How Big ?

How big is ELON MUSK?

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CEO of Tesla, Inc  |  CEO of SpaceX  |  CEO of Neuralink |  Chairman of SolarCity

Education: Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Queen’s University
Net Worth: $20.7B
DOB: June 28, 1971  |  Age: 46 yrs

Built ground up now reaching for the sky (quite literally), the sprawling empire Elon Musk made for himself as a self-made entrepreneur is a Master Class in itself. Being intrepid, Musk feeds off his self-motivation to create a better future, push boundaries and work harder than any other employee of the company. All this coupled with inexhaustible persistence now bring him and his diverse companies the long-pending success they deserve (against odds and people badmouthing everyday). And what more? That also comes with being able to call himself the founder of cool creations like the Flamethrower, fast-flying heavy rockets, cars that drive themselves, and honestly that says enough about the candor of someone so bright it brings the stars and planets to shame (pun intended). For those in awe of the founder like myself, it’s easy to get lost in the massive amount of information available on Musk and his universe (pun intended, again). So we swooped it all together to tell you exactly How Big is ELON MUSK and it’s mind-boggling!

A Brief History of Musk’s Stellar Career

  • 1995: Co-founded Zip2 Corp, a company that develops online city guides
  • 1999:
    Sells Zip2 to Compaq for $307 million, netting him $22 million
    – Co-founded, an online banking and financial servi: ces company
  • 2000: Birth of PayPal that was renamed after the Confinity merger
  • JUNE 2002: Founded SpaceX, with the intention of decreasing the cost of manufacturing rockets and increasing the accessibility of space travel
  • OCTOBER 2002: PayPal acquisition by eBay for $1.5 billion with Musk pocketing $165 million
  • FEBRUARY 2004: Joins Tesla as Chairman of the board and leads the initial round of investment funding
  • 2006: Invests in SolarCity, a solar technology company and becomes Chairman
  • OCTOBER 2008: Becomes CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors in addition to serving as board Chairman
  • DECEMBER 2010: SpaceX becomes the first privately owned company to return a commercial spacecraft from a low-Earth orbit
  • DECEMBER 2015: Announces plans to invest in the non-profit artificial intelligence research center OpenAI
  • 2016: SolarCity merger with Tesla Inc.
  • DECEMBER 2016: Founded the Boring Company, an infrastructure and tunnel construction company building Hyperloops
  • MARCH 2017: SpaceX successfully launches a used rocket, a first in the history of spaceflight
  • JUNE 2017: Tesla lands on the Fortune 500 list of the nation’s largest companies for the first time, landing at number 383
  • FEBRUARY 2018: SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket


Peek into the Past:

Imagine a young, lanky Elon Musk lost in books and machines trying to avoid being bullied by his classmates back in South Africa, cut to present when he’s the demiurge behind a number of notable innovations. Presumed deaf by his parents for lack of reaction on being called, baby Musk would get lost in his own reverie which now makes sense to his parents who say they now leave him be thinking he must be making a rocket or an electric car in his mind. Wow. What started as migration for higher education to Canada at age 17 ended with Musk setting foot in USA as a transfer student, ready to take on Silicon Valley. Fresh out of college and brimming with ideas for a better future, Musk abandoned his PhD degree to kick-start his first entrepreneurial venture “Zip2 Corp” in Silicon Valley, selling off which gave him enough to start another venture “” that went on to become “PayPal”. The PayPal merger earned him a huge payday that Musk, not surprisingly, used for his next ambitious venture. “Tesla” and “SpaceX”, now revered jewels of the Tech world, soon followed but embarked on a rough start as Musk went broke while building his empire. But as Musk once said, he would bet his last dollar on his businesses even if it meant moving into Justine’s  (his first wife) parents’ basement. However, for someone worth $20 Billion, that day looks far away. Wow again.


So, How is the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla shaping our future?

Not many have the stomach to do what Musk does. He fundamentally embodies the future and has always been about taking big chances. He envisioned a future with all the technology we only dreamed of and turned them into brands valued in billions. The fiddle-footed entrepreneur magically manages his week by hopping from Tesla headquarters to SpaceX headquarters while waltzing from one meeting to another, serving as board member of multiple companies, spending time with his kids and of course, living with the style and demeanour that he does.

> Tesla Inc.

Through Elon Musk’s lens, Tesla is an independent automaker offering electric cars that have now come to set the bar for other automakers with their unique proposition. Musk was presumed to be the founder of Tesla but is not. In 2008, he became the CEO and now also serves as the product architect. Over the course of the years, Tesla launched three models – Model S (2015) Model X (2015) and Model 3 (2017), attempted manufacturing an autonomous car and produced 300,000 vehicles as of February 2018.

> SpaceX

Musk was never a biddable entrepreneur and his ambitious commercial space exploration company SpaceX founded in 2002 was an answer to the world with its achievement in manufacturing low-cost, reusable rockets. Now valued at more than $20 billion, the company initially met with 3 launch failures before launching a successful fourth flight thus creating history for being the first commercial spacecraft to successfully orbit Earth.

> Neuralink

Through his latest venture and stint as the CEO of Neuralink, a brain-computer interface company started in 2016, Musk wants to create a system that allows humans to seamlessly communicate with technology with the help of a chip, without the need for an actual, physical interface. The company is registered as a medical research entity because its initial focus will be on using the interface to help with the symptoms of chronic conditions, from epilepsy to depression.

> The Boring Company

After expressing his exasperation by the traffic in Los Angeles and calling it soul-destroying, Musk established his infrastructure and tunnel construction company The Boring Company in 2016 as a so-called hobby that took 2% of his time. In July 2017, Musk uploaded a video depicting a successful test of a prototype car elevator and also that The Boring Company had received verbal government approval to build an underground Hyperloop. It’s quirky and controversial product Flamethrower sold the only 20000 pieces in no time.



Musk’s schedule might be filled with time-consuming pursuits but the Billionaire CEO still makes time to pencil in his numerous other interests that include supporting startups that align with his interests and saving humanity from weaponized artificial intelligence for starters.



  • Inc Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2007
  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics George Low award in 2007/2008
  • The Aviation Week 2008 Laureate
  • National Space Society’s Von Braun Trophy in 2008/2009
  • Automotive Executive of the Year in 2010
  • One of Time’s 100 People who most affected the World in 2010
  • The highest award in air and space, the FAI Gold Space Medal presented by the world governing body for aerospace records, Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in 2010
  • One of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire magazine
  • Honoured as a Legendary Leader at the Churchill Club Awards in 2011
  • Royal Aeronautical Society’s highest award: a Gold Medal in 2012
  • Smithsonian magazine’s American Ingenuity Award in the Technology category in 2012
  • Fortune Businessperson of the year for SpaceX, SolarCity, and Tesla in 2013
  • Edison Achievement Award Winner in 2014
  • IEEE Honorary Membership in 2015
  • Named one of the Top 10 Business Visionaries Creating Value for the World by Business Insider in June 2016
  • #21 on Forbes’ World’s Most Powerful People in December 2016 and #80 on World’s Billionaires in March 2017



Even amidst all this hullabaloo, Musk does not forget to do his own share of good deeds. As of 2015, he is a trustee of the X Prize Foundation and a signatory of The Giving Pledge.

  • Musks serves as the Chairman of Musk Foundation which focuses its philanthropic efforts on providing solar-power energy systems in disaster areas. In 2010, the Musk Foundation collaborated with SolarCity to donate a 25-kW solar power system to the South Bay Community Alliance’s hurricane response center in Coden, Alabama.
  • In July 2011, the Musk Foundation donated US$250,000 towards a solar power project in Japan. In July 2014, Musk was asked by cartoonist Matthew Inman and William Terbo, the grand nephew of Nikola Tesla, to donate US$8 million toward the construction of the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe. Ultimately, Musk agreed to donate US$1 million toward the project and additionally pledged to build a Tesla Supercharger in the museum car park.
  • Musk donated US$10 million to the Future of Life Institute in January 2015, to run a global research program aimed at keeping artificial intelligence beneficial to humanity.


Recipe for a Perfect Elon Musk


Inner Workings of The Musk Brain (and things you don’t need to know but want to)

In accordance with his arguments with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who thinks quite the contrary, Musk fears AI and believes it to be the most serious threat to the survival of the human race.

He quit two of President Donald Trump’s business advisory councils after Trump decided to pull the US out of the historic Paris climate agreement.

As answered in a Twitter Q&A series, one daily habit that has impacted him largely is showering.

“All work and no play” is definitely not how Musk likes it and that puts him apart from the other geniuses of the world who forget to take out time for a little enjoyment. He has a thing for mansions having spent millions on his 5 mansions so far where he hosts lavish parties.

Tides have changed because geeking out is the new cool. It, thus, shouldn’t come as a surprise when Musk, who talked tech and flying cars 24×7, has taken over the mainstream Pop culture just like every other avenue he has delved into. He has briefly made appearances in Iron Man 2, on The Simpsons, an episode of The Big Bang Theory and romantic comedy film Why Him?

Musk was perhaps a born entrepreneur and that can be said by his first entrepreneurial stint at age 12 when he coded and sold a video game called “Blastar” to a computer magazine for $500.

I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself. 


Back in his college days, Musk rented out a frat house with his friend and turned it into an unofficial nightclub, renting it out as means for earning some money off of it.

Musk is the recipient of many Honorary doctorates from from University of Surrey, Yale University, etc.

Ashlee Vance wrote an Elon Musk’s earnest and insightful biography titled “Elon Musk : How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our future.”

Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, Einstein: His Life and Universe, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom, The Foundation trilogy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Nikola Tesla Autobiography and Biographies, Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants, Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness are some of his favourites books.

“Bioshock,” “Fallout” or “Mass Effect” are some of his favourite video games.

Musk loves French food, barbecue and whiskey.

Weirdly so, his favorite animal is the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast, a nightmarish executioner animal from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.


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