We all know him as the brains behind the car brand Tesla, but some believe that Elon Musk is the very person that could lead us all forward into the future. He’s just that type of forward-thinking guy that you want driving the futuristic car. All things aside, Musk is one of the most prominent figures in science and technology these days, and he has shown us time and again that he means business. This type of business is exactly what brings $21 billion to his table—something that many of us can’t even fathom.
There are many ways how Elon Musk achieved that net worth. The truth is for the successful businessman, it all started at the beginning. The South African-born genius bought his first computer when he was only 10 years old and began to teach himself how to code straightaway. While that may be a common thing today, back in 1981, you didn’t normally hear kids express the desire to code, but Musk did. He stuck through with his plan that by the time he was 12 years old, he had sold his first software. This software was Blaster, a simple game that he had created.
He moved to Canada to pursue school, but eventually Musk ended up at the University of Pennsylvania where he took up economics and a second bachelor’s degree in physics. He later on pursued energy physics for his PhD in Stanford but dropped out in order to join in on the Internet boom. This was when he started to really make his big bucks. Musk launched his first company, Zip2 Corporation, an online city guide. By 1999, he found himself in a deal with Compaq to purchase his company for $307 million in cash plus another $34 million in stock options.
That very same year, Musk created X.com, an online financial services company. This X.com company was acquired by yet another company to create what we know as PayPal today. In 2002, eBay acquired PayPal for $1.5 billion worth in stock. But that was just his second company. Musk founded his third company that very same year, 2002. He called in Space Exploration Technologies Corporation or SpaceX. Musk’s intention for building this company was to build spacecrafts that will allow space travel eventually. Six years later in 2008, Musk was able to acquire a NASA contract for SpaceX to handle cargo transport to the International Space Station. As you can imagine, that contract tag was astronomical. Musk owns 54% of this company, which is roughly valued today at $12 billion.
This was then the time when Musk decided that if could build vehicles for space, he could definitely build vehicles for land. Musk co-founded Tesla with the idea of bringing mass-produced and affordable electric cars for the consumer. Musk, while in partnership with a couple of other companies, launched Tesla’s first IPO. The company raised $226 million from that. Musk owns 22% of Tesla, 33 million shares, and 2.1 million options, of which he exercised about 5.5 million worth in options back in 2016.
All of these are besides the other aspects of how he’s earning money. Musk has become a prominent speaker when it comes to certain topics. He’s even become some type of motivational speaker at some point, urging everyone to look farther into the future to determine what we do in our lives now. All those speaking engagements and appearances add to his net worth bit by bit—and he happens to do a whole lot of them each year. Musk also continues to develop new ideas, such as the Hyperloop, in order to keep his momentum going in the field of technology.
It was pure innovation that got Elon Musk to the net worth that he has now—$21 billion. Not everyone has the mental capacity to do what Musk did at such a young age, but Musk is quite the unique person. He’s the ultimate genius of our generation, and it shows in more than just one aspect of his life. He has explored where exploration is needed and created where creation is needed. Musk’s brain is just the type of brain that’s capable of handling $21 billion and possibly maybe even more. The future is for the taking, and Musk is surely at the head of the line.