Elon Musk: A Primer

By | May 12, 2022

Elon Musk, carnival barker or the next Thomas Edison?

Our vote – the next Thomas Edison, with a dash of Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. Consider his resume –

Founder, CEO and product architect of Telsa, Inc., which produces fantastic electric vehicles.

Founder, CEO and chief engineer of SpaceX, a space exploration firm and communications company. In addition to planning expeditions to Mars, SpaceX produces the Starlink satellite internet constellation, providing commercial internet services using over 2,200 small satellites.

Founder and CEO, Boring Company, a tunnel construction firm. The Boring Company is dedicated to building loops and hyperloops. Loops are all-electric, zero-emissions underground public transportation systems in which cars travel up to 150mph. Even better, hyperloops are projected to move passengers in autonomous electric pods at speeds in excess of 600 mph.

Co-founder, Neuralink, a startup focused on brain implants. Neuralink’s mission is to develop “the future of brain interfaces: building devices that will help people with paralysis and inventing new technologies that will expand our abilities.”

Co-founder, PayPal, the digital payments company which was later sold to eBay.

Where was he born? What’s his story?

Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa. His father was an engineer, his mother a model and nutritionist. He moved to Canada at age 17 and later earned undergraduate degrees in physics and economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Following Penn, Musk attended Stanford University to pursue a Ph.D. in applied physics. He dropped out of Stanford to start a software company that he later sold – providing the seed money for the digital payments company that eventually became PayPal.

Is he serious about Mars?

Yes. Very. SpaceX is working on a reusable “Starship” to shuttle humans and equipment to Mars. “The sales pitch for going to Mars is, ‘It’s dangerous, it’s cramped, you might not make it back. It’s difficult, it’s hard work.’ That’s the sales pitch. But it’ll be glorious.”

He’s in a spat with Bill Gates?

Yes. Leaked texts between the two show that Gates has a significant short position against Tesla, which Musk does not appreciate. Musk: “Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change.”

Why does Musk want to buy Twitter?

In a nutshell, Musk objects to Twitter’s censorship and shadow banning. He believes that “free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square” and has vowed to open Twitter’s algorithm and delete the bots and automated accounts that plague the site.