How Did Elon Musk Get His Billions

Early Career

With a clear passion for technology, Elon Musk’s ambition began at a very young age, having taught himself computer programming when he was 12. After finishing high school, Musk attended Queen’s University in Canada and two years later transferred to the University of Pennsylvania where he earned Bachelor of Science degrees in both economics and physics.

Unconvinced of a traditional 9-5 job, Musk left Stanford University’s graduate program in applied physics and materials science after only two days to begin his career as an entrepreneur.

At this time, Musk took a chance and cofounded Zip2, a web software company aimed at providing directions, maps and business listings for newspapers. His hard work was rewarded when four years later, the company was sold to Compaq for $307 million.


Musk used his money gained from the Zip2 sale to invest in other ways and turn himself into a business mogul. One particular way was through a newly founded payment system called Paypal.

Using his strategic insight, he joined the ranks of the start up and was able to move up to become the largest shareholder at 11.7%. Achieving a large return on investment, Musk was able to sell his stocks in 2002 for $165 million when it was acquired by eBay.


Musk began his work on SpaceX in 2002. As a venture to enable the colonization of space, their rockets have been designed to bring satellites into orbit and transport goods and people with the concept of reusability.

Their success continues to grow leading them to recent achievements such as the launch of the Falcon Heavy in 2018 which Mueller, Director of The Planetary Society described as “a giant leap forward well beyond anything achieved before”

The success of SpaceX along with new contracts has enabled it to become a valuable company creating a net worth of $25 billion.


Musk also took part in the founding of Tesla Motors in 2003, now a company specializing in the manufacturing of electric cars. This has gained a large following due to their stylish design leading to significantly increased sales and an exponential increase in worth.

Tesla has had a larger impact than just increased sales, it’s opened the door to environmentally friendly cars with a total of 6 billion zero-emission miles driven to date. As technology continues to advance, Tesla will remain focused on the development of renewable energy.


Musk also helped to create a company focusing on the use of solar energy, SolarCity in 2006. This company quickly gained popularity due to it cheap solar panels and also hit a valuation of $198 million. Musk’s involvement did not go unnoticed as it was able to grow in value and gain a net worth of over $2 billion.

SolarCity was eventually purchased by Tesla in 2016 and has been developed alongside the motor, making Tesla into a giant industry of renewable energy.


After tackling the idea of space and earth, Musk envisioned the idea of bringing efficient and convenient transportation to the world. His concept of the Hyperloop came from the need of finding a way to transport goods and people’cost effectively in small distances.

Through the system based on a tube, Musk sold his idea to the world, establishing the Hyperloop Technologies company and helped in the development of the concept.

The Boring Company

The Boring Company is the most recent addition to Musk’s portfolio. This start-up was established in 2016 to aim finding a way to alleviate traffic in cities by way of tunnel infrastructure. The idea was quickly propagated in the public, leading to merchandise sales becoming a major revenue acquisition.

Musk aimed to make tunnels operable through the use of self-driving technology to reduce congestion. In 2017, this idea began its first development in Los Angeles.


Founded in 2015, OpenAI was created by Musk and other technology leaders with one goal in mind. The goal was to acquire superior Artificial Intelligence technology opportunities coupled with the ever increasing rate of machine learning.

By properly researching and developing knowledge in the AI field, OpenAI could have the potential of one day leading to more efficient decision making processes for the ultimate goal of assisting humanity. Musk’s generous donation of $1 billion of his own money has kept OpenAI progressing forward to this ultimate goal.


Musk’s ambitions have led to the creation of some of the world’s most forward thinking companies. These include Tesla Motors, SolarCity, SpaceX, OpenAI and The Boring Company, all of which continue to send ripples across the global landscape.

From solo projects to partnerships and his own investments, he has been able to guarantee long-term wealth with a total of $25 billion. Although his work is mainly driven by the idea of creating a better tomorrow, it’s plain to see that these ventures have led to nothing but riches.

Bessie Littlejohn is an experienced writer, passionate about the world of technology and its impact on our modern lives. With over 10 years experience in the tech industry, Bessie has interviewed countless tech innovators, founders and entrepreneurs, providing valuable insight into the minds of some of the most influential people in the industry. Also an avid researcher and educationalist, she strives to educate her readers on the very latest advancements within this rapidly changing landscape. With her highly esteemed background in information security engineering, Bessie’s writings provide both insight and knowledge into a complex subject matter.

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