Why teach yourself computer programming at the age of 12 (and sell your first program game), sell your next venture Zip2, at 21 for $307M, deciding there had to be a better way to pay on-line, start PayPal (which sold for $1.5B in 2002, but Musk only had 11%), and then go on to start Space X, a private space firm, Tesla Motors, Solar City, and design the unthinkable Hyperloop?
Because he CAN!
I don’t know if it’s as much as “he can,” but more of the fact that he dares to dream and act on those dreams! If you can make money and simultaneously improve the earth, so be it.
I know that Musk, at multiple times, personally risked the majority of his fortune when the naysayers stepped in. Tesla built an electric car at a sticker of $70,000 USD , but the naysayers said that wasn’t the market. So… it had to go to a lower class. In addition, there were battery problems; there was no infrastructure to recharge. The company almost went broke at the 11th hour. That was 2008. Four years later, with ingenuity, design, and belief by Musk, Tesla is now valued at $6B USD. Its S Class has won safety awards (its roof was so strong; it even broke the testing machine) as the safest car in any category, ever. It also got the highest overall rating by Motor Trend, I believe—the highest of any class, not just electric.
Getting the “nod” by NASA, Elon’s vision for the necessity of man in space drove Space X. Viewing multi-planetary life as a hedge against threats such as asteroids, volcanoes and self-destruction, his goal is to reduce the cost of space travel by a factor of 10.
Started in 2002, and known for its reliability and cost efficiency, SpaceX was the first commercial company in history to launch and dock a vehicle to the International Space Station on May 25, 2012,
Solar City is the largest provider of solar power systems in the United States. Musk is the co-founder and largest shareholder. The underlying motivation for funding both Solar City and Tesla is reported to be to help combat global warming.
In 2012, Musk announced that there would be a joint venture using Tesla’s car batteries to smooth the impact of “rooftop” solar on the grid. Reportedly, Musk was the inspiration for Tony Stark in Iron Man (the movie), directed by Jon Favreauc. One can get an idea of how this man thinks and lives.
Besides the $6B USD price ticket, which is criticized as absurdly low in cost, there was a little pushback by consumers being compared to packages in tubes, being pushed along by air.
The Bottom Line
The “visionary“ has not changed, as far back as Leonardo Da Vinci’s time and his battle with “naysayer’s.” Those who dare to dream towards change and new ideas…and have the vision and courage to pursue these ideas, will achieve the perceived impossible. I want to be one of those! I don’t want to be the guy on the side line saying why something can’t happen.
It’s far more exciting to be involved making it happen, oh …and yes, profitable.