What was Elon Musk doing in his teens and twenties?

Updated on : December 8, 2021 by Zion Romero



What was Elon Musk doing in his teens and twenties?

At 12, Musk built a game called Blaster and got $ 500 from it.

I bought a ten room at 7pm to open a nightclub

Dropped out of a PhD program at 26 to start zip2

Sold zip2 for later creation http://x.com

He was expelled from the company after which he founded Tesla.

At age 12, he founded his first company and sold the computer games he wrote.

At 24, he founded the first company with his brother, Kimbal, for a city guide tool, Zip2. The company sold for 300 million at age 29.

That is all.

Musk and his brother.

This really requires defining what "rocket science" is. The hardest part of rocket science is putting together so many parts that are designed to the limit of their capacity (to keep weight low and payload maxed out) and still get everything going for 9 minutes to get to space. . I have designed, developed or launched on 7 different rockets (Titan IIIC (three upper stages), Space Shuttle, Atlas, Delta, Titan II, Conestoga, DC-X, Pegasus and Molniya (Russian)). The hardest part is restricting the payload fraction. For example, on takeoff, a space shuttle weighed

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This really requires defining what "rocket science" is. The hardest part of rocket science is putting together so many parts that are designed to the limit of their capacity (to keep weight low and payload maxed out) and still get everything going for 9 minutes to get to space. . I have designed, developed or launched on 7 different rockets (Titan IIIC (three upper stages), Space Shuttle, Atlas, Delta, Titan II, Conestoga, DC-X, Pegasus and Molniya (Russian)). The hardest part is restricting the payload fraction. For example, on takeoff, a space shuttle weighed 4,400,000 pounds, on landing it was typically just under 300,000 pounds, 6.8% of takeoff weight. That means we burn or dump 93%, 4,100,000 pounds of fuel and structures. To carry that much weight into orbit requires rigorous design. Experts in thousands of areas, from wire cable insulation that can survive the vacuum and radiation of space to thermal aerodynamic designers who understand how fluid flows change as oxidant (liquid oxygen) goes from -298 degrees to 1,800 degrees. degrees as it burns in the combustion chamber of rocket engines. The commercial space is complex. That weight of cable insulation, collectively, drives the size of the required motors, since if it is lighter, the weight compensation can contribute to the reduction in the required motor size and a large drop in cost or increased power. capacity. Cost, schedule and performance are the parameters that are traded with more than 200,

Elon Musk has worked on many complex software projects and automotive projects. None of your software projects is as big or complex as your rockets. Your automotive projects are just as complex. Cars take skillful work to define the cost, schedule, and technical performance of a car with more than 100,000 people involved in the effort. Although weight is not as important to the driver as in rockets, cost, manufacturability, safety and fuel consumption are the standards that drive this further.

Elon's experience with Tesla engines greatly helped prepare him for his position at Space X. Every decision you make, especially at the beginning of a design, has incredible implications later on. Suddenly you are forced to take on the role of deciding: should we make the car dashboard less expensive, lighter and 'cheap' looking or accept the shorter range with our limited battery storage capacity to maintain the luxurious feeling?

Q: When did you receive training in: design, materials, user experience driving a luxury brand, chemical battery design, manufacturability, manufacturing cost, and mechanical design?

A: Throughout the time, the design has been progressing. As the lead designer, you are expected to make these compensation decisions every day.

Typically, the lead designer receives input throughout the design process from each of the experts; he or she is truly the ONLY one who has time to listen to all sides of the commercial space. You become an expert in all these things. What Elon can talk about when it comes to combustion chamber design, his best avionics designer is clueless and his rocket engine designer is clueless about the details of the avionics. Elon's job is to listen. Lead designers rarely speak when at work, they mostly listen to everyone on the project. Their goal is to find the best ideas from the best people and when they have to make a business design decision,

I am not a politician, but I enjoy laughing at political situations from a distance; If you are a politician, the following paragraph may trigger it and you may consider this fair warning.

I think the best leading rocket designers would come from automotive design and the construction of extremely large buildings. Those two worlds use the same kind of dollars, schedule, budget, and technical complexity to build complex machines (buildings are machines with electrical, plumbing, and computer grids that require more than 100,000 people, from bathroom faucet designers to utility workers). iron). I think this is the reason why President Trump (like it or hate it), has stepped into Space and the Space Force. You really understand complexity, you have lived through it for too many years leading the construction of complex buildings and resorts. Too many people believe Buffoon's cartoons ”about him. He's not stupid at all and his adversaries have taken a long time to figure this out (that's the fun part, he's like Wiley Coyote - how many times does it take for the prank bomb to explode in his face for him to learn?). That's why everyone is so shocked to see him elected, to see him completely exonerated from the Russia investigation and now putting those who advocated the investigation in a very hot seat. If you pay attention to the details, it's actually a lot of fun to watch. They have also brought him to the presidency with great ease. His ability to learn many things quickly, and to listen extremely well, has enabled him to rapidly develop an in-depth understanding of a wide variety of subjects. With that, he has been able to do some pretty incredible things. This guy seems to be able to withstand hurricanes, (Do you really hear anything about hurricanes? Even Puerto Rico is just a political complaint. I lived there for 4 months helping clean up, the incredible inaccuracies of how "slow" things were to get back to normal made even the locals laugh their politicians.), crushing ISIS, nearly eliminating unemployment in the US, starting and nearly ending the manufacturing shift in the US, with the majority of judges selected in any 4-year presidential election (and he has only been for 2.25 years), reducing the number of welfare recipients. to near record lows, all with one arm tied behind their back due to the Russia investigation. He said that he was going to do most of these things during his election and that all the press and his opponents could do was laugh at him and poke fun at him. Literally now they won't even talk about these issues. (When was the last time you saw any of these topics on MSNBC or CNN?) What's even funnier is the fact that now everyone in the opposing party seems to think that the job is SO trivial that they are throwing themselves away. hat to the ring. Because if Trump can do it, anyone can do it. Many think this of Elon Musk, they are also very wrong. In my career, I also had people tell me how "lucky" I was to have so many successful rockets, satellites, and experimental aircraft in my experience. (His polite way of saying, You sure aren't making all of these things work out positively because you're smart.) You have to be an extremely curious, extremely bright, and extremely hard-working person to be good at this.

If you have a modicum of humor regarding the Wiley-E-Coyote jokes, you'd be on the ground like me laughing at this situation. What an impact for all these adversaries. I guess I get it because I understand how difficult this is.

Without saying that Trump is perfect, that guy came and did that 2,000 years ago. But being president is a complex job that requires many, many skills, and I think it really takes a rocket scientist to make it look as easy as Trump has.

Look, I like Pakistanis. I even lived in Pakistan for a short time. So take this for what it's worth, from a white lady who went to Pakistan alone. I've said it in other answers, and I'm going to say it again: you don't just marry a Pakistani. Except perhaps for the very wealthy and very westernized, people still live in the extended family arrangement. You are 16 years old, maybe you think now that your parents are involved in your business? You will live with your in-laws because most of the ...

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Once PayPal executives went to Las Vegas to celebrate the company's success, Elon Musk was reading an obscure Soviet rocket manual that was moldy and looked like it had been bought on Ebay (not the picture above, it's just a random image from google for dramatic effect). He often talked about space travel and changing the world. Elon Musk wanted to inspire the masses and reinvigorate his passion for science, conquest, and the promise of technology. His fears that humanity had lost much of its willingness to push boundaries were reinforced one day when Musk went to the NASA website and found

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Once PayPal executives went to Las Vegas to celebrate the company's success, Elon Musk was reading an obscure Soviet rocket manual that was all moldy and looked like it had been bought on Ebay (not the picture above, it's just a random image from google for dramatic effect). He often talked about space travel and changing the world. Elon Musk wanted to inspire the masses and reinvigorate his passion for science, conquest, and the promise of technology. His fears that humanity had lost much of its willingness to push the boundaries were reinforced one day when Musk visited NASA's website and discovered that he had no serious interest in investigating Mars. Elon Musk built a decent network in the space industry and brought the best together at conferences. Previous discussions involved sending mice or plants into space. Later, Musk went to Russia to buy 3 ICBMs that could be reconditioned to go into space. But the Russians didn't take him seriously (one of them spat at Elon Musk, thinking he was disrespecting them). The Russians were the only ones who could provide Musk with rockets from their budget. Later, Musk thought that they could build the rocket themselves. He chose Los Angeles on purpose because it gave him access to the space industry. Southern California's mild and consistent climate had made it a favorite city in the airline industry since the 1920s. By his calculations, It could undermine existing launch companies by building a modest-sized rocket that would supply a part of the market that specialized in carrying smaller satellites and research payloads into space. Musk had spent months studying the aerospace industry and the physics behind it.

There were stories of enthusiastic millionaires who thought they could conquer space, only to lose their fortunes. Many tried to dissuade Elon. SpaceX's mission was to emerge as the "Southwest Airlines of Space." SpaceX would build its own engines and then hire suppliers for other rocket components. The company would gain an advantage over the competition by building a better, cheaper engine and adjusting the assembly process to make rockets faster and cheaper than anyone else. The startup did not have a budget that could withstand a series of blasts, unlike the US or Russian government. In the best case, SpaceX would have 3-4 chances to make the Falcon 1 work. When eBay made its acquisition of PayPal for $ 1.5 billion, The deal gave Musk some liquidity and provided him with more than $ 100 million to dump on SpaceX. With such a massive initial investment, no one could wrest control of SpaceX from Musk like Zip2 and PayPal had. In addition, the agreement gave him celebrity status, which he could use to hold meetings with top government officials and influencers. SpaceX engineers tended to be young men of great achievement. Musk would personally contact the aerospace departments of the best universities and ask them about the students with the best grades. no one could wrest control of SpaceX from Musk like Zip2 and PayPal had. In addition, the agreement gave him celebrity status, which he could use to hold meetings with top government officials and influencers. SpaceX engineers tended to be young men of great achievement. Musk would personally contact the aerospace departments of the best universities and ask them about the students with the best grades. no one could wrest control of SpaceX from Musk like Zip2 and PayPal had. In addition, the agreement gave him celebrity status, which he could use to hold meetings with top government officials and influencers. SpaceX engineers tended to be young men of great achievement. Musk would personally contact the aerospace departments of the best universities and ask them about the students with the best grades.

On December 23, 2008, people within NASA had endorsed SpaceX to become a supplier to the International Space Station. The company received $ 1.6 billion in payment for 12 flights to the space station. While the Falcon 1 taking off from Kwajalein was the work of a startup, the Falcon 9 taking off from Vandenberg is the work of an aerospace superpower. SpaceX can cut the price of its US carriers - Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital Sciences - by a ridiculous margin. When these companies depend on Russian and foreign suppliers, SpaceX makes all of its machines from scratch cheaply in the United States. Rocket reuse will drive much of this reduction and SpaceX's competitive advantage. To date, it has flown satellites for Canadian customers, Europeans and Asians and has completed around two dozen launches. Its public launch manifesto spans several years, and SpaceX had more than 50 flights planned, which together are worth more than $ 5 billion. Musk doesn't just want to reduce the cost of satellite deployment and space station resupply. He wants to reduce the cost of launches to the point where it is economical and practical to fly thousands upon thousands of supply trips to Mars to start a colony. Musk doesn't just want to reduce the cost of satellite deployment and space station resupply. He wants to reduce the cost of launches to the point where it is economical and practical to fly thousands upon thousands of supply trips to Mars to start a colony. Musk doesn't just want to reduce the cost of satellite deployment and space station resupply. He wants to reduce the cost of launches to the point where it is economical and practical to fly thousands upon thousands of supply trips to Mars to start a colony.

References

Elon Musk Biography by Ashlee Vance

I was at the University.

When Elon Musk was 21, it was 1992 and he was attending the University of Pennsylvania. 1

During his time at UPenn, one of the most prestigious universities in the United States, Musk would pursue two degrees:

  1. Bachelor's degree in economics
  2. Degree in Physics

However, you probably already knew.

What you may not know is one of Musk's first commercial ventures, which he entered with his roommate, a speakeasy.

Essentially, every night, Musk's roommate Andeo Ressi would turn the house into a nightclub. 2

They would serve alcohol, throw parties, and have "good times." Nightclub income

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Footnotes

1 Elon Musk's Race to Greatness Timeline Infographic | Daily infographic 2 Elon Musk ran a nightclub at his college house to pay the rent

I was at the University.

When Elon Musk was 21, it was 1992 and he was attending the University of Pennsylvania. 1

During his time at UPenn, one of the most prestigious universities in the United States, Musk would pursue two degrees:

  1. Bachelor's degree in economics
  2. Degree in Physics

However, you probably already knew.

What you may not know is one of Musk's first commercial ventures, which he entered with his roommate, a speakeasy.

Essentially, every night, Musk's roommate Andeo Ressi would turn the house into a nightclub. 2

They would serve alcohol, throw parties, and have "good times." Revenue from the nightclub would go toward renting roommates, and Musk claimed the club's operations were strictly commercial.

Interestingly, Ressi would say that Musk used to spend his nights outside the club playing "some video game."

After graduating from college two years later, in 1994, Musk interned at two companies.

The first specialized in ultracapacitors, which would awaken his interest in energy storage that he would later apply at Tesla, and the second was a video game company.

After his internships, he enrolled in Stanford's doctoral program, before dropping out after two days.

The rest is history.

Footnotes

1 Elon Musk's Race to Greatness Timeline Infographic | Daily infographic 2 Elon Musk ran a nightclub at his college house to pay the rent

ELON FREAKING MUSK.

The demigod of Quora. This is him making the Gigafactory 1 building tour look like a Hollywood scene.

What's even cooler is that the Gigafactory is designed to be 6 million square feet, making it the largest building in the world by size.

When the factory is complete, it is designed to produce as much power as the world's current battery production combined.

The development of this factory has allowed Tesla to reach its goal of 500,000 vehicles per year.

That's just Tesla.

He also successfully built the first reusable rocket in history.

Not only

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ELON FREAKING MUSK.

The demigod of Quora. This is him making the Gigafactory 1 building tour look like a Hollywood scene.

What's even cooler is that the Gigafactory is designed to be 6 million square feet, making it the largest building in the world by size.

When the factory is complete, it is designed to produce as much power as the world's current battery production combined.

The development of this factory has allowed Tesla to reach its goal of 500,000 vehicles per year.

That's just Tesla.

He also successfully built the first reusable rocket in history.

Not just to list the other plethora of unprecedented breakthroughs it has made. No one could have predicted the rise of Elon Musk or the success of any of his ventures.

By all calculations, it was supposed to fail, but it didn't. It persisted, survived, and indeed thrived despite some of the most difficult trials known to man.

With tenacity like that, you don't calculate how powerful you will be in 20 years. Calculate how you can revolutionize each day. What you see as power, he sees as a by-product of hard work.

That said, no one can accurately predict what will happen in the next 20 years for Elon Musk, but we do know one thing: he's having a ton of fun doing it.

Work in Artificial Intelligence.

He expressed concern about that here,

"I think AI is probably the most important short-term element that is likely to affect humanity. So it's very important that we have the advent of AI in a good way, which is something that if you could look into a ball glass and see the future, he would like that result. Because it's something that could go wrong ... So we really need to make sure it goes right. " 1

You can see the exact clip here:

Is right? Hell yes it is.

This is why.

Here is a picture of all the companies

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Footnotes

1 What would Elon Musk work on if he were 22 years old?

Work in Artificial Intelligence.

He expressed concern about that here,

"I think AI is probably the most important short-term element that is likely to affect humanity. So it's very important that we have the advent of AI in a good way, which is something that if you could look into a ball glass and see the future, he would like that result. Because it's something that could go wrong ... So we really need to make sure it goes right. " 1

You can see the exact clip here:

Is right? Hell yes it is.

This is why.

Below is a picture of all the largest companies by revenue: 2

Is it a single company on that list that is not reliant on technology to deliver its service?

No.

Imagine, if all the largest companies in the world could effectively automate 50% of their workforce.

The results would be amazing.

And so is the future with automation. In a widely cited study, they noted that

"47 percent of total US employment is in the high-risk automation category" 3

That's just in the US.

Imagine other parts of the world that have not yet fully embraced the technology, such as India.

Devastation.

That would be the word to describe what would happen to your economies almost as fast as snapping your fingers.

What is that to say?

That's not to say that automation is bad - as we've seen before, technology actually increases jobs. 4 But it does say this: artificial intelligence is the future.

Elon Musk summed it up best.

What are you waiting for? Go to the AI ​​books now.

Here's a good starting resource from a fellow Quoran:
Paul Brook's answer to Elon Musk said that if he were 22, he would study AI and genetic diseases. Is there a good way to start studying artificial intelligence?


If you liked this answer, feel free to follow me here!

Footnotes

1 What would Elon Musk work on if he were 22 years old? 2 List of Largest Companies by Revenue - Wikipedia 3 https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf 4 Technology has created more jobs than It has destroyed, says 140 years of data.

More than the fact that you are a voracious reader or a brilliant person, the only important thing you have is foresight!
Even with his first video game adventure (he made a code and sold it for a blastar video game) he knew what a good way to apply the knowledge would be. He and his brother were even going to set up a video arcade, but they didn't get permission. Because they were minors.
Not only did he read, he had a very application-oriented approach to knowledge. In fact, the reason you dropped out of your Ph.D. at Stanford is because you wanted to DO something new, cool, and groundbreaking.

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More than the fact that you are a voracious reader or a brilliant person, the only important thing you have is foresight!
Even with his first video game adventure (he made a code and sold it for a blastar video game) he knew what a good way to apply the knowledge would be. He and his brother were even going to set up a video arcade, but they didn't get permission. Because they were minors.
Not only did he read, he had a very application-oriented approach to knowledge. In fact, the reason you dropped out of your Ph.D. at Stanford is because you wanted to DO new, interesting, and innovative things, rather than just study them.
So the one thing I think that really sets Musk apart from most people is the fact that he wanted to do cool and cool things. And he knew that the best use of knowledge is its application to our real world.
Since I was a child, I knew it. He has foresight.

Elon would read the newspaper with Kimbal and the two of them would identify interesting people they would like to meet. They then took turns cold calling these people to ask if they were available for lunch. Among those harassed were the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team marketing chief, a business writer for the Globe and Mail and a senior Bank of Nova Scotia executive Peter Nicholson. Nicholson remembered the boys' call well. "I wasn't in the habit of getting unexpected requests," he said. "I was perfectly prepared to have lunch with a couple of kids who had that

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Elon would read the newspaper with Kimbal and the two of them would identify interesting people they would like to meet. They then took turns cold calling these people to ask if they were available for lunch. Among those harassed were the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team marketing chief, a business writer for the Globe and Mail and a senior Bank of Nova Scotia executive Peter Nicholson. Nicholson remembered the boys' call well. "I wasn't in the habit of getting unexpected requests," he said. "I was perfectly prepared to have lunch with a couple of kids who had that kind of guts." It took six months to get on the Nicholson calendar, but sure enough, the Musk brothers made a three-hour train ride and arrived on time.

"Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future" by Ashlee Vance.

Start Reading For Free: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Ashlee Vance, eBook

Image Source: How Elon Musk Began - His Life Visualized

This timeline takes a look at her life.
As wikipedia says:

At the age of 19, Musk was accepted to Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, for undergraduate studies. In 1992, after spending two years at Queen's University, Musk transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where, at the age of 24, he received a Bachelor of Physics from its College of Arts and Sciences, and a Bachelor of Science. in economics from the Wharton School of Business.
source: Elon Musk

There are no public reports of Elon's failure during this time in his life. During these years of his life Elon:

  1. He left his home country, South Africa, and moved to Canada.
  2. Worked numerous low-wage jobs
  3. Enrolled at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario
  4. Transferred to the University of Pennsylvania

In reality, Elon didn't complete his bachelor's degree until he was 24 years old.

There are a few more details about this early part of his life in Ashlee Vance's biography of Elon, like how he and his brother cold-called some CEOs and invited them to lunch, and how he met his first wife. However, even the biogra

Keep reading

There are no public reports of Elon's failure during this time in his life. During these years of his life Elon:

  1. He left his home country, South Africa, and moved to Canada.
  2. Worked numerous low-wage jobs
  3. Enrolled at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario
  4. Transferred to the University of Pennsylvania

In reality, Elon didn't complete his bachelor's degree until he was 24 years old.

There are a few more details about this early part of his life in Ashlee Vance's biography of Elon, like how he and his brother cold-called some CEOs and invited them to lunch, and how he met his first wife. However, even the bio doesn't go into much detail about this period, so it seems likely that he was a relatively average college student, albeit a bit of a nerd.

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