10 Things You Didn’t Know About Elon Musk

Elon Musk, the visionary entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is a well-known figure in the tech and business world. His accomplishments in the fields of electric vehicles and space exploration have made him a household name. However, there are several lesser-known facts about Elon Musk that might surprise you. In this article, we will delve into ten intriguing things you probably didn’t know about Elon Musk.

1. He Taught Himself Programming

Long before Elon Musk became the billionaire CEO we know today, he was an avid reader with a strong interest in computers. At the age of 10, Musk taught himself programming and developed his very first computer game. It was a simple space-themed shooter game called Blastar, which he later sold for $500.

His early passion for programming laid the foundation for his future successes and shaped his entrepreneurial spirit. Musk’s self-taught programming skills have been instrumental in the development of companies like PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX.

2. He Holds Multiple Citizenship

While Elon Musk is widely known as an American entrepreneur, you might be surprised to learn that he is not just an American citizen. Musk, born in Pretoria, South Africa, holds citizenship in three countries. He became a Canadian citizen in 1989 and obtained American citizenship in 2002.

Time and again, Musk has expressed his belief in the importance of multiple citizenship. It allows him to have a broader perspective and facilitates his business ventures across different countries.

3. Musk Nearly Sold Tesla to Google

In 2013, Tesla faced financial difficulties. Elon Musk was faced with the daunting task of keeping the electric car company afloat. At the time, Google expressed interest in acquiring Tesla. However, instead of succumbing to the pressure, Musk risked his personal fortune and doubled down on Tesla.

Musk decided against selling the company, and his bet paid off. Tesla went on to become a leading player in the electric vehicle market and transformed the automotive industry. This daring move showcases Elon Musk’s unwavering belief in his vision and his willingness to take risks when necessary.

4. He Has a Knack for Theatrics

Elon Musk is not just a successful entrepreneur; he knows how to put on a show. When introducing new products or unveiling groundbreaking technological advancements, Musk often incorporates theatrics and captivating presentations.

One notable example is when he unveiled Tesla’s electric semi-truck. Musk showcased the truck’s impressive acceleration and unveiled it from the trailer while surrounded by smoke, creating a memorable spectacle. These theatrical presentations help generate buzz and excitement around his ventures.

5. Musk Inspired the Tony Stark Character (Iron Man)

The charismatic and innovative character of Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man, was partially based on Elon Musk. Robert Downey Jr., who portrayed Tony Stark in the Marvel movies, spent time with Musk to study his mannerisms and entrepreneurial spirit for the role.

Musk’s larger-than-life personality and his efforts to push the boundaries of technology align closely with the character of Tony Stark, further propelling the mythos surrounding Elon Musk.

6. Musk Co-Authored a Science Fiction Novel

In 2015, Elon Musk teamed up with science fiction writer Ashlee Vance to write a biography about Musk’s life and career. This biography, titled “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,” provides a deep dive into Musk’s visions and accomplishments.

The book delves into Musk’s childhood, his drive to solve global problems, and his plans for the future. It offers readers a unique perspective on the extraordinary life of this tech titan.

7. Musk is a Night Owl

Elon Musk is known for his tireless work ethic, often working long hours to achieve his goals. However, he is not an early riser like many successful CEOs. Musk prefers to work late into the night and maintain a nocturnal schedule.

In a tweet, Musk once revealed that his “default” bedtime is around 1 am. This preference for working late may explain his ability to juggle multiple ventures simultaneously and his relentless pursuit of innovation.

8. He Donated $15 Million to a Contest to Save the Environment

One cause close to Elon Musk’s heart is the preservation of the environment. In 2007, Musk pledged to donate $15 million to the X Prize Foundation’s Global Learning competition. The competition aimed to find innovative ways to address environmental challenges and improve education.

Musk’s generous donation contributed to the creation of the Global Learning XPRIZE, inspiring teams worldwide to develop open-source software to bring quality education to underprivileged children.

9. Musk Was Bullied as a Child

In his early years, Elon Musk faced bullying and endured a difficult childhood. His classmates often targeted him and subjected him to physical abuse. Despite the challenges, Musk’s determination never wavered.

This difficult upbringing is believed to have shaped Musk’s resilience and ambition, driving him to achieve greatness and contribute to groundbreaking innovations.

10. He Wants to Colonize Mars

Among Elon Musk’s most ambitious visions is his determination to establish a colony on Mars. He envisions a future where humans can become a multi-planetary species, ensuring the continuation of humanity even if Earth becomes uninhabitable.

Musk founded SpaceX with the goal of making human space travel more affordable and eventually colonizing Mars. His unwavering commitment to this audacious vision has propelled SpaceX to achieve remarkable milestones in space exploration, paving the way for a potential Mars colonization mission.

Elon Musk’s life is as fascinating as the companies he leads. From his self-taught programming skills to his daring business decisions, Musk has left an indelible mark on the tech and automotive industries. His extraordinary journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and dreamers worldwide.

X Prize Foundation