Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's a Must - Elon Musk

For months now I've been thinking about Elon Musk. I know, that sounds kind of weird, but as time and events pass I'm finding it a must to write about Musk.

The Internet is choc-full of profiles about many businessman-inventor-capitalist-dreamers, and it appears there is a lot of information around about him. An interesting and intriguing figure that seems to be influencing the world's future is many ways is worth pursuing, in a literal sense of course. I've worked with many South Africans, and I have a strong opinion which will keep for later.

Let's start at the beginning, well kind of. The beginning that I can find on the biography sites start with school, logical I guess...

BusinessWeek covered Musk's beginning like this: "At age 15, Musk decided that the path to self-actualization traveled through the U.S. His mother was born in Canada, which was close enough. Musk got a Canadian passport, bought a plane ticket, and arrived in Montreal with little money and no home. He spent the year showing up unannounced on the doorsteps of distant Canadian relatives and doing stints on farms, tending vegetable patches, and shoveling grain. The low point was cleaning out boilers at a lumber mill.

“You had to put on this hazmat suit and shimmy through this little tunnel,” Musk recalls. “Then you take this steaming goop and shovel it back into the hole you just came through and wait for someone else to put it into a wheelbarrow.”

Musk eventually made his way to Queen’s University in Ontario for two years and then to the University of Pennsylvania, where he got degrees in economics and physics."
The kid Elon, apparently bullied and brutalized as a child growing up in South Africa under the very stern hand of his father (Source: A.Vance)

Hi ex-wife Justine has also spoken about their college days, but in a rather less entrepreneurial publication: the Marie-Claire article goes like this:

When I first met Elon, I wasn't blonde, either. I was an aspiring writer in my first year at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada, sprung from a small hometown and recovering from a difficult case of first love with the older man I'd left behind. I liked older. I liked poetic and rebellious and tortured. I liked a guy who parked his motorcycle beneath my dorm-room window and called my name through the twilight: Romeo in a dark-brown leather jacket.

Elon wasn't like that. A fellow student a year ahead of me, he was a clean-cut, upper-class boy with a South African accent who appeared in front of me one afternoon as I was leaping up the steps to my dorm. He said we'd met at a party I knew I hadn't been to. (Years later, he would confess that he had noticed me from across the common room and decided he wanted to meet me.) He invited me out for ice cream. I said yes, but then blew him off with a note on my dorm-room door. Several hours later, my head bent over my Spanish text in an overheated room in the student center, I heard a polite cough behind me. Elon was smiling awkwardly, two chocolate-chip ice cream cones dripping down his hands. He's not a man who takes no for an answer.

Elon and his beloved icecream again, this time with second wife Talulah (who told him she was a virgin) Obviously still a bit of a dork! 

He was a scientific type, at home with numbers, commerce, and logic. I was not the only woman he pursued, but even after he transferred to Wharton he kept sending roses. When he'd return to Queen's to visit friends, I found myself agreeing to have dinner with him. Once, in the bookstore together, I pointed to a shelf and said, "One day I want my own books to go right there." I had said this before to a girlfriend, who laughed and spun on her heel. But Elon not only took me seriously, he seemed impressed. It was the first time that a boy found my sense of ambition —  instead of my long hair or narrow waist — attractive. Previous boyfriends complained that I was "competitive," but Elon said I had "a fire in my soul." When he told me, "I see myself in you," I knew what he meant.

Elon Musk's college pal, Adeo Ressi, from some YouTube video said of his friend: 

"He was the biggest dork I've ever met. He's actually de-dorkified by a 100 fold. It's been over 20 years, you're much cooler. I mean, I remember, like, when, exactly like, I was able to hang-out with him, but back then it was kinda painful. You'd be like, he literally was the straight-edge, didn't drink, I'd always be like, "Elon! I think the police are here! Can you go deal with it", you're like, "Sure! I'm fine."

More on Musk to follow...

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