Entrepreneur Spotlight: Elon Musk

Aaron Sansoni - Elon Musk Blog Header

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Elon Musk

560 315 Aaron Sansoni

When you read Think Like you are not just reading another self-help book. You are reading over 20 different roadmaps to success. Not all entrepreneurs travel the same path to success. Each one leverages their unique skills and circumstances to carve out their own path. This business drive is never more apparent than it is with Elon Musk.

Claim to Fame: PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla

Entrepreneurial History

Musk sold his first application, the result of teaching himself programming just out of primary school, at age 12. He later dropped out of a graduate program at Stanford University to capitalize on the rise of the internet with the creation of his first company: Zip2 Corporation. Zip2 was an online version of a city guide. It was purchased by Compaq Computer Corporation in 1999 for $341 million in cash and stock options.

That same year, Elon Musk co-founded X.com and broke into the online payment sector. The company was acquired less than one year later, and PayPal was born. eBay eventually purchased PayPal in 2002 for $1.5 billion in stock, directly benefiting Musk who owned a casual 11% at the time.

SpaceX, or Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, is Elon Musk’s third company. It was founded in 2002 for the purpose of constructing vehicles suitable for commercial space travel and still exists today. Although they’ve had a hand in various projects, SpaceX gained celebrity status in 2008 when NASA awarded them a “contract to handle cargo transport for the International Space Station.”

In 2012, Musk and his company launched the very first unmanned craft into space. Falcon 9, as the rocket was called, carried 1000 lbs of supplies to astronauts already at the Space Station. Three additional Falcon 9s would also make history with the successful transport of a satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit in 2013, the mission to observe extreme solar emissions affecting power grids and communication systems in 2015, and the noteworthy test flight (and landing) of a version of the rocket made from reusable parts.

Concurrent with the foundation and operation of SpaceX, Elon Musk co-founded Tesla in 2003. He serves as the CEO and product architect for the company, which is most known for its advances in the field of electric vehicles.

Present Day Elon Musk

Today Elon Musk is consistently bringing new ideas and technology to the world of space travel and exploration. His current projects include the creation of a rocket that can carry at least 100 people. Long-term plans include cargo mission to Mars in 2022 and the eventual colonization of Mars. Musk is also returning to his entrepreneurial roots with recent permissions from the U.S. government to launch a series of internet-providing satellites into low orbit. Most recently, Musk announced plans to take Tesla private with funding already secured.

Learn more about the thought processes and success strategies of Elon Musk and other entrepreneurs in Think Like.