Tag Archives: elon musk

Interesting profile on Elon Musk – a genius billionaire changing the world

It’s not often you read a profile of a man fit for comic books. One whose life so closely resembles a superhero’s that a movie was made about him. In that movie genius billionaire Tony Stark builds a powerful metal suit that can fly, produce unlimited energy, and battle gods. Which nearly describes Elon Musk.

Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration but Musk is flying people into space, building electric cars, running a billion-dollar solar company, and – his latest venture – trying to create a super train that’s “at least twice as fast as a plane, solar powered and leaves right when you arrive.”

Those are some achievements fit for a superhero – and you have to wonder, how can one man do all that? It’s hard to put in words but more comparisons help – from Business Week:

Friends and colleagues describe him as Steve Jobs, John D. Rockefeller, and Howard Hughes rolled into one. “He’s a throwback to when people were doing less incrementalist things,” says Peter Thiel, the tech investor who co-founded PayPal with Musk. “The companies he’s started are executing against a vision measured not in years but in decades.”

I’m not sure what that means, but it definitely makes for an interesting profile – Elon Musk, the 21st Century Industrialist.

 

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A first look at the Tesla Model S

I was never that impressed with the Tesla Roadster. It’s easy to make an exciting long-range electric car if you don’t bother to making it affordable or practical.

Now comes Tesla’s next trick. The Model S sedan, available with seating for up to seven, is now on sale. Once it’s in full production, prices will range from $50,000 to roughly $100,000.

The view from the driver’s seat was striking. Wherever possible, knobs and physical gauges have been replaced by computer screens.

There isn’t even a “Start” button. If you have the Tesla’s car-shaped key fob in your pocket and your butt is in the driver’s seat the car — quite reasonably — assumes you want it to turn on. So it does.

It runs in “Accessory” mode, allowing you to use the computer screens and listen to the stereo, until you push down the brake pedal. Then the speedometer and other driving gauges appear and the car is ready to roll.

 

Keep reading: CNN - Tesla Model S review: A good first impression

 

 

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SpaceX manifesto: transparency, low prices, and worldwide dominance for the future of space travel

I recognize that our prices shatter the historical cost models of government-led developments, but these prices are not arbitrary, premised on capturing a dominant share of the market, or “teaser” rates meant to lure in an eager market only to be increased later. These prices are based on known costs and a demonstrated track record, and they exemplify the potential of America’s commercial space industry.

- Elon Musk, The facts about SpaceX costs

SpaceX, the private space transport company founded by Elon Musk, is riding high from their latest slate of successful launches and taking it to the rest of the industry. This includes the traditional American space companies and the entire international system.

Mr. Musk is even boasting that the Chinese cannot compete with SpaceX, or as he puts it, “this is a clear case of American innovation trumping lower overseas labor rates.”

In case you didn’t know, Elon Musk does this all the time. As the power player behind Tesla and Solar City, the country’s largest solar company, he has an impressive resume. Add to that his famous Iron Man chops, where Robert Downey Jr. has based his super hero character on him.

By itself, SpaceX is pretty impressive. The launch manifest shows 36 flights with twelve from NASA, eight from Iridium (private company, satellite phones), three from Europe, and more from five other countries. Not to mention an undisclosed contract with the U.S. Air Force.

The company has been profitable since 2007 and has grown from 160 employees in 2005 to 1,500 in 2011.

The next step is a manned space flight and all signs are a go. The demand to get astronauts into space, and just about everything else in space travel, is so strong that they are winning contracts before they launch vehicles and sometimes before the designs have been drawn up.

Keep an eye on this company because it may just be the next big thing.

Oh, and they are hiring, over 100 positions..