Should People Bet Against or For Elon Musk?
Should People Bet Against or For Elon Musk?
When Falcon Heavy landed back on the surface of the earth last month, this hugely successful event was the culmination of many failures and unsuccessful launches. In many ways, this was the perfect “underdog” story and one which Elon Musk is often associated. After all, it would see that most these ideas or concepts are doomed to failure, and even when they succeed, people are still hell-bent on betting against him.
However, as we continue to debate, speculate or bet for and against Elon Musk, the workaholic continues to work and defy every odd that stands in his way.
Early Days and Encounters with Failure
Elon Musk has traveled quite a colorful path in his working life and one which seemed prone to failure. In his early days, the South African was refused a job interview at Netscape and later, he was even ousted from his very own company. At the same time, this was only the beginning for Musk, and he went on to much greater or significant projects including PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX.
While the reputation of Tesla continues to rise at an exponential rate, PayPal is arguably the most famous and successful business in which Elon Musk played a pivotal role. In fact, the online payment giant is now home to more than 250 million users and generates an awe-inspiring turnover of $5 Billion. Although he was a co-founder in the business, Musk is widely regarded as the brains behind the operation, and subsequent creations suggest that this statement is likely true.
However, when PayPal was first released back in 1999, it was voted as one of the “10 Worst business ideas of the Year”. Indeed, there were many challenges facing the payment processor, but with persistence, PayPal identified solutions at every turn and was eventually acquired by eBay for $1.5 Billion.
Tesla Motors and SpaceX
In the case of Space X and Tesla, both companies were on the brink of bankruptcy in 2008. According to experts in respective industries, the projects were high risk and certain to fail. Furthermore, there were statistics to support these claims, for Tesla was losing money hand over fist and news reports were almost reveling in the face of four failed launches by SpaceX.
As time passed, Musk continued to press forward with his plans and in recent years, we would learn that he had invested everything in his name to the future of these projects. Needless to say, this was substantial, for his wealth accounted for a significant percentage of the sale of PayPal.
Fast forward ten years, Tesla is considered a pioneer in the auto industry while news media all over the world is scrambling for live footage of the recent launch at SpaceX. And still, Business Insider and CNBC continue to speculate how Elon Musk is setting himself up for a fall.
Why the Falcon Heavy Landing was so Important
Aside from the fact that both PayPal and Tesla are wildly successful, the recent rocket launch at SpaceX is a lot more important than many people realize.
In case you might be asking yourself, it would appear that SpaceX has perfected not only the process of launching a rocket to space but then also returning this same rocket due to the material withstanding extreme conditions upon reentry to the earth’s atmosphere.
Regarding technology, this was a first, but given that NASA is used to burning up their boosters to the point where they need to land in water, the SpaceX launch was also a clear indication that there was now a cost-efficient way to land a rocket. Simply put, SpaceX is a multi-billion dollar company, but recent developments suggest this net worth is set to increase tenfold and beyond.
Debating the Success and Failures of Elon Musk
In many ways, we should expect Tesla and SpaceX to encounter failure, and we should take note of the many challenges they are likely to face in upcoming years. As with PayPal and every other endeavor, these are common obstacles which go hand in hand with any challenging venture.
Indeed, while we continue to debate, doubt, and speculate about the future of these controversial projects, Elon Musk continues to work, and in the process, he continues to defy the odds.
With this in mind, maybe it’s time we stopped to appreciate his achievements.
Are you a believer in the work of Elon Musk? Where do you think SpaceX and Tesla are headed? Please let us know in the comments!