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Elon Musk

Elon Musk198 posts

Elon Musk is a South-African born Canadian-American engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur, born in 1971. He was a co-founder of PayPal, which was sold to Ebay for $1.5 billion. He then founded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Tesla Motors. He is chief executive and chief designer at SpaceX and CEO and head of product design at Tesla and chairman of Solar City. Musk purchased Twitter in September 2022.

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28 Jun, 1971

Elon Musk born in Pretoria, South Africa

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Elon Musk is born in Pretoria, the eldest child of South African engineer Errol and Maye, nee Haldeman, a Canadian fashion model. He spends part of his childhood in the suburb of Waterkloof and graduates from Pretoria Boys High School.

He reads for many hours a day during childhood and enjoys comic books and J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing. He discusses science and computers with his brother Kimbal, and sister, Tosca, and debates computers with his father, who divorces from his mother. Instead of hiring domestic help, the children do chores, unlike many other wealthy South African families at the time.

I guess I was a bit of an autocratic father – do this, do that…I was a single parent, and they simply had to help out.

He develops the ambition to migrate to the U.S. during childhood, to escape a South African society that he views as oppressive under apartheid.

Mar 1999

X.com

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Musk founds X.com as an internet financial services company. He is company chair while Bill Harris, the former CEO of tax and accounting software creator Intuit.com, is president and CEO. Investment banker John Story also joins the company.

The site goes online in December 1999, and a marketing campaign offering $20 to new customers and $10 for new referrals attracts 100,000 customers in its first two months of operation.

Mar 2000

PayPal founded

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PayPal is formed after online point-of-sale payments company X.com buys payments company Confinity. X.com stops its internet banking operations, and a Confinity system that focuses on payments transactions on personal digital assistants becomes the email-based PayPal system. The joint company is renamed PayPal and Elon Musk is its biggest shareholder.

19 May, 2009

Daimler buys stake, $550 million valuation

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German automaker Daimler buys a 9% stake in Tesla Motors for $50 million.  The company’s post-money valuation is now $550 million.  Daimler also expands its partnership with the company to put electric batteries into Mercedes-Benz vehicles.  In a press release, Daimler says:

Tesla is the only production automaker selling a highway capable electric vehicle in North America and Europe.

22 Apr, 2011

Man on Mars

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In an interview with the WSJ, Musk makes the case for an affordable electric car, the likelihood of his company SpaceX sending a man to Mars, and why he isn’t exactly like Iron Man’s Tony Stark.

I’ll put a man on Mars in 10 years

19 Jan, 2012

Musk, Riley divorce

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Musk announces that he and Riley are splitting after just over one year of marriage. Riley moved out of their Bel Air home six months ago. Musk:

We took some time apart for several months to see if absence makes the heart grow fonder, and unfortunately it did not, I still love her, but I’m not in love with her. And I can’t really give her what she wants.

11 Feb, 2013

Musk: NYT review is fake

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Musk takes to twitter to denounce the NYT review as fake:

Musk notes in a later tweet that logging is not turned on for normal customers, only for journalists.

12 Feb, 2013

NYT: Not fake

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John Broder responds to Musk’s accusation:

My account was not a fake. It happened just the way I described it.

Border also notes that Elon Musk called him before the article went up on the Web, to offer sympathy and regrets about the outcome of his test drive. He said that the East Coast charging stations should be 140 miles apart, not 200 miles, to take into account the traffic and temperature extremes in this part of the country. He also offered Broder a second chance at a test drive in a few months, after additional Supercharger stations come online.

13 Aug, 2013

Maxim Interview

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Musk talks about coming along at the right time to start his business ventures:

Yeah, I feel like I’m here at the right time. If not for the Internet, where it’s possible to start with no capital and end up with a valuable company, it would have taken me a long time to build up these other businesses. It’s important to remember that being a good global citizen and a good businessman are not mutually exclusive.

14 May, 2014

The Oatmeal request

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Webcomic The Oatmeal asks Musk to donate $8 million to open a museum dedicated to Nikola Tesla, the ‘mustache-donning, lightning-conjuring, electrical wonder-Jesus’ inventor. Creator Matt Inman has previously crowdfunded $1.37 million, enough to save the Tesla Science Center at Wardencliffe, but says this is insufficient to open an actual museum at the site, where Tesla’s laboratory is located among asbestos-laden buildings that need to be refurbished, restored or demolishe:

It’s been a year since we officially closed on Wardenclyffe, and after getting countless estimates from site planners, architects, and museum curators from all around the world, we determined that $8M is the bare minimum to build, staff, and maintain a Nikola Tesla Museum. While we’d be grateful for any amount, any less than $8M would pretty much leave us in the same boat we’re in now.

He posts an open letter to Musk from William Terbo, the last surviving Tesla family member who met Nikola before his 1943 death, and says that while Tesla’s name is open-source and Musk is not profiting from its use, but that the Tesla legacy needs help to survive:

This is not a demand or an accusation or a plea. It’s a polite request from a humongous fan … Help us build a Goddamn Tesla Museum.

29 May, 2014

Unveils Dragon V2 reusable capsule

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At SpaceX headquarters, Musk unveils Dragon V2, a cone-shaped reusable capsule designed to carry cargo and up to seven astronauts at a time to and from the International Space Station. The first manned test flight for Dragon V2 is expected before the end of 2016.  According to a SpaceX, Dragon V2 will touch down on land with the accuracy of a helicopter.

SpaceX Dragon V2 | Flight Animation

3 Jun, 2014

4 – 5 more years as CEO

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shareholder-642x500At the annual Tesla general shareholders meeting Musk announces that he plans to stay on as CEO for four or five years, or at least through volume production of Gen 3, the mass market, $35,000-a-year car.

No one is a CEO forever. Eventually they carry you out.

10 Jul, 2014

Donates to The Oatmeal campaign

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Musk responds to a campaign by webcomic The Oatmeal to donate $8 million to open a Nikola Tesla museum:

I would be happy to help

He eventually donates $1 million and a Supercharger station, allowing Tesla car owners to charge up on the spot.

23 Aug, 2014

Responds to newspaper ad

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Musk responds to an ad taken out in the Palo Alto Daily by two Tesla Model S owners who say they are ‘very satisfied’ but suggest some changes to the model such as blind spot monitors, voice activated dialing and a larger touchscreen, as well as minor cosmetic and ergonomic improvements including moving the position of cupholders:

24 Oct, 2014

‘We are summoning the demon’

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Musk tells the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium that AI is our biggest existential threat:

I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence. Increasingly scientists think there should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out.

14 Apr, 2015

Booster launch succesful, landing fails

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SpaceX successfully launches a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying an uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft on a flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to theISS International Space Station. The attempted landing of the spent first stage on a barge in the Atlantic ocean is unsuccessful. The Falcon lands on the barge, but it tips over after the landing. Musk:

Ascent successful. Dragon enroute to Space Station. Rocket landed on droneship, but too hard for survival.