Every generation has its great innovators. Da Vinci, Edison, Jobs…men whose contribution have changed the course of technology. Another name that can be added to that list and one which is no stranger to anyone who has not been living under a rock is that of Elon Reeve Musk, a man who today is changing the face of technology, innovation, and creativity. This South African-born Canadian American business magnate, investor, engineer, and inventor has numerous great innovations to his credit, the impact of which is unimaginable.
Here’s a brief list of things that Musk has done for this world:
1. Tesla Motors
It’s impossible to think of Musk and not think of Tesla: conspicuously, one of his most well-known innovations, Tesla is an electric-car company bringing fully-electric vehicles to consumers. Its Model 3 car retails for a starting price of $35,000. There’s huge demand for Tesla cars because of its environmental benefits.
Tesla and SpaceX are in a close fight when it comes to popularity; both are equally valuable though. Founded in 2002, the eponymous SpaceX aims is reduce the cost of space expeditions and enable colonisation of Mars. So far they have flown over six cargos and are on a working contract with NASA to produce craft for NASA’s crew members, to and from International Space Station.
The online payment giant PayPal too is a brainchild of Musk. Founded in the year 1999, Musk kick-started an organisation called X.com, which focused on financial services and email payments. A year into their operations, they merged with Confinity and adopted their best-selling product PayPal.
Just imagine the kind of revolution and ease in transactions it has bought.
The Hyperloop — high-speed travel in pods inside a partial-vacuum tube — is the brainchild of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who open sourced the basic design in 2013 in the form of a white paper. The transportation system, which was introduced in 2013 aims to reduce the travel time from hours to minutes. It will be 4 times faster than a commercial flight.
This was Musk’s first web software company. Founded with his brother and funded by the money loaned by his father, Zip2 was aimed at making city guides for newspaper companies, so that they could categorise it for their users. He later sold the company to Compaq for $22 million.
One great thing about all of Musk’s inventions is that he is always trying to ease the life of users and bring about a change that will not only relax the way things work but will also have several other benefits. SolarCity, in the same light, is a project that aims at providing solar-power systems in the US and is the second largest in its field.
7. Electric Jet
Still, in Musk’s thought catalogue, he is considering the possibility of electric supersonic jets, that will basically have “vertical take-off and landing”.
With this in action, electric motors could have a fan to propel the aircrafts and then they won’t need a runway to fly, making airports shorter.
8. Musk Foundation
More creation than innovation, the Musk Foundation is for pushing ideas from the grassroots. The organisation aims at supporting young minds and awarding grants that support research into renewable energy, space exploration, childhood diseases and disorders, and educational endeavours.
So far, the organisation has given out $783,700, including a donation of $250,000towards a solar power project in Sōma.
9. Web-based Phone Calls
A little less intricate that Skype, Musk’s plan was to have computers call landline phones and he even filed a patent for it in 2002. He basically wanted to use the information given on the Web to simplify the process of calling. Ideally, users would see the number on the screen, hit the Call button and then calls would be directed to the company via a call centre.
A combination of Quora, Wikipedia and AskJeeves, Musk invested in Mahalo in 2007: the site allows people to post questions and have them answered. Unfortunately, this one did not work quite well for him. After Google revolutionised the search system, the company was forced to cut its operations to only making ‘how to’ videos and answering live user-generated questions.
11. Location-specific searches
We all know how Google and many other tech giants are targeting people based on their locations. But all of this wasn’t there in the early days of the internet. Back in 1998, it was Musk who thought of making a system that would cater to geographic locations of people and then automatically bring in results for the closest places nearby.
His Wikipedia page exhibits a long list of his achievements. He is the founder CEO and CTO of SpaceX: a co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla Inc.; co-chairman of OpenAI; and founder and CEO of Neuralink.
A revolutionising transportation both on earth and in space, Musk’s estimated net worth is $20.8 billion.