At age 43, Elon Musk a scientist is already the entrepreneurial and visionary mastermind behind Tesla Motors, PayPal, Space X, Solar City and the envisioned high speed Hyperloop from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The scary thing is that he’s just warming up.
Despite countless comparisons to Apple’s genius inventor Steve Jobs, it is the analogies to Iron Man’s alter ego Tony Stark that have stuck to South African-born billionaire Elon Musk like a super-powered exoskeleton. Hailed as a true 21st century industrialist, who has shaken up three established industries, 2012 saw Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket’s successful return from its first commercial space flight to the international Space Station. His electric (Tesla S) luxury sedan was hailed as the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year and his SolarCity solar power company is at the forefront of the solar Industry.
To understand Elon Musk’s contribution to humankind, one needs to look a little deeper at what he is about. What is his ‘one thing’?It’s certainly not clear from his varied business interests. Yes, to the outside it appears his new focus lies in the field of energy, but what is really turning Musk into the next great saviour of humankind. And, when he talks the world is starting to listen intently.As recently as last Friday, he warned that probably the biggest threat to humankind is the latest trending towards ‘artificial intelligence’, where man is looking at computers to do tasks that normally require human thinking.
Musk’s strategic outlook on life is pure potential power, ready to be unleashed. It reflects a man who is constantly looking to find out what is, and what is going to affect mankind the most, to then find out what is not working, and to then go and fix it. He is certainly not one who avoids life’s big challenges. So far, he has done some pretty amazing things and is warming up ‘to musk the world’! Mr Fixer par excellence in his chosen fields of greatness – space, internet and green technology.
Who is Elon Musk?
My answer: Elon Musk is a man who is fast changing the way of the world. A man who is even making Bill Gates look pedestrian. South African born Elon Musk, who must probably rank right up there as Africa’s greatest export.