Electrifying Facts About Elon Musk

February 14, 2017 | Mathew Burke

Electrifying Facts About Elon Musk


When Elon Musk began his career as an entrepreneur he set out to accomplish the following goals: make internet banking easier, stop global warming, and make humans a multi-planetary species.

So far he seems to be well on his way to accomplishing all his goals and more. Enjoy these facts about the life and endeavours of billionaire, genius, philanthropist, and all-around "world betterer" Elon Musk.

 


Elon Musk Facts

1. Wunderkin

Elon Musk created a video game at the young age of 12. It was a basic computer game called “Blastar,” similar to the popular game Space Invaders. He sold the rights to the game for $500. It can still be found online today.

Elon Musk looking at camera on red background - 2014Tesla Owners Club Belgium, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

2. Give the man a star on Hollywood blvd!

Musk is no stranger the the entertainment industry. Musk has appeared in several television shows including the Big Bang Theory and the Simpsons. Musk has also produced several films including the 2005 film Thank You for Smoking, which he produced with PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

Screenshot of Elon Musk - from  The Big Bang Theory (2007–2019)CLP ,The Big Bang Theory (2007–2019)

3. Who’s laughing now?

It may be hard to imagine, but a young Elon Musk was victim to severe bullying. As a young child growing up in South Africa Musk reported that he was bullied throughout his childhood. He was even hospitalized once after a group of mean lads threw him down a flight of stairs.

Elon Musk - 2014 Edison Achievement AwardSourdough.Startup, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

4. How about that Elon Musk now, eh?

Although Musk grew up in South Africa, his mother was Canadian. At the age of 19 Musk moved to Canada for a short period of time to attend Queens University in the small town of Kingston, Ontario. After two years he transferred to UPenn in the United States, where he has lived ever since.

Queens University, KingstonXeresNelro, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

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5. Keep it in the family

Although Elon Musk had an active role in the creation of the SolarCity, Musk does not run the company. Instead, he turned over control of his company to his two cousins, Peter and Lyndon Rive.

Lyndon Rive - Solar CitySteve Jurvetson, Flickr,

 

6. I think this is from Futurama…

Frustrated with traffic on the highway, Musk conceptualized and patented a technology called Hyperloop. Hyperloop is basically a pod-like vehicle that travels through a tube. Allegedly, the Hyperloop will take passengers at a whopping speed of 1,200 km/h. Although it hasn’t been created, Musk has created an open-sourced platform to encourage others to develop the idea.

 Hyperloop Transporation Technologies - The Great Lakes ProjectNeuhausengroup, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

7. Real life Iron Man

Jon Faverau, director of the Iron Man films, admitted that his version of Tony Stark is inspired by Elon Musk. Musk even made a cameo in the second film, and some of the movie was filmed at SpaceX headquarters.

Jon Favreau smiling at camera - 2016Greg2600, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

8. The man is non-stop!

Elon Musk is a workaholic by his own admission. Between all of his companies, Musk works between 80-100 hours a week. His 18-hour day doesn’t even include a lunch break. He eats his lunch every day while answering emails or taking meetings.

Elon Musk in black shirt smiling.Heisenberg Media, Flickr

9. Make peace, not war!

Although Musk is certainly no stranger to taking risks in the business world, in the military, not so much! Musk left his native South Africa in part to avoid getting conscripted into the South African Army.

Elon Musk standing with his workers - 2021 Inspiration4 Photos, Flickr

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10. Red pill or blue pill?

Elon Musk is convinced that reality as we know it is more than meets the eye. Musk has stated on several occasions that he believes that our reality is a computer simulation, similar to the Matrix. Musk thinks that there is as little as a 1 in 1 billion chance that we are living in “base reality.”

Elon Musk looking at side - 2008JD Lasica, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

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11. My name is Musk… Elon Musk.

The 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me featured a custom submarine in the shape of a Lotus car. This vehicle is called the Wet Nellie. In 2013 Musk purchased the Wet Nellie for almost 1 Million dollars. He plans to use Tesla Motors technology to make the submarine-car functional!

Lotus Esprit (The Spy Who Loved Me) - 2012Karen Roe, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

12. One small step for Musk, one giant leap for Musk-kind

In 2010 Musk was awarded the Gold Space Medal from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, the highest honour in the air and space world. Prior winners of this award include famous American astronauts Neil Armstrong and John Glenn.

Elon Musk at the panel Tribeca Talks - 2011David Shankbone, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

13. Safety first, Kids!

The Model S is an amazing car designed by Musk’s car company, Tesla Motors. It is fast, sleek, and SAFE. In fact, the Model S is the safest car ever made. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Model S a safety score of 5.4 out of 5.

Tesla Model S - redjurvetson (Steve Jurvetson), CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

14. No more pencils, no more books!

For a college drop-out, Musk has done pretty well for himself. In 1995 Musk dropped out of the PhD program at Standord after studying for just two days. One year later Musk sold his first company, Zip2. He pulled in a cool profit of 22 million dollars from that sale.

View of Stanford University - 2011King of Hearts, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

15. Anything you can do, he can do better

Unhappy with the school options for his children, Musk decided to create his own school. Musk bought a mansion in Bel-Air and turned it into a school for his children, and 20 other pupils. He named the school Ad-Astra, which is Latin for ‘To the Stars.’

Elon Musk in black suit smiling - 2018The Royal Society, CC BY-SA 3.0 ,Wikimedia Commons

16. Bigger is better

Tesla Motors is popular. In order to meet demand for Tesla automobiles, Musk was forced to create a new factory in the Nevada desert called the Gigafactory. Once the Gigafactory is complete it will be 15 million square feet, making it the single largest building in the world.

Tesla Giga factory - 2019Smnt, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

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17. A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away

Musk’s SpaceX created a series of reusable space rockets called the Falcon series. A fan of StarWars, Musk named these rockets after the Millennium Falcon.

Falcon Heavy Demo MissionOfficial SpaceX Photos, Fickr

18. Riches to rags!

Musk is no stranger to risky business tactic. His appetite for risk almost cost him his fortune on more than one occasion. In 2008 Musk received a 1.8-Billion-dollar contract from NASA, just days before SpaceX would have gone bankrupt.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocketSpaceX, Wikimedia Commons

19. Explosions make life a bit more exciting

When Musk was a kid he was constantly experimenting with different things. He once went through a phase of testing out explosive substances. He was so interested in blowing stuff up that he is “surprised that he still has all his fingers.” Elon Musk in suit looking at side - 2019Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, Picryl

20. Everyone deserves a second chance

Musk has been married three times, twice to the same woman. In 2010, Musk married actress Talulah Riley. The two were divorced in 2012, married again in 2013, and then divorced yet again in 2016.

 Talulah Riley on the set - 2009 rodwey2004, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

21. That’s pretty cheesy

In 2010, Musk launched the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. The Dragon took off into space carrying a top secret payload. That payload? A wheel of cheese.

Crew Dragon, the next generation spacecraft - 2014SpaceX, Wikimedia Commons

22. Failure IS an option

Even though Musk is a success, he is no stranger to failure. In fact, Musk embraces failure. Musk adopts the philosophy that if you are not failing sometimes, you aren’t trying hard enough!Elon Musk, SpaceX Chief Engineer, participated in a fireside chat  - 2019Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, Picryl

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23. Late to the party

Although Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors, he did not actually found the company. The company was founded in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Musk did not join the Tesla board of directors until one year later.

Elon Musk Taking Questions - 2014Steve Jurvetson, Flickr

24. The one-dollar club

Musk has an estimated net worth of around 12 billion dollars. However, his salary is just 1 dollar.

Elon Musk just presented their new neural network chip - 2019Steve Jurvetson, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

25. In the event of the apocalypse, please run to your car

Tesla’s Model X has a very strange feature- “a biohazard defence mode.” The Model X is equipped with an air filter that is almost 900 times stronger than the average car. According to Musk, this feature will come in handy if there is ever an apocalypse situation.

Tesla Model X at CES - 2015Don McCullough, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

26. Top gear

Top Gear might be one of the most popular shows on television, but Musk is no fan! Tesla Motors once sued the show, claiming that the show falsely showed a Tesla car running out of power. Sadly for Musk, he did not win this lawsuit.

Jeremy Clarkson from Top GearTony Harrison, Flickr

27. Profit isn’t everything

Tesla Motors is a big company, and it brings in a revenue of 4 billion dollars per year. Yet, Musk pours so much money into research that Tesla has only turned a profit in two fiscal quarters.

Former headquarters of Tesla Motors Inc., located in San Carlos, CA, USA - 2008Tumbenhaur, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

28. Musk the club promoter?

When enrolled at UPenn, Musk and a friend rented out a 10-bedroom frat house. In order to make a bit of extra cash, Musk turned the house into an unlicensed nightclub most weekends. Musk however, is not much of a partier. He never partook in the festivities.

Elon Musk shows Neuralink brain implant working in a pig - 2020Steve Jurvetson, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

 

29. Everyone has their vices

Although doesn’t drink or do drugs, Musk is a bit of a video game addict, and Musk is a big fan of first-person shooter games. In college Musk would go through video game binges that spanned over multiple days.

Tesla Grand Opening in Menlo Park - Tesla Chairman, Elon Musk - 2008Brian Solis, CC BY 2.0 , Wikimedia Commons

30. Ambitious Elon

When Musk began his career as an entrepreneur he set out to accomplish the following goals: make internet banking easier, stop global warming, and make humans a multi-planetary species. He seems to be well on his way to accomplishing those goals through his business endeavours. So far, he has created Pay-Pal, Tesla Motors, Solar City, and SpaceX.

Elon Musk - Austin - Texas 2021Ministério Das Comunicações, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

31. It’s all about the people!

If you want to work with Musk you better be smart, and you also better be nice! Musk has stated that all his companies have a strict rule for hiring: “No a**holes allowed!”

Elon Musk looking at side - 2015Thomas Hawk, Flickr

32. Once a scientist, always a scientist

Musk is known for his business acumen. However, business is not his true passion. Musk sees business as a means to support his scientific endeavours. Musk loves to solve complex engineering problems.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla - 2019Daniel Oberhaus, Flickr

Sources 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13


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