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  • Now, we know that you're only watching this video because

  • Elon Musk was in the title, but we're not alone here.

  • The Internet is saturated with Elon Musk, his name and likeness

  • tried and true click bait.

  • Here's a meme asking the Internet to stop with all the Elon Musk memes.

  • Talk about meta.

  • So what is it about Elon Musk that seems to have captivated the entire Internet?

  • We decided to ask Bloomberg reporter Ashlee Vance,

  • who actually wrote the book on Elon.

  • I think after Steve Jobs died,

  • there was this hunt to see who was the

  • next big figure people were going to latch onto

  • and Elon emerged as the cult-like figure

  • that really stood out.

  • Building rockets, electric cars, nobody else does things like this.

  • "He's a force in society that's like a cross pollination of Thomas Edison and Tony Stark."

  • Over time, he's just come to embody this

  • Tony Stark like figure more and more.

  • "Yeah, I can fly."

  • He is probably the biggest risk taker on the planet.

  • Every single time one of his companies does well

  • he seems to just go all in again and take another,

  • even bigger risk. And he seems to enjoy living

  • on the edge at all times.

  • Elon, ultimately, is this huge brand. Even more so than his companies.

  • Musk got his business and physics degree from UPenn,

  • and he pursued a Ph.D. program at Stanford for a short time

  • but changed course to pursue business opportunities

  • with his brother Kimbal.

  • His first big payday came from a company they launched

  • together called Zip2.

  • Zip2 began as a sort of online Yellow Pages,

  • offering local businesses a way to launch

  • a web page on their platform.

  • But it quickly went national, as a way for newspapers

  • to harness the power of the burgeoning Internet.

  • After securing partnerships with 160 publications

  • across the country, Compaq Computer took an interest

  • in incorporating Zip2 software into their AltaVista

  • search engine, and acquired them for $370 million in 1999.

  • Elan received $22 million from the sale.

  • "It's just a moment in my life."

  • Musk then spent about half of his new fortune

  • to create one of the world's first online banking systems called X.com.

  • X.com quickly merged with a competing financial software

  • company founded by none other than Peter Thiel called Confinity.

  • Confinity eventually morphed into PayPal, with Musk,

  • its biggest shareholder and CEO.

  • PayPal was sort of a disaster for Elon, he ran the company

  • for a few months to about a year.

  • And then there was this massive coup.

  • Co-founders Peter Thiel, David Sacks met one night while

  • Elon was away on vacation,

  • and threw him out of the company more or less.

  • But Elon remained a majority shareholder,

  • which was ideal when PayPal was bought out by eBay

  • for $1.4 billion.

  • Elon personally made around $170 million from that.

  • Now, if most people were to receive that kind of money at the age of 31,

  • they would likely check out for a bit,

  • buy an island

  • and a boat.

  • Listen to the ocean breeze for the rest of your life,

  • but not Elon.

  • He ends up putting about 100 million in the SpaceX

  • 70 million into Tesla,

  • and then 30 million in the Solar City.

  • You're more or less just literally lighting your money on fire.

  • And that's exactly what he did.

  • Both SpaceX and Tesla remained notorious money pits for over a decade.

  • "The Dow off more than 500 points."

  • "This is what financial armageddon looks like."

  • In 2008, the whole economy is tanking while

  • he's trying to raise money for these companies

  • that he's blown through his whole fortune.

  • "Rockets are just extremely difficult."

  • He has to take loans from friends.

  • "Tesla stock voted by Wall Street as the least likely to succeed."

  • At the same time, he's just had a divorce.

  • It was the darkest time in his life, without question.

  • Musk kept his sights high, played the long game,

  • and weathered the storm.

  • It's one of the great, sort of, escape acts in business history

  • is that he actually manages to keep both companies alive,

  • to get a rocket to space

  • and to get the Tesla Roadster out the door.

  • "Today, Musk has a 54% stake in SpaceX,

  • which is valued at $33 billion and has become the

  • number one private space exploration company in the world.

  • Tesla's profitability has remained spotty over the years,

  • but in 2019 they posted a quarterly profit of $143 million.

  • "A few years ago, people were laughing at you.

  • Now, not so much." "Ok."

  • Today, Elon Musk's total net worth is at around $23.6 billion.

  • And alongside SpaceX and Tesla,

  • Musk has launched multiple future facing side projects

  • like The Boring Company, OpenAI, and Neural Link,

  • all of which are inspired by a passion for making

  • science fiction concepts a reality.

  • But ultimately, Elon has his sights set on redder pastures.

  • "We should really be setting a goal as the

  • creation of a self-sustaining civilization on Mars. "

  • When SpaceX first started, the idea was to make

  • rockets that were just much cheaper than the competition,

  • but always lurking in the back of his mind, the real true goal

  • of the company was to make a rocket that could get to Mars

  • and start a human colony.

  • Over the years it's oddly become a lot more realistic

  • and they're already building a spaceship that he actually thinks will get to Mars.

  • Elon's intellect, risk-taking, and subsequent successes against all odds

  • have come to inspire a generation to do the impossible.

  • And with this, the "Cult of Elon" has grown exponentially.

  • But with great power, comes great responsibility,

  • not to mention a Twitter account.

  • Somewhere along the way,

  • he decided to also just let the kind of bullying part of himself come out

  • and pick fights and say really outlandish things.

  • And it's done nothing but get him in trouble.

  • In 2018, the SEC fined Elan $20 million for floating

  • the idea of taking Tesla private.

  • But that didn't stop him from tweeting that Tesla was going bankrupt

  • as an April fool's joke.

  • "But Elon that's not funny when people are nervous."

  • "I mean, it's April fool's should like lighten up, ok."

  • In July of 2018,

  • Elon called Vernon Unsworth, a diver risking his life to save the children's Thai soccer team from the caves, a "pedo guy".

  • Tesla shares fell 4% and he was slapped with a defamation lawsuit.

  • He defeated the lawsuit, but not without some bad PR.

  • "Vernon went toe to toe with a billionaire bully."

  • Then, of course, he smoked pot on the Joe Rogan show.

  • Tesla's stock dropped 8% that day and wound up

  • putting a $6.8 billion NASA contract with SpaceX in jeopardy.

  • I think he's putting a dent in a lot of the goodwill that he had built up.

  • And so he's become a much more divisive figure these days.

  • "Oh, my [censored] God. Well."

  • If Elon's going to be better behaved moving forward,

  • he hasn't given us a lot of indications of that

  • it seems to be going the opposite way.

  • His behavior seems more erratic than ever.

  • He now really relishes being in the spotlight

  • and seems to want to try to one up himself

  • all the time just to keep this thing going.

  • Maybe it's like that old saying,

  • 'you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.'

  • And if Musk's midlife remains as unpredictable

  • and tumultuous as his early career,

  • then we should expect a lot more broken eggs from here to Mars.

Now, we know that you're only watching this video because

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How Elon Musk Defied His Detractors

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/27
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