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All the things that Elon Musk did after making his first billion just 8 years ago⁠

All the things that Elon Musk did after making his first billion just 8 years ago⁠
Business Insider
  • In 2004, Musk invested heavily in Tesla, an electric car company, which eventually made him a billionaire in 2012 at age 40 with a net worth of $2 billion.
  • In February 2017, Tesla’s stock surged above $300, giving the company a market capitalization of nearly $51 million.
  • Elon Musk’s net worth was $24.6 billion in April 2020.
Elon musk one of the world’s most iconic and controversial billionaires turned 49, on June 28 . Musk’s net worth was $24.6 billion in April 2020, which means his wealth has multiplied about 25 times in a span of 8 years.


1983-2012 ⁠— the road to the first billion

1983-2012 ⁠— the road to the first billion

Born in 1971 in South Africa during the apartheid, Musk made his first fortune, about $500 by selling a computer game he had coded to the magazine PC and Office Technology. Technology and business became Musk’s life. He set up an internet company in 1999 that eventually merged with PayPal, which went public in 2001 and Musk’s stake was worth millions.

In 2004, Musk invested heavily in Tesla, an electric car company, which eventually made him a billionaire in 2012 at age 40 with a net worth of $2 billion. Tesla’s idea was widely accepted by the people as the future of mobility as people became more aware of the impact of emissions on the climate and environment.

Here’s a look at his life decisions, as a person and as a businessman, after he made his first billion in the year 2012.

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2012- 2015 Musk acquired the largest provider of solar power systems SolarCity

2012- 2015 Musk acquired the largest provider of solar power systems SolarCity

Musk built on the same renewable energy theme in the next few years. In 2013, Musk acquired SolarCity, the second largest provider of solar power systems in the United States and in 2014, he committed to building a SolarCity advanced production facility in Buffalo, New York, which would be triple the size of the largest solar plant in the United States, under the Buffalo Billion project.

By 2015, Musk’s net worth reached $10.7 billion.

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2016-2017

2016-2017

SpaceX was founded in 2002, but it really captured popular imagination in 2017. SpaceX became the first company to successfully relaunch and land at the first stage of an orbital rocket in late 2017. After which SpaceX in July 2017 raised over US$350 million at a valuation of US$21 billion, making it one of the most valuable privately held companies in the world, then.

Musk’s personal fortune was worth $20.8 billion by 2017-end.

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2018-2019: Tesla beats Ford and GM

2018-2019: Tesla beats Ford and GM

In February 2017, Tesla’s stock surged above $300, giving the company a market capitalization of nearly $51 million— the most valuable carmaker in the US, surpassing Ford and General Motors. He also revealed in a TED Talk that he has officially launched the Boring Company, that will dig underground tunnels for transportation.

However, in 2018 Musk ran into some trouble after his tweet claiming he had secured funding for Tesla and was considering taking Tesla private at $420 per share. Musk settled with the SEC, which resulted in both him and Tesla paying a $20 million fine and Musk agreeing to step down as chairman of Tesla’s board.

Musk also admitted that his vision of robots cranking out thousands of Model 3 cars a week in Fremont might have been too ambitious. “Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake,” he said. “To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”

In 2019, Tesla later after 11 years in the market was ranked as the world’s best-selling plug-in as well as best-selling battery electric passenger car manufacturer by cars sold.

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2020 - the year of COVID-19

2020 - the year of COVID-19

The year 2020 far has been a roller coaster for Musk from Tesla closing its California plant amid the coronavirus crisis to Musk making history by launching people into Earth’s orbit, a first for any commercial spacecraft.

Earlier last month, Musk also hit out against the coronavirus-induced lockdowns that have kept businesses shut throughout the US for more than a month. In a series of tweets, he said “Give people their freedom back!” and “FREE AMERICA NOW.”

Despite the lockdown, Tesla was one of the few automakers whose share surpassed an all-time high of $1,000 mark earlier this month. Musk said it was time to begin ‘volume production’ of its new commercial Semi truck. According to Tesla’s website, Semi is powered by four independent motors and requires the “lowest energy cost per mile”.

All of these made Musk immensely wealthier and they may continue to add to his personal fortune. But that’s not the only aspiration that one can draw from the story of Musk. The man has always aspiring for goals way beyond what seems possible and has succeeded enough number of times to be an icon in his own right across the world.

There are also many lessons to be learnt from the many controversies that surround him right from the Tesla days to now. Just last month, one tweet from Musk wiped out $13 billion off Tesla’s share value.

The many meltdowns, the run-ins with the regulators, are just some instances in the story of a man who once said that he wouldn’t be happy until we’ve escaped Earth and colonized Mars.

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