Elon Musk is one of the most ambitious entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. In recent years, the stock price of his companies Tesla Motors and SpaceX has skyrocketed, and Musk himself plans to completely change the transportation industry. Musk's fortune is estimated at $16.6 billion and it is obvious that he did not earn all this in one evening. Here are a few ways he made money before he became a billionaire.
At the age of 12, Elon Musk created and sold his own video game
The game was called Blastar — in it it was necessary to destroy alien spaceships. Musk has been fond of computers since childhood and learned to program at the age of nine. He wrote the game in BASIC. When its source code was published in the South African edition of PC and Office Technology, Musk received $500. It was the first product that Elon Musk sold. He himself says of his game that "it was pretty trivial... but still better than Flappy Bird."
Musk once worked as a cleaner at a sawmill
In 1988, Elon Musk left South Africa and began looking for a job in Canada. Some employment options turned out to be a bit unexpected. At first, he tended plants and harvested grain on his cousin's farm in Waldeck, then learned to saw logs in Vancouver. Then Musk went to the employment service and found out what the highest-paying job was for him. So he became a cleaner in the boiler room at the sawmill. For this work, Musk received $18 an hour — for 1989 it was a good salary. The future founder of Tesla had to do grueling work: he put on a protective suit and crawled into the tightest places of the building to clean out sawdust from there. At the same time, the temperature in the room was incredibly high.
Musk got into practice at Bank of Nova Scotia after he himself called a top manager and invited him to lunch
In Canada, Elon met with his brother Kimbal Musk. Two purposeful brothers started looking for serious entrepreneurs with whom they could meet and discuss business. Theyfrom the Masks, the entrepreneur was so impressed that he became his mentor and offered to take a summer internship in a bank. During the internship, Musk received $14 per hour.
Musk sold parts and entire computers right in the dorm room
While studying at Queens University, Elon engaged in a third-party and quite profitable business for that time. He was selling computers and parts for them right in his dorm room. And Musk also collected computers for classmates. "I fixed their computers if they didn't work well or were infected with a virus," Musk said. —I could solve almost any problem."
He paid for his studies in the room at the expense of a nightclub that he opened in his house.
In 1992, Elon Musk transferred to the University of Pennsylvania. Together with his friend, he rented a cheap hostel for 10 rooms. On weekends, this place turned into an illegal underground bar. The windows of the building were covered with black garbage bags. Musk never understood alcohol, so he didn't drink at parties and kept everything under control. According to Elon, "bar parties helped pay for college. In one evening I could earn as much money as would be enough to pay for a month of rent." One day, at one of the big parties, he invited his mother Mae Musk to work in a bar.
In 1995, Musk dropped out of Stanford to open an Internet startup
Two days after Elon Musk entered Stanford University, he realized that the Internet is the future. He dropped out of school and founded together with his brother the company Zip2, which specialized in maps and navigation for online publications. To open a business, the brothers withdrew $28,000 from their father's bank account.
Four years later, Musk sold the company and became a millionaire
In 1999, Zip2 was acquired by the start-up computer company Compaq. Over time, it became a leading supplier of computer systems, and then in 2002 it was bought by HP. The amount of the transaction for the sale of Zip2 was $307 million. Musk received $22 million from
After the merger of the company Mask X.com with PayPal, Elon's fortune exceeded $165 million
Shortly after the sale of Zip2, Musk invested $12 million of his own funds in the creation of the company X.com which, in his opinion, was supposed to determine the future of online payments. In the early 2000s X.com merged with a rival company Confinity, which later changed its name to PayPal. Due to long-term disagreements in the board of directors, Elon Musk was removed from the position of CEO, despite the fact that he owned most of the company's shares.
In July 2002, PayPal was sold to eBay, although Musk did not advise doing this. The value of the deal was $1.5 billion, Musk received $180 million.