Recently, I read the news about Elon Musk who became the richest person on the planet. Usually, Forbes, Fortune and many other reputed magazines publish the richest people’s list every year, or even month. But this one’s quite special. Because not only that Elon Musk is one of the biggest inspiration, but also he has achieved this feat by wearing many hats which very few have done in the human history.
Yes, Elon Musk, as we know is the founder of several successful companies/startups such as Electric car manufacturer Tesla, Space exploration SpaceX, solar panels services company Solarcity ( which is now a part of Tesla Energy), AI R&D startup OpenAI, neurotech company Neuralink, and infrastructure and tunnel construction company The Boring Company. Besides, he has proposed the idea of Hyperloop (an ultra-fast intercity travel), had started Zip2 after dropping out of Stanford Ph.D program, and was a part of the legendary PayPal Mafia, which had started PayPal, which was later acquired by eBay. Though he is famously known for two of his most famous companies, Tesla and SpaceX, but this entrepreneur has been the founder and owner of eight companies so far. And the best thing is he started most of the companies from scratch ( with the sole exception of Tesla which he acquired and turned it into the brand for which it is known worldwide today). Isn’t this amazing?
The fact that Elon Musk has achieved this feat to become the richest person on the planet is truely remarkable in many ways. First of all, unlike the previous richest people ,Elon Musk is quite different. This is because all the previous richest were either business magnates who had earned their wealth through some form of commodity like oil & gas, steel (John D Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.Paul Getty), or had earned their fortune through banking & investment (Rothschilds, Warren Buffett) or had become rich by being a monopoly in their one business such as (Bill Gates -software, Henry Ford – cars, Vanderbilts – railways, Jeff Bezos – ecommerce ). But Elon Musk has been unique by having started several companies, neither of which are monopolies, as electric cars, space exploration, solar energy etc has been ventured out by several other competitors as well. But navigating through the competing sharks, and coming out as a winner is what makes Elon a unique one!
Secondly, he is a self-made man. Ofcourse, there have been many rich people who had humble beginnings, and Elon is one amongst them. But his credentials are further enhanced by being a self-made man who is also an immigrant to USA. This had happened a more than 100 years back with Andrew Carnegie( who had emigrated from Scotland to America), when he surpassed John D Rockefeller to become the richest man on the planet. Since then, most of them have been born and brought up in America itself. Elon Musk’s success proves that the American Dream is still alive!
Then, of all his achievements, I admire the most in Elon Musk is his love for reading and passion for science & technology. He is a voracious reader, just like Bill Gates ( both share this common attribute). He is known to have mastered Rocket Science by reading books. And he is a nerd, and extremely passionate about the progress of science and future of humanity. That’s why he famously said about his dreams and goals in life as
“In the case of Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, and PayPal… it really stemmed from when I was in college and trying to think: what would affect the future most likely in a positive way? So the three areas I was quite sure would be positive were sustainable energy, the internet, and making life multi-planetary.”
“you should try to take the set of actions that are likely to prolong civilization, minimize the probability of a dark age and reduce the length of a dark age if there is one”Elon Musk
He is so passionate about science & technology, and to make this planet have a better future, that he started all his companies in the field of advancement of sustainable energy, internet, space exploration to make life multi-planetary, faster & carbon free transportation, neurotech and artificial intelligence! Which entrepreneur or businessman has done so much in the field of technology? Maybe Edison might be the nearest one in this list. But having the courage to venture out in a field which was never explored much before, and even with the least expectation to have any success or earning profit is a sign of true passion and bravado. This makes Elon Musk one of my biggest inspiration. His pinned tweet says a lot about his commitment for science & tech, and to save human race if in case apocalypse ( in the form of nuclear destruction or even far deadly virus than Coronavirus) happens in near future…
Had he failed (which had almost happened in 2008), it would not only be a loss for Musk, but also a huge loss for science & humanity. Because there are many other software, internet & social media giants, oil & gas barons, Wall street financers, venture capitalists, automotive manufacturers (petrol based) and entertainment media moguls in this world, but there is none like Elon Musk. This is because even if others fail, there are others who can run those companies. For ex: Yahoo failed, but we have Google. Kodak failed, but we have Sony, Nokia failed, but we have Samsung, Apple etc. But in case of Elon Musk, if Tesla, SpaceX, Hyperloop, Neuralink fails, then it is difficult for someone to take the position of Elon Musk and re-invent the wheel. He has set an example in the silicon valley through his companies that its high time to look beyond starting companies in internet or using 140 characters only. Atleast we can say with Elon’s companies and efforts, we have a chance to make this future for humanity different. That’s why the success of Elon Musk with his off the beat, innovative and humanity transforming companies is so essential for the progress of humanity.
His becoming of richest man on the planet is simply a reward for his years of hard work and dedication,which he truely deserves. But I think that Elon Musk’s success through his companies and becoming the richest man will stand as an inspiration for my millennial generation, as well coming generations to come. This is because today, we have a man who is rich because of his work for science and tech, and not because of his greed for money or desire to become a monopoly. His example stands as a testimony to the fact that it is possible for someone like a nerd, a bibliophile, a science lover, a tech passionate to become richest man on the planet. No longer is that position reserved for the bankers, monopolists, investors, commodity traders, or similar money hungry people. Infact, Elon Musk doesn’t even care to become the richest person in the world, and this can be easily noticed from his recent tweet.
This shows the character and detachment of Elon regarding money, fame, success etc. That’s why he is my inspiration after Steve Jobs. Both did not care for these worldly vices. All they cared for is their work, and devotion for a just cause, with technology companies as their medium to achieve this. Steve Jobs wanted to change the world and he did through Iphone and Mac, while Elon Musk wants to make the future better, and he is relentlessly persuing it through his several companies. These are Men of Honor!
Finally, his attitude in life is something worth learning. Elon Musk is someone who never quits. And this was tested during the 2008 crisis, when all of his companies were struggling financially as well as technologically. He was left with enough money just to have one last launch of his beloved space exploration, and when left with that final choice, he remarked “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” And he did it. That fourth launch was a success, and since then, he never looked back.
One of my favorite quotes of Elon Musk is
“There have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Why do you want to live? What’s the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future? If the future does not include being out there among the stars and being a multi-planet species, I find that incredibly depressing.”Elon Musk
And this is one of the personal motivations as well. Infact, I had read about his biography book written by Ashley Vance, and that time was a tough one in my life. I was going through some of the hardest experiences, and was almost on the verge of losing hope in life. But after reading his biography, I contemplated, that if Elon Musk can dare to lose everything ( which he had earned through hard work) to achieve his aim, then why was I having the fear to fail when I hadn’t even achieved anything like him? His biography taught me a very important lesson that we should never quit our goals, however tough they might be, as long as we know they are important enough. The world out there will always laugh or ridicule us, but that should not stop from trying. In case of Elon Musk, his fight was against the powerful oil lobby which had supported the traditional automotive industry which had been using fossil fuels and had led to global warming. They had tried all possible ways to make Tesla a failure! Even in case of Space, it was the NASA and Russian Space agencies which did not want a private company to enter the space race. Many astronauts and rocket scientists had laughed at Elon Musk for his idea of reusable rocket.
But today, we see he has surpassed all of them. And he truely deserves this. For me, he is like a nerd entrepreneur cum scientist, who being brought up during the 1980’s generation when Sci-Fi was the trend, and kids in that era dreamed of the world where humans would colonize the space through multi-planetary space missions, driverless electric cars, renewable energy, hyperloop for fastest transportation, artificial intelligence driven robots and advanced genomics. It seems that Elon Musk will soon turn that fiction into reality. That’s why Elon Musk is the greatest living inspiration for me, and my Millennial Generation!
I’ll end this post by this amazing video which gave me goosebumps, especially his quote at the end of the video!
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