a tribute to

Elon Musk

Elon Musk


Elon Musk has stated that the goals of SolarCity, Tesla, and SpaceX revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity.

Born in South Africa in 1971, Musk moved to Canada in 1989 to study in Queen's University. In 1992, he transferred to University of Pennsylvania. In 1995, at age 24, he was about to begin a PhD in applied physics and materials science at Stanford University, but left the program after two days to pursue his entrepreneurial aspirations in the areas of the Internet, renewable energy and outer space. He started Zip2 with his brother and became a millionaire from the sale of it to Compaq.

In 1999 he co-founded X.com, an online financial services and email payment company. In 2002, PayPal (X.com after merger) was acquired by eBay and Elon received US$165 Million dollars. He then went on to undertake different ventures starting with SpaceX in 2002, Tesla in 2004, SolarCity in 2006, OpenAI in 2015, Neuralink in 2016 and The Boring Company in the same year.

"When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor."

— Elon Musk, Founder, CEO & CTO of SpaceX


    Jun 28, 1971

  • Elon Reeve Musk was born in Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa, the son of Maye Musk and Errol Musk
  • 1983

  • He teaches himself computer programming at the age of 12, sold the code for a BASIC-based video game he created called Blastar, for approximately $500
  • 1995

  • He starts Zip2, a web software company, with his brother
  • Mar 1999

  • Musk co-founded X.com, an online financial services and e-mail payment company, with US$10 million from the sale of Zip. One year later, the company merged with Confinity, which had a money transfer service called PayPal. The merged company focused on the PayPal service and was renamed PayPal in 2001
  • Oct 2002

  • PayPal was acquired by eBay for US$1.5 billion in stock. With US$100 million of his early fortune, in May, Musk founded SpaceX to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets
  • Feb 2004

  • Musk invests in Tesla, an electic-vehicle company, joining Tesla's board of directors as its chairman. He took an active role within the company and oversaw Roadster product design at a detailed level
  • Mar 2006

  • SpaceX's first ever rocket launched and exploded. He started to invest in SolarCity. The underlying motivation for funding both SolarCity and Tesla is to help combat global warming, and to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy
  • 2008

  • In August, SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket had failed all three of its launches. SpaceX and Tesla were both running out of cash. According to Musk, he says: "We had virtually no money... a fourth failure would have been absolutely game over. Done." In September, the fourth launch succeeds. On Dec. 23, NASA awarded SpaceX a $1.6 billion contract to haul at least 20 metric tons of cargo to the international space station over 12 planned flights. Likewise, hours before Tesla would have gone bankrupt - they managed to raise funds
  • May 22, 2012

  • SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft delivered cargo to and from the International Space Station — a challenging feat previously accomplished only by governments. Tesla starts shipping the model S at $75,000 in June, and launches supercharger network for long distance driving
  • 2014

  • Starts building the Gigafactory to mass produce batteries
  • 2015

  • Unveils Powerwall. First customers get their Model X. In June, rocket launch fails, the first failure after 19 successful launches. In Dec, rocket landing succeeds - the first reusuable rocket to reach orbit
  • Dec 2016

  • Launches largest rocket Falcon Heavy
  • Mar 2017

  • SpaceX makes aerospace history by flying and reflying an orbital class booster, which is the most expensive part of the rocket. Gigafactory starts production in June. In July, Tesla's first customers get their Model 3 - at $35,000 per car.

To know more about Elon Musk, visit How Elon Musk Started – Infographic