Elon Musk is like a real-life Tony Stark from Marvel: a brilliant engineer, renowned inventor, and billionaire-philanthropist! Everyone knows who he is, but what do we really know about him? Is he an alien or an Illuminati? Probably not, but there are quite a few quirky lesser-known facts about his youth and some of his projects that you may find interesting, so let’s roll!
Here are 9 things about Elon Musk you didn’t know about.
1. Living on one dollar a day
When Musk immigrated to Canada, leaving his divorced parents in South Africa, he was taken in by a lovely family. Sadly they weren’t rich, so he had to live on 1 dollar a day for some time. If it weren’t for oranges and hot dogs sold cheaply in bulk, who knows how his life would’ve gone from there.
2. Musk’s most dangerous job
There came a time when Musk realized he needed money so of course, he got a job. Actually, several odd jobs, but it wasn’t enough. One day some dude told him about this boiler place that pays $18/hour but naturally, there was a catch – the job sucked! Musk later said in an interview that he had to put on a hazmat suit, go inside a small tunnel, shovel away the flaming hot gunk from the boiler, bring it back through the same hole he came in from, rinse and repeat. Wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the unbearable heat. If you were not back in 30 minutes – you were probably dead in that tiny tunnel.
3. Zip2 made Musk a rich!
Sometime in the mid-90’s Musk dropped out of Stanford (after only 2 days) to start Zip2 – his very first software company. Due to some corporate BS, he had to hand over the control over the company to a group of venture capitalists, while keeping only 7% of the shares. A few years later, Compaq Computers bought them out for $307 million, giving Musk $22 million, and officially making him a multi-millionaire at the age of 28.
4. Musk co-founded PayPal
Right after his great success in 1999, Musk started yet another company called X.com, which was an online bank. In 2000, that company was bought by Confinity, and that’s basically how PayPal started.
5. Musk did not start Tesla Motors
Believe it or not, Tesla Motors was not one of Musk’s new companies. It was actually founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in 2003. A year later Musk gives them $70 million and becomes the chairman of the board.
6. Musk’s salary as CEO of Tesla is $1/year
Who needs a salary when you have stock options? Although he says his annual salary as a CEO is 1 dollar, it’s actually $37k, due to California laws. But Musk never cashes out those checks.
7. He bought a Bond car and turned it into a submarine
Yup, you heard it right, in 2013 Elon Musk paid $997K for the Lotus Esprit from the Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me”… and then upgraded it to a submarine. What an absolute unit!
8. Elon wrote a code for a video game when he was 12 years old
Can you imagine being able to comprehend and recreate the coding language to create your own game… at the age of 12? Yeah, Musk did that, and the game was called “Blastar”. What’s even more impressive is that Elon somehow managed to sell the code to a PC magazine. That’s just crazy.
9. In 2010, Musk was broke AF
8 years ago Elon Musk said he’d run out of money. All thanks to that nasty divorce with Justine Musk, in which she demanded the house, alimony and child support, SpaceX and Tesla stocks, and … a Tesla Roadster, because why not. Oh well, at least he managed to get out and is now back to being a millionaire.