The Leadership Of Elon Musk

1995 Words 8 Pages
Paypal. SpaceX. Tesla Motors. SolarCity. These are some of the most cutting edge and industry leading companies in the world, and they all have one thing in common: their South African-born leadership. Elon Musk is at this point a name known by people young and old across many disciplines, whether in business, investing, or engineering. His net worth is estimated at $11.4 billion as of October 31st, 2016, making him the 94th wealthiest person in the world (Forbes, Elon Musk). His companies also share the goal of revolutionizing how and where, mankind lives. Musk forms companies with the intent to solve a problem that he sees with the world. He does not see his companies as primarily a source of wealth for himself, but instead as a stepping …show more content…
They founded the company in a “studio-apartment-sized office—twenty feet by thirty feet” (Vance 61). It was an internet based service, part of the dotcom boom, which “would create a searchable directory of businesses and tie them into maps” (Vance 61). Musk displayed a keen eye and ability to show investors what they wanted to see, “[he] built a huge case around a standard PC… when prospective investors would come by, [he] would put on a show and roll this massive machine out so that it appeared like Zip2 ran inside of a mini-supercomputer” (Vance 65). As a founder of Zip2, Musk also possessed a great deal of ambition, hoping to become the CEO, which his board members blocked. At Zip2, Musk gained a reputation for setting extremely optimistic deadlines, “[trying] to get engineers to work nonstop for days on end to meet [them]” (Vance 68). He was known for being utterly driven and expecting everyone else at Zip2 to be equally driven, which is a management style he is reported to have carried with him to Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity. Elon Musk is also well known for having a strong desire to be in control, Doris Downes (former Creative Director at Zip2), described this as “For Elon, the word no does not exist, and he expects that attitude from everyone around him” (Vance 69). In 1999, Zip2 was sold to “the Compaq Computer …show more content…
He demonstrated an incredibly high tolerance for risk with his money from Zip2 with X.com and PayPal, his preference for control, his high level of skill in software engineering, and his extremely intense style of management. The sale of PayPal left Elon Musk, an extremely driven and creative person, with a huge sum of money, but no purpose for it. It took him time, but he eventually came to decide that the future of mankind was a priority he now had the means to strive to build. From this, he founded Space Exploration Technologies (also called SpaceX). Initially founded with the goal of landing a greenhouse capsule on Mars, SpaceX redefined its mission over time to its current goal of making life multiplanetary. SpaceX as a company gives a close look into Musk’s style of management and the methods he takes to accomplish a goal. It is cutting edge, yet incredibly efficient. As a company, it is extremely fond of vertical integration, building as many of its rocket parts in house as possible, “more than seventy percent of each Falcon launch vehicle is manufactured or assembled in-house at the production facility” (NasaSpaceFlight.com). SpaceX is the world’s first privately funded company to reach earth orbit with a commercial cargo payload and deliver cargo to the International Space Station with the company’s Dragon capsule. With the company’s huge

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