King of bad buzz on Twitter, business creator, founder of Tesla, Dogecoin fan… Elon Musk is one of the most famous faces in the world today. But who is he really?
Let’s start at the beginning. Elon Musk was born on June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. Her mother is a model and her father an engineer.
He created a game at 12
Around the time of his parents’ divorce, when he was 10 years old, he began to take an interest in computers. It was then that he learned to program, on his own. At age 12, he sold his first software, a space combat game called Blastar. More concretely, it was sold for 500 dollars to PC and Office Technology magazine. In 1989, at age 17, Elon Musk moved to Canada. He left the country in 1992 to study commerce and physics at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States. He will obtain a doctorate in energy physics in California.
In 1995, at the time of the Internet boom, he left Stanford and launched his first company, the Zip2 Corporation.
The beginnings of “web canvassing”
Elon Musk therefore launched his first company, the Zip2 Corporation, in 1995 with his brother, Kimbal Musk.
Zip2, is an online urban guide. The service sends information about local businesses to subscribers to online magazines and newspapers. He provides content for the new New York Times and Chicago Tribune websites. Zip2 also offers advertisers the ability to communicate online with customers via fax. This is one of the first drafts of “web-canvassing”.
A business creator
In 1999, a division of Compaq Computer Corporation purchased Zip2 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options. Full of ambition, Elon and Kimbal Musk decided to use this money to found X.com in 1999. It is an online financial services and payment company. PayPal will be born the following year thanks to an acquisition of X.com. The company will become, in the space of a few years, the giant of online payment services.
His third company, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, appeared in 2002. His goal? Build spaceships for commercial space travel. In 2008, NASA awarded SpaceX the contract to transport cargo for the International Space Station. Eventually, the goal is to replace NASA’s space shuttle missions.
Finally, in 2003, Elon Musk co-founded Tesla Motors, a company devoted to the production of affordable and consumer electric cars, as well as the manufacture of batteries and solar roofs. He oversees all of the company’s product development, engineering and design. In 2006, the unstoppable created Solar City, today a subsidiary of Tesla. It is intended for the mass production of solar panels and solar energy utilization systems.
A fervent business creator, Elon Musk is also a big fan of cryptocurrencies.
Alias, the “DogeFather”
Elon Musk is a real dogecoin (DOGE) fan. By the way, one of his nicknames is “DogeFather”. For the record, Dogecoin was born on December 6, 2013. The aesthetics of this crypto-asset is directly taken from a meme. Namely, that of the famous Japanese dog breed Shiba Inu.
Originally it was a joke. Indeed, its creator Billy Markus simply wanted to make fun of other cryptocurrencies, which had a bad reputation at the time. Finally, in one month, a large community has formed around this currency and its capitalization has reached 60 million dollars.
Dogecoin sits at the crossroads of two of Elon Musk’s passions: cryptocurrencies, “internet culture” – and more specifically memes.
It was during a B-Word conference that Elon Musk told how he started investing in Dogecoin. According to him, it all started after the advice of his employees. “A lot of people I’ve spoken to on the production lines at Tesla or building rockets at SpaceX have DOGE”, Musk said. He added, “They are not financial experts or Silicon Valley technicians. That’s why I decided to buy Dogecoin, I felt like it was the cryptocurrency of the people”.
In fact, earlier this year, Elon Musk revealed that Tesla’s future futuristic restaurant and drive-in cinema in Hollywood will accept dogecoin payments. The announcement was made on Twitter, the Tesla founder’s favorite social network.
A mess of tweets
Nonsense tweets or bad taste jokes, just like Donald Trump, Elon Musk is known for his provocative tweets.
Here is a little story by way of illustration. In July 2018, members of a boys’ soccer team in Thailand were trapped in a cave. In response, Musk had a liquid transfer tube from a SpaceX rocket transformed into a kind of child-sized submarine that could move through the water in the cave. Faced with this invention, the Thai government felt that, in its view, the vessel was impractical. To make matters worse, a British cave diver part of the rescue mission called the submarine a “communication stunt”. In response to these criticisms, Elon Musk tweeted, offended, that the diver was a pedophile. This provoked strong reactions. Eventually, Elon Musk apologized and the diver sued him for defamation.
The same year, a month later, there was the case of the Tesla stock tweets. Long story short, in August 2018, Elon Musk tweeted that he was considering taking the company private at $420 a share and had the financing secured. Following this announcement, Tesla’s stock price rose 11%…then fell 7%. In response, two shareholders filed class action suits. They claimed that Musk’s tweet was just a ploy to drive up the stock price and hurt people who bet the stock price would go down and make money by buying at a lower price.
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