Elon Musk was born on June 28, 1971 in South African Pretoria. His father Errol was a successful engineer from a respected family. May's mother was a model in her youth, and then a successful nutritionist. Elon was the first child in the family. Then the light appeared brother Kimball and the sister of Longing (the future Director and producer). Although Elon's parents had known each other since childhood and Errol had sought may's hand for many years, their marriage was not a happy one. When Elon was seven, the couple filed for divorce.
First, the children remained with their mother, but then Elon moved to the father. As he later recalled, the mother had three kids, and my dad didn't have one, he looked lonely and sad. Soon, the father moved and Kimball. Later, the brothers have not once doubted his decision: Errol was strict and demanding, difficult to please. Nevertheless, he gave his sons a good education and instilled a love of the exact Sciences.
Working on Zip2 taught Elon a lesson. He gained confidence and turned from a timid programmer into a confident businessman. But most importantly, Musk realized that he should no longer lose control of his projects. After the sale of Zip2, he was attracted to the industry, where there was a lot of money and problems that could be corrected with the help of the Internet. It was about the banking sector, which at that time was cumbersome, clumsy and short-sighted and did not understand the possibilities of the digital era. After leaving PayPal, Musk resumed his honeymoon. On the trip, he caught a dangerous form of malaria and almost died. Shortly before the sale of PayPal, Elon and Justine had their firstborn. But parents ' happiness was short — lived- the baby died from the so-called sudden infant death syndrome. Musk dealt with the grief in his typical manner-he went to work. Colleagues later recalled that working difficulties sometimes caused Ilona tears, but the loss he suffered in silence Finally convinced the harm of leisure, Musk went back to work. As his influence in PayPal declined, Elon remembered his childhood fascination with space. Musk felt that the world had lost faith in a better future, and wanted to inspire humanity to new achievements. Initially, plans Mask was very naive — he was going to buy an old Russian ballistic missile and use it to send spacecraft to Mars. The project was bent-Musk did not converge in price with the sellers. Then he came up with the idea of producing small, cost-effective missiles that can win the market for commercial transportation into orbit due to the low cost of the launch.
In those days, Musk didn't know anything about rocket science. The scope of work he imagined it, so to assign itself an overly optimistic deadlines that were impossible to meet. Critics often reproached Mask for lying, but Musk sincerely believed in his words and worked tirelessly to translate what was said into reality. The same attitude he expected from his employees, so people who are not ready to plow for twelve or sixteen hours a day, did not stay long at the Mask.
In June 2002, he founded Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX). Initially, Musk wanted to produce only engines, and the rest of the parts to buy from third-party suppliers. But he quickly became convinced that acceptable quality can be achieved only by himself.
In parallel, Musk became interested in electric vehicles. He was prompted to this by two acquaintances — first, Elon met a talented engineer Jeffrey Strobel, who worked on an economical battery for an electric car, and then crossed paths with Martin Eberhard and mark Tarpening, the founders of Tesla Motors, whose goal was to create a new generation electric car. Musk fell in love with the idea and invested seven million in Tesla, becoming the largest shareholder. At the same time, the operational management of the company remained in the hands of Eberhard and Tarpening. The first two prototypes of Tesla Roadster were met with enthusiasm, and the company began to receive orders. But the attempt to move from piece production to mass production almost led to the collapse. Both enterprises Musk financed from his own pocket and therefore was on the verge of bankruptcy. The funds in Musk's accounts were melting, and work on the first SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket was four years behind schedule. The first three launches of Falcon 1 ended in failure. A series of failures at the start — not uncommon space industry, but SpaceX could not afford such a luxury. Engineers have corrected all the shortcomings and the fourth launch was successful, but the fifth had no money. Musk found the money at the last minute. He invested the rest of his money in Tesla and convinced investors to believe in it one more time. And with SpaceX he was just lucky. Musk has long tried to convince NASA that his company can become a contractor for the transportation of goods into orbit. And on December 23, 2008, the space Agency signed a one and a half billion dollar contract with SpaceX for twelve flights to the ISS.
And here beginnings the Mask is operated at full capacity, and of the man who for years promised, promised and promised again, he turned to a man who started to do. Now SpaceX owns several records, and Musk does not intend to stop there.
Tesla's doing well, too. Tesla Roadster sold well, but the real hit was released in 2012 model S. Tesla Motors positions it as "iPhone on wheels". Even the distribution is based on the model of Apple-Tesla sells machines via the Internet and special sales points located in large shopping centers. Owners of the model S practically do not need to pay for the service. The programs are automatically updated via the Internet, and owners can charge their cars for free at any of Tesla's electric stations. Or, if in a hurry, can change the battery, but for the money. In addition to cars, Tesla produces batteries for electric vehicles of other companies, and the sale of batteries brings even more revenue. However, the life Mask can not be called carefree. He said that he had three goals: to provide mankind with environmentally friendly transport and energy sources and to help build colonies in other worlds. Elon wants to die on Mars. And if the first two tasks are close to completion, then the third is still to go and go.
Musk believes the main task Of SpaceX is the conquest of other planets of the Solar system. He plans to start with Mars. The Dragon V2 spacecraft SpaceX is currently developing for NASA needs should ideally be the basis for flights to the Red planet, but Musk's ambitions extend much further. Recently, the magnate recalled that to create a colony on Mars, the planet needs to be terraformed. For these purposes, Musk proposes to use ... thermonuclear weapons. According to his calculations, the explosion of two thermonuclear bombs in the atmosphere near the poles of Mars will launch a reaction to warm up the planet and eventually turn it into a more favorable place for people. Despite all his successes, the Mask is often criticized. The press estimated that since the founding of SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity received a total of 5 billion dollars in the form of government orders, subsidies and tax incentives. The mask is accused that without the help of uncle Sam, he would have achieved nothing.
However, even with the help of the state, he achieved what no one could. And I would hardly have been able to do it, if not for the hardness of character. Friends say that Musk is strict and sometimes cruel to employees and partners. He has absolutely no regard for other people's feelings. However, the employees of SpaceX and Tesla are loyal to their boss and say that although he is an incorrigible asshole in communication, he knows what he wants and knows how to infect others with optimism. Elon does not tolerate excuses, excuses, and delays, but when there are difficulties, the first called to help.