Elon Reeve Musk
Elon Musk, a self-made billionaire, has shown no signs of stopping as he innovates in multiple industries. At 46, he’s a serial entrepreneur and has created a few well known brands including Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX, and the Boring Company. With a hand in everything from electric vehicles and high-speed ground transportation to underground tunnels and space travel, Elon Musk’s business ventures pop up in the news routinely. This has led to him being now worth over an astonishing $20 billion. But has he put his money to good use?
He became a multimillionaire in his late 20s when he sold his startup company Zip2, and since has gone on to invest in a number of projects. Wherever Elon Musk has invested, he’s certainly been involved: major online payment services, building and launching spacecraft, and trying to cover the world with solar panels.
Notable investments include the capital he put in the Hyperloop, a high-speed train system championed by Elon Musk in 2013. After publishing a white paper about open-source technology, Musk made the Hyperloop more of a reality by sharing his ideas. High-speed trains became more of a reality than ever before and has attracted other modern day visionaries. The Hyperloop One is now known as the Virgin Hyperloop One due to the buy in from Sir Richard Branson.
The Hyperloop is an example of evolving strategy by Musk. His reputation allows him now to diffuse ideas into the world for others to build and create. He is outsourcing investment, yet in the future this technology will harness Tesla/SolarCity or Boring Company resources, which will no doubt bring shared benefit to Musk.
Another big investment includes his attribution to SolarCity. Founded in 2006 by Elon’s cousin’s, SolarCity is now one of the largest producers of solar panels in the world. While Musk only personally got involved when his company SpaceX bought $90 million worth of stock in the venture, his involvement took the company miles ahead to a point where he decided to acquire it all together—at an estimated $2.5-$3 billion—through Tesla. Now Musk sits on the board as Chairman.
However, his biggest investment goes to SpaceX, the California-based rocket and spacecraft manufacturer founded by Musk himself in 2002. Musk started as CEO, and he remains in that position today. The goal of SpaceX was, and still is, to revolutionize space technology.
The company, which started with $100 million from the sale of PayPal, is now worth over $21 billion. Musk is the majority owner of SpaceX, giving him dominant decision-making control. SpaceX has successfully launched almost 20 reusable rockets, which Musk believes will be the key to interstellar travel.His end goal is to colonize Mars in his lifetime.
Other SpaceX milestones include becoming the first private company to launch a payload into orbit and return it to Earth intact—something only government agencies like NASA had done before, as well as its upright landing and recovery of the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket in 2015. In the last year alone, SpaceX had successfully relaunched a recycled Falcon 9, and sent a used Dragon capsule back to the space station. The company is now in the midst of its next major step—test flying its new rocket, dubbed the Falcon Heavy.