has a mission to dig a network of tunnels under and around cities for high-speed, no-traffic driving.

By now, Elon Musk, Tesla and his tweets had become a delight for both individual and retail investors. However, Tesla’s major big break came in 2020, with the launch of many gigafactories across cities, around the globe. Tesla’s sales also increased in China as the company dropped the prices of some of its cars. 

Tesla’s share price had several wins which included all-time highs in 2020, and most notable of it all was when it got added to S&P 500. Tesla share price had moved from around $70 in January 2020 to over $720 in December even with a 5 for 1 stock split.

The explosive success of Tesla has made the king of the Electric Vehicle Industry one of the richest men on earth so far.

Whew!!! The God of Elon!!!

Read Also: Diversifying Your Stock Portfolio: All You Need To Know
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