Friday, October 23, 2015

Elon Musk: the real life Tony Stark.

The South African inventor and CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX is unstoppable. Musk with degrees in Physics and a proven a electromechanical engineer is doing big things. He got introduced to computer programming at the age of 10 and at the age of 12 he sold his first code of a video game he created called Blastar for $500. After dropping out of the prestigious PhD physics program at Stanford he decides to go into the developing and changing the world with innovative ideas. The first one was called Zip2, a web software company providing business directories and maps to media companies and local e-commerce merchants that was sold to Compaq $307 million dollars in cash where Elon received $22 million from the sale. He then founded Paypal which was acquired by Ebay or US$1.5 billion in stock, of which US$165 million was given to Musk. Last but not least he founded SpaceX and Tesla motors, two companies that revolutionized the industry in their respective markets despite the initial years of losses on their financial statements.
Here are some of the stuff he is currently leading:


SpaceX has an end goal: to take people to space as soon as possible. With the recent funding cuts, government work and governmental companies like NASA are contracting companies like Space X and boy this work is lucrative. In May of 2005 SpaceX got a contract with NASA of over a billion dollar for Responsive Small Spacelift (RSS) launch services by the United States Air Force. Regardless of the money Mr. Musk has a different end goal. In an interview he stated he wanted to reduce the cost of space travel by a factor of 10, with a project to colonize mars in the near future. Musk reveals that he wishes to establish a Mars colony by 2040, with a population of 80,000 and that we need to start looking at other planets outside of Earth as a method of survival:

"An asteroid or a super volcano could destroy us, and we face risks the dinosaurs never saw: an engineered virus, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, catastrophic global warming or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us. Humankind evolved over millions of years, but in the last sixty years atomic weaponry created the potential to extinguish ourselves. Sooner or later, we must expand life beyond this green and blue ball—or go extinct."

They are the new thing, and everyone is talking about it. It is evident that the market for Tesla is hot and they are trying to keep up with the demand. According to Tesla’s website they are producing 550 cars per week and they tend to sell every single car. In fact, when going to the website you encounter a page that lets you reserve a car with a wait time of up to 6 months. Not all has been success for Tesla motors, currently they are still fighting against automobile dealers in multiple states because of the direct-to-customer approach that Tesla uses. In my opinion, the fact that automobile companies are lobbying against Tesla also serves as a propaganda to make the brand a little more exclusive and desirable. Tesla may lose sales in 5 states but gains recognition worldwide. It also gains recognition in the sense that it keeps bringing new things to the table. A clear example, is the tesla Model X, the first SUV that tesla produces. With ample seating up to 7 adults and an estimated mileage of 250 miles per charge model X promises to change the market. The price for the Model X has not been officially released yet but researchers of the market estimate it at nearly 100K. Many argue that Tesla’s are the future but that they are overpriced and only the wealthiest can get a hold of them. But wait, Musk is already working on that issue.

The Tesla Model 3 usually starts at $35,000 before any government incentives and deliveries are expected to begin early 2017. According to the website as of March 2015, the Tesla Model X is basically sold out. New orders submitted in spring 2015 will be fulfilled in “early 2016.” So, considering the lower price point, the number of hand-raisers for the Model 3 could create a long backlog—a nice problem for Tesla to have.


SolarCity is currently the second largest provider of solar panels in the United States. Although Elon Musk is the only chairman (not so bad for being the CEO of multiple companies) he made a commitment to make this smooth process for whoever wants to try the project. According to Lyndon and Peter Rive the current CEO’s their goal is to make this process super easy and accessible. You first get a free solar consultation where you will get a quote and study to determine whether or not your location will surplus the initial cost in 20 years. If so, you can go ahead and sign your agreement for the next 20 years where the guarantee no hidden fees along the way. Next, a solar panel system designer along with a surveyor come to your household and gather more information of the geolocation of the property. After, they start the installation where they claim to finish in one day (quite impressive), and they also take care of your permits and inspections. It seems like a solid plan in place, as long you have the right resources upfront.


The need of a better way to mitigate traffic and transportation is evident here in California, especially in Los Angeles, and that’s where Elon Musk came with the idea of implementing a high speed transportation system driven by air compression and a specialized type of induction motor. In his plan he claims a hypothetical subsonic air travel machine that stretches approximately 350 miles (560 km) from Sylmar (a northern district of Los Angeles) to Hayward (east of San Francisco) and would theoretically allow commuters to travel between the cities in 35 minutes or less. This is huge impact in the way we see transportation since this is already faster than actual airplanes. This technology is barely being developed and is currently in the being discussed from a economic perspective. According to his proposal this will cost around 6 billion dollars. More concerns were raised (like getting sick at high velocities, unpleasant rides etc) when the proposal came up but his information and theory of the Hyperloop remains unproven. Currently no plan of development has been issued.

Elonk Musk with 44 years has done remarkable changes to society, and I am sure there will be more to come.

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