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Nelson Mandela once said,
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Elon Musk did prove it right. Elon didn’t just want to become an entrepreneur, he wanted to radically change the world for a better future.
Elon Musk, the name behind PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX, is no certified space scientist but a person with a strong mind and a brave heart.
He realized that he can make a global change by focusing on areas like sustainable energy, the Internet and making life multi-planetary
In 1995, Musk enrolled in the prestigious Stanford University in the field of applied physics and material science.
But within no less than 2 days of the college, he left the graduate programme with brother Kimbal to create his first IT Company Zip2.
The company was an online city guide that provided content to online newspapers which was a new thing in the Internet. After residing in the rented office and using locker rooms of local stadium for shower for months, Musk’s Zip2 had won contracts with major players in the industry, including The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. But the young entrepreneur had bigger dreams. So, in 1999 he sold his company to Compaq and earned back a fortune of $22m.
Later in that year Musk started to work on electronic payment systems. He co-founded X.com, an online banking company using money from the sale of Zip2. In March, 2001 X.com merged with rival company Confinity to develop the first digital wallet. Later on they renamed the company as PayPal. In 2002 E-bay bought the online payment portal for $1.5b and Musk receiving a share of $180m which was enough to raise funds for his future prospects.
Musk had already started planning about his space exploration technologies corporation (SpaceX) at the turn of the century.
He was fascinated by the idea of colonizing mars by building up a greenhouse on the foreign soil which in the future could have become a basis for a self-sustaining ecosystem.
But the transportation costs were touching skies. So now the trick was not how to get to the orbit, but how to do it in an economically viable way.
Musk asked his friend Jim Cantrell, an aerospace consultant, to help him out. They travelled around the world to find the rockets needed. While they travelled, Elon borrowed Jim’s books on rocket technology.
"He'd been borrowing all my college textbooks on rocketry and propulsion. You know, whenever anybody asks Elon how he learned to build rockets, he says, 'I read books.' Well, it's true.", said Jim in an interview.
NASA dropped its hands as they believed there was no cheaper way to build this ride. So Musk had to do it using off the shelf technology by taking the old developed stuff of NASA and streamlining it.
On March 2006, Elon Musk invested $100m in SpaceX. He calculated that the cost price of all the parts required for constructing a launch vehicle were only 2% of the launch vehicle price in the United States. In 2006-2008, the first 3 flight attempts of Falcon 1 failed. On September,2008 the 4th mission had finally succeeded in reaching the orbit. The Falcon 1 made it to the history books in 2009 as the first privately funded, liquid-fuelled rocket to put a satellite into Earth orbit. NASA was impressed by these achievements and signed a $1.6 billion contract.
“The one major important distinction that sets him apart is his inability to consider failure.” Said a co-founder. Indeed he outsmarted most of us by just being determined towards his goal.