Elon Musk: Richest Man In The World [A Case Study]

Varad Kitey Varad Kitey Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
Jul 15, 2022 19 min read
Elon Musk: Richest Man In The World [A Case Study]

Today when we talk about the world’s most influential and richest entrepreneurs, Elon Musk comes to our minds for sure. He has always been in the news, let it be his new venture, his way of working, or his net worth.

Elon Musk’s tweets catch the attention of the masses; be it Elon Musk naming his baby X Æ A-12, which created a lot of buzz around the globe, or the "How Strange. Well, back to work..." one after Bloomberg announced him the richest person in the world, but only a few know about his life story.

Elon Reeve Musk was born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa. Elon Musk is an innovative business person, financial specialist, and engineer who is one of the most popular entrepreneurs in the world. He holds South African, Canadian, and U.S. citizenship. Elon Musk is the founder, CEO, and lead planner of SpaceX as well as a fellow benefactor, CEO, and item engineer of Tesla, Inc.

Elon Musk became the Richest Man in the World on January 7, 2021, after Tesla's share price surged by 7.9%. It helped him to surpass Jeff Bezos. Musk was featured on the top of the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, a list of the top 500 richest people in the world, on 7th January 2021. Musk had added more than $122 billion to his fortune in the year 2021, which pushed his net worth to $292 billion, according to the reports dated October 2021. This made Elon Musk the first person to be the owner of such a huge fortune. Elon Musk's net worth was then estimated to be $195 billion, which is currently estimated to be over $220 billion. He debuted on the list of the world's richest persons back in 2012, when his net worth was estimated at $2 billion.  

The tech tycoon went ahead with a bid to buy out Twitter by acquiring 100% of the Twitter stakes on April 26, 2022, in a deal worth $44 billion. However, the deal is still pending and the popular social media platform is yet to turn into a privately held entity.  

To know more about the entrepreneur Elon Musk, Elon Musk biography, the answers to "what has Elon Musk studied?", "what companies has Elon Musk founded?", "what is Elon Musk famous for?" and more, stay glued!

Elon Musk - Biography

Name Elon Musk
Born June 28, 1971 - Pretoria, South Africa
Age 50
Education University of Pennsylvania (BS, BA)
Occupation Entrepreneur, Engineer, Product Architect, Early-Stage Investor
Known for Founder, CEO, and Chief Engineer at SpaceX; CEO and Product Architect of Tesla, Inc.; Founder of The Boring Company; and Co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI
Net Worth $220.5 billion (June 2022)
Wife -
Children 8
Website www.tesla.com/elon-musk

Elon Musk - Early Life and Family
Elon Musk - Career
Elon Musk - Personal Life
How Elon Musk started his Journey?
Elon Musk's Business Ventures
Elon Musk - Investments
Elon Musk - Awards and Recognition
Elon Musk - Controversies
Elon Musk - Unknown Facts
Elon Musk - Quotes
Elon Musk - Future Plans

Elon Musk - Early Life and Family

Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, to a White South African electromechanics Engineer, pilot, sailor, consultant and product developer, who was his father and a Canadian Dietitian and model mother. Errol and Maye Musk divorced in 1980. Though Musk initially started to live with his father in Pretoria and elsewhere immediately after the separation of his parents, Elon later regretted his choice and started to be estranged from his father. Elon Musk has been described as an awkward and introverted child throughout his childhood and he has also been a victim of regular bullies in his school days. In one such incident, Musk was pushed by a group of boys down a flight of stairs and he was hospitalised later.

Elon Musk - Career

Elon Musk joined Anglican Sunday school in his youth. He later entered Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario in 1990. He was soon transferred to the University of Pennsylvania after 2 years, from where he graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor's degree in Physics and Economics.

While still enrolled in his course, Musk then held 2 internships in the summer of 1994 in Silicon Valley, at the Pinnacle Research Institute and Rocket Science Games. He then was accepted as a PhD scholar in Materials Science at Stanford University in California in 1995. However, Musk later dropped out of the course and decided to join the internet boom and launch an internet-based startup.

Elon Musk - Personal Life

Elon Musk is the eldest of the three siblings, Kimbal and Toska, who are the younger brother and sisters of Musk. Elon's adenoids were removed when he was a child because his parents were apprehensive that he was deaf, however, they discovered later on that it wasn't true. His parents divorced in 1980. After their divorce, though Musk initially gravitated towards his father, he chose his mother later.

Musk's marital life started with Justine Wilson, a Canadian author, whom he married in 2000 when he was at Queen's University. They first had a son, who died of SIDS at 10 weeks. After that, the couple gave birth to a twin and a triplet. Talulah Riley was the second wife of Musk. However, they eventually got divorced and then remarried, and again got divorced for the second time. After ending this marriage, Musk dated Canadian musician Grimes, who later gave birth to a son in May 2020. Their son was named X AE A-XII.  

How Elon Musk started his Journey?

Musk developed an interest in computing and video games from a very early age. He acquired Commodore VIC-20 when he was only 10. He started learning computer programming using a manual and successfully sold the code of a BASIC-based video game called Blastar to PC and Office Technology magazine for $500, which he created, at the tender age of 12.

At 17, Elon Musk chose to move to the United States for finishing his auxiliary tutoring. Rather, Musk left for Canada and got selected at Queen's University in Ontario at 19 years old. His calling came when he got a grant from the University of Pennsylvania. Then, he moved to the United States and acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. He proceeded with his training further, acquiring himself a Bachelors of Science qualification from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

He started with a PhD programme at Stanford University in 1995 yet dropped out just after 2 days to seek an enterprising vocation. As published in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Elon Musk accepted that the internet, sustainable power sources, and space travel would be the ones having the greatest effect on the lives of individuals in the future.

As chosen, the three noteworthy subjects of worry for giving his life's central goal, Elon Musk, alongside his brother Kimbal Musk, began an organization named 'Zip2'. Elon Musk dropped out of the Applied Physics and Material Science program at Stanford University after two days in the wake of beginning this new pursuit known as Zip2.

Elon Musk story

Elon Musk's Business Ventures

Elon Musk has evolved different and distinct categories in his comprehensive business field. From automobile miracles to secured money handful-application, from artificial intelligence (AI) research organizations to uplifted propagation throughout the space, Musk has achieved huge feats everywhere with his proficient signature and discretion. Those catalysts of his supremacy are listed below-

Zip2

Zip2 Logo
Zip2 logo

In 1995, Musk with his brother Kimbal Musk began a web programming organization - Zip2,  with cash raised from a little gathering of holy messenger investors. The organization created and advertised an Internet city control for the newspaper distributing industry with maps, directions, and yellow pages. Zip2 enabled all real print distributions to offer extra business administrations to their clients.

Musk got contracts with The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. Musk convinced the governing body to devise plans for a merger with CitySearch. While at Zip2, Musk wanted to move toward becoming CEO but the board members opposed it.

In February 1999, Compaq, a noteworthy web crawler at that point, procured this IT organization - Zip2 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options. The deal made it one of the greatest money acquisitions in those days. Musk got $22 million for his 7% share from the sale.

X.com and PayPal

Elon Musk x.com & paypal
Logo of x.com and PayPal

In March 1999, Musk established X.com, an online budgetary administration and email payment company with $10 million from the closeout of Zip2. One year later, the organization merged with Confinity, which had a payment service application called PayPal.

After merging, they concentrated on the PayPal administration and were renamed PayPal in 2001. PayPal's initial development was driven essentially by a viral showcasing effort where new clients were selected when they got cash through the service. Musk was removed in October 2000 from his job as CEO because of conflicts with other organization authorities.

Musk wished to move PayPal's Unix-based foundation to Microsoft Windows, which was opposed by all. In October 2002, eBay acquired PayPal for $1.5 billion in stock, of which Musk got $165 million. Before its deal, Musk, who was the organization's biggest investor, claimed 11.7% of PayPal's shares.

In July 2017, Musk bought the domain X.com back from PayPal for an undisclosed sum, expressing that it has sentimental value to him.

SpaceX

In 2001, Musk considered Mars Oasis, an undertaking to send a small test nursery on Mars, in the hopes of revolutionizing the aerospace industry and making affordable spaceflight a reality. In February 2002, Elon Musk came to Russia to search for three ICBMs (missiles), bringing along Mike Griffin. Griffin had worked for the CIA's investment arm, In-Q-Tel, just as NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and was simply leaving Orbital Sciences, a producer of satellites and rockets.

Kosmotras, a Russian Space Company, offered one rocket for $8 million. But Musk found it excessively costly and refused to purchase it. While on the trip back from Moscow, Musk understood that he could begin an organization that could manufacture the moderate rockets he needed. Musk calculated that the raw materials needed to structure a rocket really were just 3% of the commercial cost of a rocket at the time.

In 2002, Musk ultimately established SpaceX with the long-term objective of making a genuine spacefaring civilization. With US$100 million of his initial fortune, Musk established Space Exploration Technologies or SpaceX, in May 2002. Musk is CEO and boss of innovation official (CTO) of the California-based SpaceX organization.

Spacex logo
Logo of SpaceX

SpaceX creates and makes space dispatch vehicles with an emphasis on propelling the condition of rocket innovation. The organization's initial two dispatch vehicles were the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets (a gesture to Star Wars Millennium Falcon) and its first shuttle is the Dragon (a gesture to Puff the Magic Dragon).

In seven years, SpaceX planned the group of Falcon dispatch vehicles and the Dragon multipurpose spacecraft. In September 2008, SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket turned into the main privately financed fluid-powered vehicle to place a satellite into Earth orbit. On May 25, 2012, the SpaceX Dragon vehicle berthed with the International Space Station (ISS), impacting the world forever as the primary business organization to dispatch and compartment a vehicle to the ISS.

In 2006, SpaceX was granted an agreement from NASA to proceed with the improvement and trial of the SpaceX Falcon 9 dispatch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft so as to ship freight to the International Space Station. It was followed by a $1.6 billion NASA Commercial Resupply Services program contract on December 23, 2008, for 12 flights of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon shuttle to the Space Station.

On December 22, 2015, SpaceX effectively handled the principal phase of its Falcon rocket back at the platform. This was the first run in history such an accomplishment had been accomplished by an orbital rocket. It became the first step towards rocket reusability, bringing down the expenses of access to space.

In the entire year of 2017, SpaceX launched its eighteen Falcon 9 flights, successfully, which are more than the previous year’s 8 flights. On February 6, 2018, SpaceX effectively launched the Falcon Heavy, the fourth-highest capacity rocket ever built and the most powerful rocket in activity in 2018. The debut mission carried a Musk’s Tesla Roadster as a dummy payload.

Today, SpaceX is both the biggest private maker of rocket motors on the planet and holder of the record for the most noteworthy push-to-weight proportion for a rocket motor (the Merlin 1D). SpaceX has created in excess of 100 operational Merlin 1D motors. Every Merlin 1D motor can vertically lift the heaviness of 40 normal family vehicles.

Tesla Motors

Tesla Logo
Logo of Tesla, Inc. 

Tesla, Inc. (initially Tesla Motors) was established in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. They financed the organization until the Series A funding. The two men were actively involved in the company’s development. In February 2004, Musk joined Tesla's board of directors as its chairman and led the Series A round of investment.

Musk played a functioning job inside the organization and supervised the Roadster item structure at a definite level, yet was not profoundly engaged with everyday business operations. Following the money-related emergency in 2008 and after a progression of raising clashes in 2007, Eberhard was expelled from the firm. Musk expected initiative of the organization as CEO and item engineer, positions which he holds even today.

In 2008, Tesla Motors initially built an electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster, with sales of 2,500 vehicles to 31 nations. On June 22, 2012, Tesla started the conveyance of its four-door Model S car. On February 9, 2012, it uncovered its third item, the Model X for the SUV/minivan market but Model X dispatch was postponed until September 2015.

Tesla's income in 2018 was $21.46 billion. In 2013, Tesla's Model S was the first electric vehicle to get the Car of the Year Award by Motor Trend. Over the most recent four months of 2018, Tesla's US piece of the overall industry was about 2%. It costs $13.66 to completely charge a Tesla Model X at home.

The general Tesla total assets were evaluated to be $2.2 billion in 2018, dependent on its income and benefits. Nearly 75% of every single electric vehicle sold in the US in 2019's first quarter were Teslas. Tesla saw an income of $21.461 billion in 2018. The total assets of Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, were $18.1 billion as of May 2019.

Tesla recently saw a surge of 4.8% in the share price helping Elon Musk surpass Jeff Bezos to become the richest man in the world.


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Neuralink Corporation is another company of which Elon Musk is the co-founder. Founded in July 2016, Neuralink is a neurotechnology company that is engaged in developing implantable brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). Headquartered in Pioneer Building, San Francisco, California, Neuralink shares its office with OpenAI.

In an hour-long interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that his neuro-tech company Neuralink is going to launch the first product that can make any brain function as a superhuman AI. San Francisco-headquartered Neuralink is developing implantable brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) or Cyborg that could improve memory or allow for more direct interfacing with computing devices.

Neuralink Corporation is an American neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk in 2016.  Elon Musk claims that the moto of Neuralink is a human enhancement and the technology, which will be able to merge the computers with the human brain. Thus, it will obtain a symbiotic relationship between the human brain and Artificial Intelligence.

“ If your biological self-dies, you can upload into a new unit. Literally. It will enable anyone who wants to have superhuman reasoning and intelligence." – Elon Musk

Developing such implantable brain-computer interfaces(BCIs) or cyborg will be quite a challenge and to be on top of the game, Elon Musk needs to stay ahead of Neuralink's competitors with a heavy focus on applied engineering. BCIs must incorporate features that are a thousand times better than the existing interfaces with no surgery, no aesthetics, and definitely no drilling holes in the skull.

Elon Musk further points out that there has been a significant advancement in the field stating, “I think Neuralink will have something interesting to announce in a few months that’s at least an order of magnitude better than anything else, probably better than anyone thinks is possible.”

You can see the podcast here:

Elon Musk's Interview with Joe Rogan

In early 2017, he made a jaw-dropping revelation stating that robots will disrupt our job scenario and that there’s nothing much that can be done and the competition between the countries with the most sophisticated AI will be the reason for World War 3. Probably to him, the merging seems like a better option which might give a human a better chance of surviving. “The merge scenario with AI is the one that seems like probably the best. If you can't beat it, join it,” Musk said.

OpenAI

OpenAI is an artificial intelligence research laboratory that consists of OpenAI LP, which is a for-profit organization, and OpenAI Inc, its parent company. OpenAI is another Elon Musk-founded company, which he founded in December 2015, along with Sam Altman, Ilya Sutskever, Greg Brockman, Wojciech Zaremba, and John Schulman. OpenAI was founded with an aim of promoting and developing a friendly AI that will benefit humanity as a whole. The collective pledging of $1 billion by Sam Altman, Elon Musk, and others resulted in the birth of the company. It is important to note that Musk has already resigned from the Board of the company in February 2018, but he still remains a donor.  

The Boring Company

The Boring Company logo elon musk
Logo of The Boring Company

In December 2016, Elon Musk founded the infrastructure and tunnel construction services company, The Boring Company is also known as TBC. Musk has experienced difficulty with Los Angeles traffic and limitations with the current two-dimensional transportation network. This led to the inspiration for the project.

The Boring Company currently has active construction and is planning future projects in the Los Angeles and Baltimore–Washington areas. They have also been selected to build a downtown-to-airport loop by a government program for high-speed transport in Chicago. There have been three boring tunnel projects proposed in the Los Angeles area out of which one test tunnel was completed in November 2018.

Though The Boring Company was initially formed in December 2016 as a subsidiary of SpaceX, it become a separate and fully independent company in 2018. In this, 90% of the equity was owned by Musk and 6% held by SpaceX in return for the use of SpaceX resources during the initial startup of the company. Outside investments during 2019 have changed the equity split.

Twitter

Twitter Logo - A firm owned by Elon Musk

Elon Musk is one of the most famous tweeps who almost keeps his audience hooked with his Twitter profile. Musk has always been an avid Twitter user and was on the brink of becoming a 100% owner of Twitter, the bid for which he placed on April 26, 2022, where he was looking forward to acquiring 100% stakes in Twitter in an all-cash deal worth around $44 billion. However, he finally turned down the deal, citing multiple breaches of the deal.

Musk first expressed his interest in buying the platform in 2017. In the wake of 2022, Musk started materialising this dream of his by buying significant stakes in Twitter first on January 31, 2022, which reached 5% on March 14, 2022. He became the largest stakeholder in Twitter on April 1, 2022, owning over 9% of its stakes. Musk then agreed to a deal on April 4, 2022, which prohibited his possession of more than 14.9% of the shares of his company and would assert his joining the board of directors of Twitter. However, Musk decided to not join the board before April 9, 2022, when the appointment became effective. Elon Musk then placed a bid to buy 100% of Twitter's shares on April 13th at $54.20 per share. This bid was granted by the Twitter board and would have made Elon Musk the owner of 100% of Twitter's shares in a deal worth $44 bn if Musk didn't walk away from the deal. There was also a breakup fee of $1 bn if the deal falls apart. Elon Musk threatened to blow up the deal over the bot issue on June 10, 2022, and ultimately terminated the deal in the first week of July 2022. In reply to this, Twitter sued Musk on July 12, 2022.  

In the case filed at the Court of Chancery, Delaware, the acquisition deal was to be forced to go through, as per the decision by Chief Judge McCormick, thereby being ruled against Elon Musk.

Elon Musk - Investments

Elon Musk has 7 investments to date, all of which are personal investments. Here's a list of the Elon Musk investments:

Date Name of the Organisation Lead Investor Funding Round
December 29, 2020 Quarterly Global Yes Series A
April 29, 2019 Neuralink Yes Series B
August 25, 2017 Neuralink Yes Series A
February 9, 2012 Stripe - Series A
March 28, 2011 Stripe - Seed Round
November 15, 2005 Game Trust - Series B
April 23, 2004 Tesla Yes Series A

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Elon Musk - Awards and Recognition

Elon Musk is recognised for his fight against global warming and Tesla is one of the examples of it. Some of the awards and recognition that he has received are:

  • For his advocacy, he has received Global Green Award and National Wildlife Federation's Connie Award.
  • He has received the Entrepreneur of the award of Inc Magazine and is also known as the Living Legend of Aviation by Kitty Hawk Foundation.
  • Musk has also been ranked 1 on Forbes' Billionaires list. Musk is a receiver of the Axel Springer Award.
  • In 2010, Musk received FAI Gold Space Medal from the Federation Aronautique Internationale.

Elon Musk - Controversies

The richest person on the planet has some fair share of controversies as well. Elon Musk is said to be quite blunt with the tweets that often surround him with controversies. Some of them are:

  • Right after he was all set for the Twitter acquisition, Musk said that he will buy Coca-Cola and put cocaine back in the beverage.
  • Musk named the cars from the Model 3 series of Tesla first as Model S, Model E and Model X. However, when Ford allegedly warned Tesla about a lawsuit for using Model E, Tesla changed its name to Model 3, which still made the models together sound like S.3.X
  • Elon Musk smoked weed on the Joe Rogan podcast and was surrounded by memes and controversies
  • Musk joked about sending space dragons with lasers to help Ukraine fight the Russians after an article stated that Musk would send flame-throwing electric tanks to Ukraine    
  • During Canada's trucker protest, Elon Musk compared Hitler with Canadian President Justin Trudeau.

Musk got Sued by Twitter

Elon Musk was legally sued by Twitter for "hypocrisy", reported The Verge at Delaware's Court of Chancery on July 12, 2022, after he decided to terminate the Twitter acquisition deal. This opened another chapter of Musk's life where he will resist his claim in court against the social media giant Twitter.  

Elon Musk - Unknown Facts

The richest man is not only unique but interesting as well. Some of the unknown facts about Elon Musk are:

  • When Musk was 12 years old, he created a video game called Blaster and sold it to a magazine.
  • Musk named his son Xavier after the character of Professor Xavier from the movie X-Men.
  • Musk also had a cameo in The Simpsons, along with those in South Park, The Big Bang Theory, Rick and Morty, and more.
  • Musk's first venture was Zip2 which was created in 1995.
  • Musk doesn't like Facebook and is concerned about its privacy issues.
  • Elon Musk gets a $1 salary from Tesla.
  • Musk is called Thrillionaire. It means an entrepreneur who is turning reality into science fiction.

Elon Musk - Quotes

Some of the most popular quotes from Elon Musk are:

  • When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.
  • Some people don't like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is a disaster.
  • If something's important enough, you should try. Even if - the probable outcome is a failure.
  • People work better when they know what the goal is and why. It is important that people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working.
  • If you're trying to create a company, it's like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.

Elon Musk - Future Plans

Elon Musk has never made his desire to make people "multi-planetary animal types". Colonizing Mars would be a decent start as per Musk. In September 2017, at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide he unveiled his arrangement to send payload delivers there in the following 5 years. By expansion, he trusts that people will settle the planet when 2024.

Elon's Hyperloop has been contrasted by him with a "cross between a Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table". The plan is to eventually give a method for a movement that should have the option to surpass 1124 km/h and all underground.

At present two courses are being developed - between Los Angeles and San Francisco and between New York and Washington D.C. When complete these excursions should take close to 30 minutes utilizing Hyperloop.

At the point when 12 youngsters and their football (soccer) mentor were caught in an overwhelmed collapse in Thailand, Elon and his group developed an apparently insane thought. The arrangement, clearly, was to construct a tyke-estimated submarine. The sub was structured and worked in record time utilizing extra rocket parts. Regardless of this, the salvage groups esteemed it unrealistic and finished the mission without it. "Pedo fellow" aftermath aside Thai military authorities accept the submarine could have utility in the future.

FAQs

Who is the CEO of Tesla 2022?

Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla.

When and where was Elon Musk born and raised?

Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and was raised in Pretoria and the regions nearby the capital of South Africa.

What did Elon Musk study?

Elon Musk has a Bachelor's degree in both Physics and Economics.

What's Elon Musk's IQ?

Elon Musk's IQ is estimated to be ranging between 150-155.

What is Elon Reeve Musk famous for?

Elon Musk has founded the electronic payment firm PayPal and spacecraft company SpaceX. He is the CEO of the electric-car maker company Tesla. Musk is also the owner of the social media platform Twitter and the world's richest person, as of April 2022.

Did Elon Musk acquire Twitter?

Elon Musk was about to acquire 100% stakes in Twitter and become the owner of Twitter. He asserted to buy out all of the stocks of Twitter in a deal worth $44 billion on April 26, 2022, but then he refused, leaving the deal pending.  

What companies has Elon Musk founded?

Elon Musk founded many companies to date including SpaceX, The Boring Company, X.com, Neuralink, OpenAI, and Zip2.

Did Elon Musk create Paypal?

No, Elon Musk is not the founder of Paypal, nor did he create it. However, Elon Musk indeed found the company known as X.com. This company later merged with Confinity Inc., which was the creator of the product Paypal.

Is Elon Musk an entrepreneur?

Elon Musk is indeed an entrepreneur. The world's richest person nourished his entrepreneurial dream right after he graduated from college.  

What companies has Elon Musk founded?

SpaceX, SolarCity, and Tesla are some of the prominent companies that Elon Musk founded.  

Is Elon Musk a real person? What is Elon Musk's academic background?

Yes, Elon Musk is a real person. Going by the academic background of Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO has a Bachelor's degree in Physics and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

How did Elon Musk start his career?

Elon Musk started his career by dropping out of Stanford University in just 2 days to start his company Zip2.

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