This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Abhishek Karadkar. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

The Nerd Entrepreneur-Scientist, Elon Musk Is An Inspiration For Our Generation

More from Abhishek Karadkar

Elon Musk is the richest person on the earth today. Historically, the richest people have always been either money-driven, self-obsessed businessmen, such as John D Rockefeller (world’s first billionaire, 1916) or those who have inherited their ancestral wealth, such as Mir Osman Ali Khan (1937). But Elon Musk’s wealth is special. Because he has achieved this feat by wearing many hats in business, innovation and technological breakthroughs that few have done in human history.

Yes, Elon Musk, as we know is the founder of several successful companies/startups including electric car manufacturer Tesla, Space exploration SpaceX, solar panels services company SolarCity (which is now a part of Tesla Energy), AI R&D startup OpenAI, Neurotech company Neuralink and Infrastructure and Tunnel construction company The Boring Company.

Additionally, he proposed the idea of Hyperloop (ultra-fast intercity travel), started Zip2 after dropping out of the Stanford PhD programme, and was a part of the legendary PayPal Mafia that had started PayPal and was later acquired by eBay. Though he is famously known for two of his most famous companies, Tesla and SpaceX, this entrepreneur has been the founder and owner of eight companies so far. And the best thing is he started most of the companies from scratch (with the exception of Tesla, which he acquired and turned into the brand for which it is known worldwide today).

Elon_Musk tesla

Isn’t this amazing? The fact that Musk has achieved this feat to become the richest person on the planet is remarkable in many ways. First of all, unlike the richest people earlier, Musk is different. All the previous richest were either business magnates who earned their wealth through some form of a commodity like oil and gas, steel (John D Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J Paul Getty), banking and investment (Rothschilds, Warren Buffett) or became rich by establishing a monopoly in their business (Bill Gates— software, Henry Ford — cars, Vanderbilts — railways, Jeff Bezos — e-commerce).

But Musk’s journey has been unique for having started several companies, neither of which are monopolies (electric cars, space exploration, solar energy etc. has been ventured out by several other competitors as well). However, navigating through the competing sharks and coming out as a winner is what makes Elon a unique businessman.

Secondly, he is a self-made man. Of course, there have been many rich people who had humble beginnings and Musk is amongst them. But his credentials are further enhanced by being a self-made man who is also an immigrant to the USA. This happened more than 100 years ago with Andrew Carnegie (who had emigrated from Scotland to America) when he surpassed John D Rockefeller to become the richest man on the planet.

Since then, most of them have been born and brought up in America itself. Musk’s success proves that the American Dream is still alive (although it’s a lot tougher nowadays). Of all his achievements, I admire the most in Musk is his love for reading, and passion for science and technology. He is a voracious reader, just like Bill Gates (both share this common attribute) and claims to have mastered rocket science by reading books.

Musk is a nerd, and extremely passionate about the progress of science and the future of humanity. That’s why he once famously said about his dreams and goals in life:

“In the case of Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity and PayPal, they really stemmed from when I was in college and trying to think: what would most likely affect the future in a positive way? So the three areas I was quite sure would be positive were sustainable energy, the internet and making life multi-planetary. You should try to take a set of actions that are likely to prolong civilisation, minimise the probability of a dark age, and reduce the length of a dark age if there is one.’ — Elon Musk

His passion for science and technology, and making this planet have a better future led him to start all his companies in the field of sustainable energy, the internet, space exploration to make life multi-planetary, carbon-free transportation, neurotech and artificial intelligence. Which entrepreneur or businessman has done so much in these multiple fields of technology?

Edison might be the nearest one on this list. But having the courage to venture out in a field that was never been explored much before and even with the least expectation of having any success is a sign of true passion and bravado. This makes Musk one of my biggest inspirations. His pinned tweet says a lot about his commitment to science and tech, and to save the human race if in case of the apocalypse (in the form of nuclear destruction or even far deadly virus than coronavirus) happens in the near future.

History In Pictures on Twitter: ". @elonmusk becomes the richest person in the world today with a net worth of $190 billion dollars. I've had the honor of meeting him. He's definitely

Had he failed (which had almost happened in 2008), it would not only be a loss for Musk but also for science and humanity. There are many other softwares, internet and social media giants, oil and gas barons, Wall Street financiers, venture capitalists, automotive manufacturers (petrol based) and entertainment media moguls in this world, but there is none like Musk. This is because even if others fail, there are others who can run those companies.

For example, when Yahoo failed, we had Google; Kodak failed, but we found Sony; Nokia failed, we had Samsung, Apple etc. But in the case of Musk, if Tesla, SpaceX, Hyperloop and Neuralink fail, then it is difficult for someone to take the position of Musk and re-invent the wheel. He has set an example in Silicon Valley through his companies that it’s high time to look beyond starting companies in the internet or social media domain itself. At least we can say with Musk’s companies and efforts, we have a chance to carve out a different future for humanity. That’s why his success with his offbeat, innovative and humanity-transforming companies is essential for the progress of humanity.

His becoming the richest man on the planet is simply a reward he truely deserves for the years of hard work and dedication. But I think that Musk’s success through his companies and becoming the richest man will stand as an inspiration for my millennial generation as well as coming generations to come. This is because today, we have a man who is rich because of his work for science and tech, and not because of his greed for money or desire to run a monopoly.

His example stands as a testimony to the fact that it is possible for someone like a nerd, a bibliophile, a science lover, a tech passionate to become the richest man on the planet. No longer is that position reserved for bankers, monopolists, investors, commodity traders, aristocrats or similar money-hungry people. In fact, Musk doesn’t even care about becoming the richest person in the world and this can be easily noticed from this tweet.

lastBORN on Twitter: "Elon Musk, “how strange”, “well, back to work” This is the energy we giving out the whole of 2021.… "

This shows the character and detachment of Musk regarding money, fame, success etc. That’s why he is an inspiration for many of us. All he cares about is his work and devotion for a just cause, with technology companies as a medium to achieve this. Though Steve Jobs changed the world through iPhone and Mac, Musk wants to make the future better, sustainable and safer, and he is relentlessly pursuing it through his several companies.

Finally, Musk’s attitude in life is something worth learning from. He is someone who never quits. And this was tested during the 2008 crisis when all of his companies were struggling financially as well as technologically. He was left with enough money just to have one last launch of his beloved space exploration and when left with that final choice, he remarked: “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.” And he did it. That fourth launch was a success, and since then, he never looked back.

“There have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Why do you want to live? What’s the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future? If the future does not include being out there among the stars and being a multi-planet species, I find that incredibly depressing.” — Elon Musk

And this is one of my personal motivations as well. I always think that if Elon Musk can dare to lose everything (which he had earned through hard work) to achieve his aim, then why do I fear failing when I haven’t even achieved anything like him yet? His biography taught me an important lesson: that we should never quit our goals, however tough they might be, as long as we know they are important enough.

The world out there will always laugh or ridicule us, but that should not stop us from trying. In the case of Musk, his fight was against the powerful oil lobby that had supported the traditional automotive industry, which had been using fossil fuels and leading to global warming. They had tried all possible ways to make Tesla a failure! Even in the case of SpaceX, it was NASA and the Russian Space agencies that did not want a private company to enter the space race. Many astronauts and rocket scientists had laughed at Elon Musk for his idea of a reusable rocket.

But today, we see he has surpassed all of them. And he truely deserves this. For me, he is like a nerd entrepreneur-scientist who was brought up during the 1980s when sci-fi was the trend and kids in that era dreamed of the world where humans would colonise space through multi-planetary missions, driverless electric cars, renewable energy, hyperloop for the fastest transportation, artificial intelligence-driven robots and advanced genomics. It seems that Musk will soon turn that fiction into reality. That’s why he is the greatest living inspiration for my generation.

I’ll end this post with this amazing video that gave me goosebumps, especially his quote at the end of the video.

Note: The article was originally published on the author’s personal blog.

You must be to comment.

More from Abhishek Karadkar

Similar Posts

By Saurabh Nanda

By Adivasi Lives Matter

By Upasana Chatterjee

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

        Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
        campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below