Elon Musk may be the Thomas Edison of the 21st century. The prolific inventor's creations have garnered several entrepreneur and innovator-of-the-year honors, and business executives and consumers often discuss them.
Musk has been actively developing things since he was a child, but some of the firms he has started are more well-known than others. Visions for consumer items and public transit have grown from early attempts in software and software firms. And even though some of these dreams may seem unattainable at first look, Musk's track record has convinced many skeptics otherwise. His innovative thinking has enabled him to accumulate a net worth of over $13.5 billion.
However, there is more to Musk than the firms you are familiar with. The following is a list of his many groundbreaking ideas, patents, products, and enterprises.
Tesla Motors Electric Automobile
Tesla, the publicly listed electric-car business whose stock has gained almost 700% in the previous 2.5 years to just under $213 per share at press time, is inextricably linked to Elon Musk today. Despite announcing third-quarter earnings that fell short of Wall Street's forecasts, the business boasts $1.24 billion in sales and optimistic projections for future deliveries.
The business struggles with producing enough vehicles to meet up with demand, notably for the forthcoming Model 3 (which will have a range of 200 miles and a starting price of $35,000). For this reason, the company intends to sell 500 million shares of stock to support capital expenditures.
SpaceX's Falcon Rocket
Musk's aircraft business may be as well-known as his autos. The Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets of SpaceX, a company founded in 2002 to assist cut the cost of space travel and allowing the colonization of Mars, are meant to be reusable. NASA has granted the business a contract to create a spaceship to transport crew members to and from the International Space Station. The company has flown six cargo resupply flights to the ISS.
The privately-owned corporation had a setback earlier this year when one of its Falcon 9 rockets exploded after launch. In order to rework the two-foot metal bar that collapsed and, according to Musk, caused the explosion, the company has now ceased flights.
PayPal (X.com) e-payments
Musk co-founded X.com in 1999, which specialized in financial services and email payments. A year later, X.com merged with Confinity and acquired PayPal, the most well-known service of the latter firm. The two technologies combined to establish a leader in online payments, which eBay ultimately acquired for $1.5 billion in 2002. Musk earned $165 million from this transaction.
Musk's most recent proposal may be his most ambitious. This 2013-introduced and still-under-development transportation system seeks to let commuters travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than 35 minutes – quicker than a commercial airline.
The rail system would operate in a tube with very low air pressure, which would supposedly minimize drag and allow for faster speeds of up to 800 miles per hour while using less energy. However, this whole concept is still a long way from being realized. The company's first project, a 5-mile circle in Quay Valley, California, is slated to begin construction in 2019. The greatest roadblock is the price of the land and technology required to make this a reality.
Online City Guides For Zip2
Musk's first Web software firm, which he co-founded with his brother using money their father lent them, assisted the newspaper industry in creating online "city guides" In 1999, after exploring and finally rejecting a combination with CitySearch (IACI), Compaq acquired Zip2 for $307 million. The deal yielded $22 million for Musk.
SolarCity's Solar-Electric Systems
Musk and his cousins co-founded SolarCity in 2006, and it has since grown to become the nation's second-largest supplier of solar power systems, with sales of $102.8 million in the most recent quarter. While based in California, it offers installations in certain regions of fourteen additional states (and the District of Columbia).
It is developing storage technologies that will allow consumers to access solar-generated energy at night. Additionally, the business is collaborating with Tesla to provide free solar-powered charging stations to owners of automobiles driving along Route 101 from San Francisco to Los Angeles or vice versa.
Musk has also discussed the possibility of a "vertical takeoff and landing electric supersonic jet" on The Colbert Report. An electric motor-driven fan would propel this aircraft. It would not need a lengthy runway, allowing for smaller airports. Musk has not yet begun working on this project, but last year at MIT's Aeronautics and Astronautics Centennial Symposium, he said he was "experimenting" with the idea.
In 1997, Musk had the concept of allowing computers to make landline calls (something he secured a patent for in 2001). The idea was somewhat simpler than what we use now with Skype. Instead, it was proposed that people might get a company's contact information online and then have their calls routed to a call center.
In the early days of the Internet, locating a nearby company was not as important as now. Musk believed in 1998 that it would be possible eventually. He planned to design a system that would search for results in the region nearest to you before automatically expanding the search area (so the user wouldn't have to) until there were sufficient results.
Blastar - A Computer Game
Before popularizing electric automobiles and contemplating the colonization of Mars, Musk enjoyed playing video games as a child. Therefore, at age 12, he created his own. Nevertheless, Musk being Musk, he sold the game to a magazine for around $500. Curious as to what the prepubescent innovator developed? Today, a web-based version of Blastar is available.
Featured image: Invention photo created by jannoon028 - www.freepik.com
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