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

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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.

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