Elon Musk

by Matthew Saad from Rochester, New York in United States

Elon Musk was born in South Africa in 1971. From a young age, he showed an extraordinary brightness. As young as age 10, Musk developed an interest in computers. He taught himself how to program at a young age and at only twelve years old, he sold his first software: a game called Blastar (click here to play it). Simple as it may have been, it was still an impressive feat for a twelve-year-old in 1984. In grade school Musk was a bit of a bookworm, and as a result was bullied for much of his early life until he learned how to defend himself through karate and wrestling. 

After completing grade school, Musk moved to Canada partially to avoid mandatory military service, but also for an education attending Queen's University. Three years later in 1992 Musk left Canada, coming to the United States to study physics and business at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a degree in economics and physics. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Musk went to pursue a PhD. in applied physics and material science at Stanford University. Although his time was not long. After only two days, Musk dropped out to take advantage of the internet boom. 

Come the start of the internet boom, Elon Musk saw an opportunity to take advantage. Musk spared no time creating his first company Zip2, which launched in 1995. It was a technology company that was best described as an internet version of a yellow pages directory with maps included. After selling Zip2 for 305 million dollars, Musk reinvested it by creating, which was sold to Ebay for 1.5 billion dollars only a year later, and later became PayPal. Not long afterwards, Musk decided to pursue his very ambitious goals of bringing sustainable energy to the industry. But he also had hopes of someday bringing humanity to Mars. He stated in a CNBC interview, “Fundamentally, the future is vastly more exciting and interesting if we are a space faring civilization and multi planetary species than if we are not. You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great and that is what being a space faring civilization is all about." With those goals came the creation SpaceX and Tesla, the likes of which hadn't been seen before. However this didn't stop them from reaching a grand scale, with SpaceX achieving feats such as autonomously landing rockets on the international space station, and successfully landing reusable rockets. Tesla, on the other hand, has accelerated the pace at which electric cars are joining a market that otherwise would've been content with gas-powered automobiles. Though critics heavily doubted Tesla was going to get anywhere their first car, the Tesla Roadster proved to the world that it was possible. Afterwards, the mass production of the luxury sedan Tesla Model S proved that electric vehicles had a spot in the automotive market. These incredible achievements were not for the faint of heart either. Both companies had their share of points at the brink of bankruptcy. SpaceX after three failed rocket launches came close to bankruptcy. Luckily, the fourth launch was successful. Tesla on the other hand has had an even more wild ride. Being heavily criticized by reporters, Tesla came to have one of the least predictable stock values in the industry. Coinciding with how Tesla struggled to make profit for many years, the company was standing as a result of Musk's wealth alone. Only now are the two companies in a solid state. Now, Musk lives in LA, so that he can stay close to SpaceX and Tesla. 

Elon Musk is important to me because he has a goal to better humanity. He’s a man of integrity, not a-for-profit businessman. On numerous occasions Musk has said if his companies go bankrupt, he will too. This isn't the way to make money, but it is a way to achieve his goals. The goal of my performance piece is to honor Elon Musk by acknowledging what he’s done and how his ambition to bring humanity forward is appreciated. In a day and age where cynicism can rule, with the news being a constant reminder of what's wrong with humanity, Elon Musk stands as a figure who doesn't only preach goals for humanity, but also actively pursues them despite doubt and resistance from critics.

Page created on 1/23/2020 2:27:55 PM

Last edited 3/22/2020 8:57:27 PM

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