Idolized by many, hated by many others. Perhaps there has been no other person in the world of technology who has been able to generate as many mixed feelings as Elon Musk, the eccentric founder of Tesla who dreams of taking humanity to Mars.
Not even Steve Jobs, not even Bill Gates. And it is not that the founders of Apple and Microsoft have not been able to generate adhesion (or rejection) towards their products. However, something different happens with Musk: everything his companies do goes through his figure and what he says … or posts on Twitter. Almost as if it were a religion.
From South Africa to the conquest of Mars
As is often the case with billionaires, the way they made his fortune is full of myths. It is known that he had a comfortable childhood in South Africa, where he was born on June 28, 1971 and, after a difficult adolescence – a product of the separation of his parents – he moved to Canada with his mother and siblings.
In Canada, he worked as a day laborer and bank clerk during his youth and later studied at Queen’s University. Later he came to the United States, where he entered the University of Pennsylvania to study economics and physics. When he was about to enter a doctorate at Stanford, he chose to found Zip2, an online business directory (something like Yelp) that would later be sold to the defunct Compaq. It was the stroke of luck I needed. Then came X.com, which later became the payment company PayPal.
However, it was not these companies that have sustained his global fame, but the electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, the biotechnology company Neuralink and the aerospace firm SpaceX, with whom Musk dreams of reaching Mars.
How it revolutionized the world of technology
But what is it that makes Musk so special? That he does not waste his time (and money) on small ideas, such as developing applications or founding other companies, but that his goal is set on the progress of humanity and in space. It is this vision of “thinking big” that has allowed him to win millions of fans willing to defend him from everything and everyone.
With Tesla, Musk wants to combat the danger of climate change; with SpaceX, he seeks to avoid that humanity depends on a single planet and opens up to the exploration of new worlds; and with Neuralink, it aims to avoid human obsolescence by inserting chips that allow us to recover deteriorated functions.
Musk has built a reputation not just as an eccentric CEO, tech giant, and billionaire, but as an internet personality. Few have Musk’s power to move markets, secure millions of dollars in investor funds, and grab news headlines with a tweet, like the latest episodes of cryptocurrencies.
While other entrepreneurs use large communications equipment, Musk only needs Twitter and a phone. And despite the fact that according to his words he works 120 hours a week, he takes time to interact with his followers, the same ones who are willing to do anything for him.