As an adult, Elon Musk read many books but was particularly inspired by science fiction.
The genre motivated him to create “cleaner energy technology or [build] spacecraft to extend the human reach of the future “according to the book” Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and Quest for a Fantastic Future “by Ashlee Vance.
With those goals in mind, Musk continued with SpaceX in 2002 and Tesla in 2003. And now he’s at the bottom of a potential historic launch for SpaceX on Wednesday, as the company plans for its first crew assignment by two NASA astronauts.
Looking back on his success, Musk partially credits the opportunity he found when he emigrated to the United States in 1
“America is still the country’s opportunity more than any other place, for sure,” he told Vance in a Bloomberg interview published on Friday.
Musk was born in South Africa, but always wanted to move to the United States.
“It always seemed like when there was cool technology or things happening, it was like in the US. So my goal as a kid was to come to America basically,” Musk told Kevin Rose in 2012.
At age 17, he arrived in North America with just “$ 2,000, a backpack & a suitcase full of books,” Musk tweeted in June 2018.
“I paid my own way through college – through student loans, scholarships, working jobs – and ended up with $ 100,000 in student debt. I started my first business [Zip2] with $ 2,500, and I had a computer and a car I bought for $ 1,400, and all that debt, “he told Vance. (Although some critics have claimed that Musk had a privileged life paid for by his family, Musk has said that is not true.)
Despite the challenges, Musk succeeded.
In 1999, Musk sold Zip2 to Compaq for about $ 300 million. Musk used the money from this sale to founded X.com, an online financial services platform that merged with Confinity 2000 and later became PayPal. In 2002, eBay bought PayPal for $ 1.5 billion.
These successes led him to launch SpaceX and Tesla, together with Neuralink in 2016, and a year later, The Boring Company. Today, Musk is worth $ 36.8 billion, according to Forbes.
“There is definitely no other country where I could have done it – immigrants or not,” he told Vance.
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