How is Elon Musk the most badass CEO in the world?
Elon Musk is as unique as it comes not just because of how remarkably well he has done in business from Zip2 and Paypal to Space X, Tesla, and SolarCity.
Elon is not only an icon but also doubles up as a superhero. He is the genius breed of his kind, and he has been idolized in various sub-cultures ranging from business freaks, electric car enthusiasts and coding nerds to Cleantech lovers and space nuts. Elon is so much adored for not only all that he has achieved and the amazing things that his companies have done but also because of his admirable personality and how he seamlessly interacts with the public something that has immensely contributed to the success of his businesses and more specifically Tesla Motors.
Elon was born in 1971 in South Africa. He didn’t have the best of moments since he felt like he never fitted in school and had a hard family life. From early on, Elon was an avid self-learner, and he would read a lot of science fiction and non-fiction for 10hours a day and by the time he was in fourth grade, he would constantly read the Encyclopedia Britannica. At the age of 9, he got his hands on Commodore VIC 20, his first computer. At 12 years he created a video game called Blastar using skills. Since he never fitted in the South African’s white Afrikaner culture, he left at the age of 17 after seeing Silicon Valley to be a promised land for a prospective entrepreneur that he was. Because his mother is a Canadian citizen, it was easier for him to migrate to Canada then later used college transfer to the University of Pennsylvania as a gateway to the US.
It was in college that he re-thought about what exactly he wanted to do with his life then he ended up with a starting question, What will most affect the future of humanity? On the answer, five things came up including, space exploration- in particular, the extension of life beyond earth, the internet, reprogramming of the human genetic code, sustainable energy, and artificial intelligence. He started with sustainable energy, enrolled to study energy density capacity then changed his mind to the internet since he couldn’t watch it just go by. Together with his brother Kimbal, they started Zip2 but then again it was 1995; they had no money, and they could hardly convince businesses that the internet was important. In 1999, Compaq bought zip2 at $307million. He merged with Peter Thiel and other people to develop an online money transfer platform, PayPal. In 2002, eBay purchased the company at $1.5billion.
In 2002, after reading on rocket technology, he started a rocket company, SpaceX with a capital of $100million with the purpose of revolutionizing the cost of space travel so that humans can be able to colonize Mars. In 2004, he poured $70million into an electric car company Tesla with the purpose of revolutionizing the automotive industry in the whole world. Then in 2006, he partnered with his cousins, brought in $10million to start SolarCity with the goal of revolutionizing energy production.
Even after failing several times in his businesses, he never gave up, for instance, SpaceX has three failed launches, but the following 20 were all successes and NASA finally invested in SpaceX and became a regular client and had also attracted investments from Fidelity and Google worth $12billion. Also, Tesla’s critically acclaimed Model S was a smashing hit toppling over any other product in the automotive industry with Consumer Report rating of 99/100 the highest ever and also recorded highest safety rating from NHSA in history with 5.4/5. The idea is just mind blowing, and Elon with his team is not in any way slowing down
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Elon is undoubtedly the face of SpaceX and Tesla Motors whether by pure chance or intentionally. People would immediately recognize him with the two companies just at the mention of his name. This is good for the business since, at the end of the day, humans connect with humans and if you are a liked face and a well-known face of a company is such a big way to grow the business and advance its customers base something that is very much ignored by most Cleantech companies. Most of us think that he is the most rad C.E.O, and we simply love him because of some of the reasons below.
Living in a society full of nauseating comments especially from politicians, all you can ever want is a cool, calm and collected mature conversation. Elon doesn’t spit out blanket useless statements or fluff up his remarks. He is direct to the point and doesn’t go around answers. He has a more friendly, casual style of communication rather than the uptight C.E.O- standard’ conversations his counterparts portray. He is relatable, real and he makes people feel like he is just like them.
Thoughtfulness, Cautious and Humble
Whenever Elon speaks, he does it in a thoughtful way to capture the whole audience and not just full of jargon but couches it into an important concept and makes it more precise. He positions his language to the level of the listener’s knowledge providing metaphor after metaphor and analogy after analogy. He is very cautious about his statements and focuses more on performance and accuracy. He is obvious a risk taker, who else would go to such lengths to build the safest car on the planet. But regardless of what he does, his agenda mainly rotates around helping the society enjoy the fun but be a lot more conscious of the planet’s climate, quality of natural resources, the likelihood of long-term survival and planet’s store. He doesn’t mind saying that he is not certain of something and gives out a logical estimate.
He truly cares about people and his team, and he wouldn’t let other people mess with the working environment. His ideas circumvent on the maximum satisfaction of the customers, and he would go to whatever lengths to make that happen, and he spends his life impacting the society.