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  • “I thought about what are the problems that are most likely to affect the future of the world or future of humanity.”

  • Elon Musk, a South African-born engineer, inventor and billionaire, is one of the most important entrepreneurs in the world.

  • But the 47-year-old is no stranger to turmoil,

  • and by his own account

  • his career has been full of highs and lows.

  • Just three years ago,

  • I was showering at the Y and sleeping on the office floor.

  • And now, obviously I've got a million-dollar car

  • and quite a few creature comforts.”

  • After making a fortune with his first successful startup, Zip2,

  • Musk gained fame as the co-founder of PayPal in the late 1990s.

  • So this is an ATM. What we're going to do is transform the traditional banking industry.”

  • The company lost hundreds of millions of dollars,

  • and Musk was ousted as CEO because of internal turmoil.

  • But when PayPal went public in 2002,

  • and then was sold to eBay, Muskas the biggest shareholderwalked away with $200 million.

  • By the mid-2000s, Musk had turned around and invested almost all of his PayPal fortune into his new companies:

  • SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity.

  • With SpaceX, Musk's aspiration is out of this worldliterally.

  • It's a commercial space flight company,

  • which designs and launches advanced rockets into space.

  • Behind me is where Falcon 9 would sit during launch.”

  • One of its ambitions is to eventually send people to Mars.

  • And I can't think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.”

  • But it has faced some roadblocks.

  • Their first three rocket launches

  • failed, burning through almost all of the company's assets.

  • But SpaceX has had recent successes.

  • The Falcon Heavy launch earlier this year was a big milestone and it carried an interesting payload:

  • a dummy astronaut riding a Tesla car that was orbiting space.

  • The company has also landed contracts with NASA,

  • but questions about safety and cost remain.

  • We sold over 1,000 carsand by sold

  • I mean people put down a substantial deposit on the car.”

  • Tesla, Musk's electric car company,

  • is one of the first of its kind to work on a large scale.

  • It has also successfully disrupted the auto industry.

  • The company is valued at over $50 billion.

  • The Tesla Model S has been called

  • the greatest car ever built.

  • But Tesla has also faced some setbacks, including

  • car batteries that caught on fire, recalls and production delays.

  • SolarCity, Musk's renewable energy venture,

  • initially had a bright future.

  • It's the largest provider of rooftop solar systems in the U.S.,

  • and the company boomed on Wall Street.

  • But after investors raised doubts about its business model,

  • SolarCity's shares quickly lost value,

  • and Tesla had to take over

  • in what was widely seen as a bailout.

  • We really need to make solar panels as appealing as electric cars have become.”

  • But while Musk may have been flirting with bankruptcy and calamity for years,

  • his projects continue to captivate the collective imagination.

  • Life has to be more than about solving problems.

  • There have to be things that make you proud to be a member of humanity.”

“I thought about what are the problems that are most likely to affect the future of the world or future of humanity.”

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B2 US TheNewYorkTimes musk tesla spacex paypal company

Elon Musk's Highs and Lows: PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla | NYT News

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    Liang Chen posted on 2018/09/21
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