South African born, Elon Musk has gained fame as one of the world’s most prominent tech entrepreneurs.
Famous for his positions as the head of SpaceX and Tesla Inc, he was educated at the University of Pretoria, and later graduated with degrees in economics and physics from the University of Pennsylvania.
He is also one of the world’s wealthiest men.
Programming and Gaming
But how did this all come about, and what influence did computer gaming have on Elon’s career? In Elon’s own words – “I probably wouldn’t have started programming if it wasn’t for video games or wouldn’t have been as interested in computers and tech if it wasn’t for video games. I think video games are a very powerful force for getting young kids interested in technology”
His love of computer games aroused an interest in programming, and at the age of just 12, Musk wrote his first game, Blastar, which incorporated features from the old classics, Asteroids, and Space Invaders.
He sold the rights to Blastar to a computer gaming magazine for around $500. His entrepreneurial instinct was also evident at that age, he invested the proceeds from the sale into stocks, which he later sold for a profit.
Musk knew that internet technology was the way forward, and at the time companies like betting bigwig William Hill for example was beginning the transition from +a high street bookmaker to the betting and gaming behemoth online it is today.
A Map of the Future?
Musk’s interest in game coding led him to more practical applications than pure entertainment. By the age of 23, he had co-founded Zip2, a software program for maps and city guides.
He later sold this to CompaQ for $307 million. Again, he reinvested in himself, creating X.Com, which eventually became the e-wallet platform PayPal. His sale of that platform to eBay netted a massive $1.5 billion, leading to much bigger projects.
Elon Musk then embarked on his most ambitious project, to date – space travel. Forming SpaceX, and after some initial setbacks, became the first privateer to launch a solid fuelled rocket into Earth’s orbit.
In 2020, SpaceX launched its first manned mission, becoming the first privately run operation to dock at the International Space Station. In addition to this, SpaceX has also placed several satellites into orbit and is now recognized as one of the most prominent entities in space travel.
Musk developed an interest in the Tesla Motor Co. in 2004, becoming a shareholder through investment.
In 2008, Elon Musk had assumed the position of CEO and product architect with the firm, now known as Tesla Inc. Following the 2008 release of Tesla’s first all-electric car, a number of new models followed, expanding the range to cover most small to medium vehicle types.
By 2020, Tesla had delivered over 500 000 electric cars, the most by any manufacturer to date.
The tycoon has not stopped there. He has been involved with a massive solar power project, operating as Tesla Energy.
A neurological device company, Neuralink, has also been set up to focus on implants that can converse with computers, as well as provide a cure for various ailments. While some of these claims may yet have to be proved, it follows on his path of electrotechnical interest.
His tunnelling division, The Boring Company, is a strange, but undoubtedly successful deviation from his core business interests.
Today, Elon Musk is among the top three richest people alive and indeed in recorded history. A strong proponent of cryptocurrencies, his passion for combining technology and science is still very much what drives him, always keeping himself one step ahead of everyone else.
The inquisitive mind of a young boy playing a computer game eventually led to him becoming a ‘giant’ of technology.
Do you believe your youngster is spending too much playing games on their computer? Ask one of the world’s wealthiest men.