Elon Musk: The Ambitious Entrepreneur

The Ambitious Entrepreneur

By Abby Hindle,  Halal Incorp

Currently the wealthiest person alive according to Forbes real-time billionaires list and the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Musk is an entrepreneur and business magnate. Primarily known for being the CEO of Tesla and founder of SpaceX, he is also the founder of The Boring Company and co-founder of OpenAI and Neuralink, he is being described as the ambitious entrepreneur

Who is ELON MUSK? | Biography Timeline

Early Life

Born to Canadian model Maye Musk and South African engineer Errol Musk in 1971, Musk was raised in South Africa. Primarily as a result of Musk’s father’s ownership of half of a Zambian emerald mine near Lake Tanganyika Musk, along with his siblings, Kimbal and Tosca grew up in a household of immense wealth. Musk’s parents separated when he was nine after which Musk mostly stayed with his father, who he would become estranged from later in life.

He developed an interest in computing at a young age and continued these interests to university, attending the University of Pennsylvania and earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics. He then applied and was accepted to do a PhD in material sciences at Stanford University but dropped out after two days to begin a web start-up, inspired by the internet boom going on at the time. 

Early Ventures

Together with his brother, Kimbal Musk, and friend Greg Kouri, Musk founded Zip2 in 1995. Funded by angel investors, it was a web software company providing and licensing online city guide software to newspapers. The company was bought by Compaq for $307 million, of which Musk received $22 million for his share. In 1999 Musk founded X.com, a service for online payments and finances. Musk was replaced by the shareholders by Intuit CEO Bill Harris, after which X.com merged with Confinity which had its own online money transfer service – PayPal.

Musk returned as CEO after the merger but conflicts, technological issues and problems with the business model led to him being replaced by Peter Thiel, co-founder of Confinity. The entire company was renamed PayPal and later sold to eBay, resulting in Musk as a shareholder receiving $175.8 million. 

The Ambitious Entrepreneur


Full name Space Exploration Technologies Corp, SpaceX is an aerospace manufacturer founded by Musk in 2002. The eventual stated goal Musk has declared for the company is the colonisation of Mars, although this has been criticised as unfeasible given our current level of technology. SpaceX manufactures Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, crew spacecraft, communications satellites, and rocket engines among other things.

In January 2019 SpaceX laid off 10% of its workforce to fund the company’s most recent projects, the Starship and Starlink projects. Starship is to be a reusable heavy-lift launch vehicle. At the same time, Starlink is a satellite constellation providing satellite internet to multiple countries with the goal of providing it to the whole world.

SpaceX has faced multiple criticisms. One notable one was levied by five former employees regarding a culture of misogynistic harassment in the workplace.  SpaceX’s unregulated satellite launches have also drawn criticism from astronomers, with concerns that a proliferation of satellites could cause permanent changes to the night sky. Manufacturers have tried to alter designs to address these criticisms. 


Originally named Tesla Motors, the company was founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in 2003. Musk joined the board of developers after becoming a majority shareholder. A series of conflicts lead to Eberhard leaving the firm and Musk taking over as CEO and product architect, despite his previous lack of involvement with the everyday running of the business. Musk and Eberhard reached a legal settlement that named Musk a co-founder of Tesla, along with Tarpenning. 

Tesla is currently the world best selling maker of electric cars. They have been building electric cars since 2008, building and selling 2500 vehicles in that year alone. It was also the first electric car company to use lithium-ion battery cells. Tesla’s stock is high; it was the most valued carmaker in 2020. In October 2021 it became the sixth company in US history to reach a market capitalisation of $1 trillion.

Musk also provided the starting capital for SolarCity, which his cousins founded. Tesla purchased the company for over $2 billion in 2016, merging it with its extant battery energy storage products division to create Tesla Energy. Tesla shareholders were not informed of the purchase, or of SolarCity’s ongoing liquidity issues, resulting in multiple lawsuits being filed that declared the purchase was done solely to benefit Musk. 

The Entire History of Tesla in Two Minuteshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-apCR8R2_8A

The Ambitious Entrepreneur


Neuralink was founded by Musk in 2016, aiming to integrate AI devices into the human brain. Several of the other founders are experts in the areas of neuroscience, biochemistry and robotics, although by 2022 all but two of the original founders had left citing internal conflicts and rushed timelines. The goal of the products the company makes is a human enhancement, or transhumanism, aiming to cure issues like paralysis. For a while the company was secretive about its projects, revealing its first prototype to the public only in 2019.

It was a prototype of a system including probes intended to be inserted into the brain, a robot to perform the operations necessary and an electronic system to process information from neurons. The initial testing was done on animals, a move widely criticised due to the extreme distress demonstrated by monkeys that had undergone the procedures. Human testing was intended to start in 2020 but has been delayed. The Ambition Entrepreneur. 

The Boring Company

Also founded in 2016, The Boring Company is a tunnel and infrastructure construction service. It aims to create intracity ‘loop’ transport systems as a solution to traffic problems, particularly those in LA. It is an ongoing project, with a tunnel system beneath the LA convention centre being completed and LA city officials have approved further expansions to the system. 

The Ambitious Entrepreneur: Eccentric and controversial, Musk is the wealthiest private citizen currently alive, possibly the wealthiest man in history. His willingness to embrace publicity and his courting of controversy marks him out from the majority of the super-rich, making him a figure that inspires a wide range of opinions.

Whether he is looked on as a benevolent genius destined to bring humanity to mars or a man with too much money, too many ideas and not enough knowledge to back them up, Musk is a divisive figure who, with his recent activities such as his bid to buy Twitter, shows no interest in ceasing to be so any time soon. 

Disclaimer: The view of the author does not necessarily represent the views of Halal Incorp

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