Tech innovators: Elon Musk

From PayPal to Tesla, Musk is constantly innovating

  • Age: 43
  • Company: SpaceX, Tesla
  • Best known for: online payments, electric cars, rockets, travel
  • Quote: "Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough."

His Twitter profile may be a playful send up of James Bond's arch nemesis Blofeld, but Elon Musk's billions have thankfully been put to making the world a better place rather than destroying it.

That's not to say that some of his endeavours aren't ripped straight from Ian Fleming's books. His myriad companies are currently tackling space exploration, super-speed travel and new energy resources - and that's all while he is revolutionising travel with Tesla.

His career began with the founding of web software company Zip2 which was sold for $307 million in 1999. After this he co-founded a payment service called X.com, which merged with a little known transfer service called Paypal. Three years later that company was bought by eBay for a cool $1.5 billion.

The money made from this buyout helped found Musk's third company SpaceX, which is now the largest independent producer of rocket motors in (and out of) the world. The Falcon spacecraft and its bedfellows are helping democratise space exploration, while also helping the likes of NASA further its cause.

If that wasn't enough to keep Musk busy, he is also the co-founder of Tesla Motors, a company revolutionising the electric car with its Model S range and has gone on to propose a new form of transportation in the guise of the Hyperloop. If this new form of 'air travel' works - and it's a big if - it will drastically cut commuting times from LA to San Francisco in the US.

His latest venture is the Powerwall battery, something Musk is hoping will be what powers homes in the future.

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