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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.


How Elon Musk Defied His Detractors

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林宜悉 發佈於 2020 年 3 月 28 日
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