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  • 執筆者の写真RealTalk

Who is Elon Musk?

February the 6th 2018; Elon Musk launches the world's most powerful active rocket, catapults his Tesla sports car into space, and vertically lands two of the rocket boosters simultaneously. For most engineers, this extraordinary feat would be the pinnacle of their career but for Elon Musk, it was just a Tuesday.

“It's really crazy that we build these sophisticated rockets and then crash them every time. This is mad!”

When he's not launching rockets, the entrepreneur can be found running a futuristic electric car company, selling flamethrowers, plotting his super-fast underground transport system for Los Angeles. And even offering assistance in foreign emergencies.

It’s perhaps no wonder Elon Musk was a source of inspiration for Robert Downey jr. as billionaire business magnate (be)come superhero Tony Stark.

Born in South Africa to a Canadian mother and a South African father, Musk was a voracious reader. At age 9, he even turned to the Encyclopedia Britannica when he'd run out of books.

An unusual, introverted child, he was bullied…once so severely that he was hospitalized for a week. But this didn't hinder his pursuit of knowledge. By the age of 10, he had taught himself computer programming. By 12, he made a video game and sold it to a magazine for $500.

You can still play BLASTAR online. Musk's empire began in 1999, when he and his

brother, Kimball, sold their software company which provided city business guides to newspapers. Age just 27, Musk reinvested his twenty two million dollar windfall into X.COM – a company which promised to revolutionize how we transfer money. A company you may now know as PayPal.

When eBay acquired PayPal in 2002, Musk took home 165,000,000 dollars. Without taking a moment to catch his breath, the young entrepreneur turned his gaze upwards and set up Space Exploration Technologies ,or, SpaceX.

With a mission statement of enabling people to live on other planets.

“You want to do projects that are inspiring, and that make people excited about the future.”

Life's got to be about more than just solving problems

You want to get up in the morning and say “Yes, I'm looking forward to that thing happening.

Two years later, he directed his disruptive thinking to renewable energy. And in 2004, he set up the electric car company, Tesla.

All transport with the exception of rockets will go fully electric, I see the value of Tesla as a catalyst in that transition.

Musk’s most desperate moments came in 2008, when SpaceX suffered a third rocket crash and Tesla’s rising costs threatened to ruin the firm. That's not to mention an episode of Top Gear which Tesla said damaged sales.

(Jeremy)Clarkson’s show is much more about entertainment than it is about truth.

His two pet peeves are American cars and electric cars and we are an American electric car! …so weird!

SpaceX scraped through thanks to a new government contract. As for Tesla, some last-minute financing and a 465 million dollar government loan.

But even today, questions about profitability loom over the company, which has lost billions of dollars.

against a Thai cave rescuer sparked a libel case. And his 2018 tweet about taking Tesla private and a very public but legal toke of marijuana on a YouTube podcast displayed his somewhat cavalier attitude towards shareholders.

But the future does look exciting as the eccentric engineer plans the first moon

journey by humans since 1972 with billionaire passenger Yuusaku Misawa. And

this is really just another stepping stone to Musk’s ultimate goal - to reach and

colonize Mars and beyond. A plan which he says could happen as soon as 2024. Either we are a multi-planet species and out there exploring the stars, or we are a

single planet species waiting around for some eventual extinction event.

It's really that - that I personally find more motivating - going and setting

up a base on Mars would just be the greatest adventure ever.





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