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The making of Elon Musk – How he’s becoming the most influential person in history

Source | LinkedIn : By Jack Delosa

This post was originally published by Australian Financial Reviewhere

Elon Musk is a man with several missions. Here, Jack Delosa explains how he is taking on the aerospace industry, the aviation giants, the energy utilities, the oil companies and the car giants of the auto industry . . . and winning.

Last week, Musk’s Model 3 Tesla was unveiled. The mass-market electric car has pre-sold more than 325,000 units, set to be delivered in the next two years. These numbers mean the company has implied future sales of $14 billion making it the largest one-week product launch of all time. Tesla, however, being a company driven by a larger purpose has said on its website, “Most importantly, we are taking a huge step towards a better future by accelerating the transition to sustainable transportation.”

In the same week, SpaceX – Musk’s commercial space exploration company – successfully launched it’s Falcon 9 rocket into orbit to deliver a payload to the International Space Station, and managed to bring the rocket back to earth and for the first time in history, land safely on a drone ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Although this isn’t the first time SpaceX have successfully returned a rocket to earth after sending it to space, it is the first time it has successfully landed at sea. Landing at sea is desirable because a rocket returning at 5,000mph from lunar orbit means that if something goes wrong, the landing coordinates can change considerably – somewhere like the Atlantic offers a greater safety margin. This feat puts SpaceX one step closer to it’s mission of making humanity multi-planetary – Musk has us landing on Mars within the next 15 years.

As an entrepreneur, Musk has just had the most successful week of his life, butwhat has driven this billionaire inventor to get to the point where he is gradually becoming the most influential person in history?

When Musk was in college in 1995, he asked himself a question: ‘What do I want to dedicate my life’s work to?’ He decided that the overall vision he held for his life was ‘to enable the future of humanity’. As he explained to Ashlee Vance, who years later was writing a biography on him with his cooperation in 2015, ‘Maybe I read too many comics as a kid. In comics it always seems like they’re trying to save the world. It seemed like one should try to make the world a better place because the inverse makes no sense. The only thing that makes sense to do is strive for greater collective enlightenment.’

Musk set about researching the key ways that he might influence the future of humanity and came up with: the internet (still in its infancy in 1995); sustainable energy; space travel; rewriting the human genetic code; and artificial intelligence (AI). He questioned whether rewriting the human genetic code and AI would have a beneficial or detrimental effect on humanity, and therefore decided to base his life’s work on the first three. His vision to enable the future of humanity now had three missions that would act as pathways for him to walk to achieve his purpose.

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