Elon Musk: How a billionaire entrepreneur took Tesla and SpaceX to dizzying heights in 2020


It was an eventful year for Elon Musk, even for an entrepreneur who wants to revolutionize transportation on earth and lead the way in space.

By 2020, Tesla became the world’s most valuable automotive company, SpaceX launched six astronauts to the International Space Station, and the loner businessman became the second richest man in the world.

And he did all of that before he turned 50 next year.

So successful was Mr Musk’s year that he has been compared to Apple founder Steve Jobs, and his groundbreaking electric car company is now worth more than nine other automakers combined.

“This man sells technology and he talks about fully assisted and then driverless. He thinks so much bigger, ”said CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

“He’s a great thinker. He makes us look like midgets.

“That’s why this younger generation is ready to give him money. They say, ‘Look. He’s Steve Jobs. Who knows what to come up with next. I want a part of it. “

The year got off to a quick start for Mr Musk, and Tesla surpassed the $ 100 billion valuation for the first time after its share price began rising in late 2019.

In March, however, Tesla was forced to shut down production at its San Francisco Bay Area factory, which was open for several days despite local Covid restrictions.

Tesla has been heavily criticized for continuing production of its cars despite officials in Alameda County decreeing pandemic shelter.

Mr Musk repeatedly downplayed the Covid threat, calling the panic over the virus “stupid” on Twitter after previously predicting it would be “no worse than the common cold”.

After the company announced it was closing its Fremont, California factory, Musk predicted on Twitter that new coronavirus infections would be “close to zero” by the end of April, “based on current trends.”

Later in the month, Mr. Musk railed on Twitter about stay-at-home orders, comparing them to “forcibly locking people in their home against all of their constitutional rights.”

“If someone wants to stay in their house, that’s great. They should be allowed to stay in their home and not be forced to leave, ”he wrote.

“But to say that you cannot leave your home and that you will be arrested if you do so is fascist. It’s not democratic. It’s not freedom. “

In May, Mr Musk dropped Tesla’s soaring share price by 10.3 percent after saying it was “too high” in his opinion.

Its outbreak came after Tesla was worth more than the combined value of Ford Motor, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler, which annually produce millions of cars more than the electric car company.

Mr Musk then bizarrely announced that he was “selling almost all of his physical possessions,” including his $ 100 million real estate portfolio in California, as he did not need a home or money as he was “dedicated to Earth and Mars “.

“I think we’re just going to rent a place somewhere? And yes, in a way, possessions weigh you down. And besides, I only have all of these houses, but nobody uses them. I rarely use them, ”he explained The New York Times.

In May, Mr. Musk’s girlfriend, singer Grimes, also gave birth to the couple’s first child.

And typically for Mr Musk, naming the child was also an adventure.

Mr. Musk announced the birth of his son on Twitter and announced that his unusual name was “X Æ A-12 Musk”.

There has been speculation that the name might actually break California law, where names can only use the 26 alphabetic characters of the English language.

Canadian-born Grimes, real name Claire Boucher, then confirmed that he had changed the baby’s name to “X Æ A-Xii”.

Mr. Musk has five other children, twins Griffin and Xavier and triplets Damian, Saxon and Kai from a previous marriage.

In May, Mr Musk announced that he would be leaving California after arguing with state officials over the timing of Tesla’s factory reopening amid Covid fears.

In a series of tweets, Mr Musk said he was moving Tesla’s headquarters from California to Texas or Nevada.

His tweets came after health officials told Tesla they would have to wait to reopen the facility in Fremont while manufacturers elsewhere in the state were allowed to restart.

“Honestly, this is the last straw,” tweeted Mr. Musk.

“Tesla will now move its headquarters and future programs to Texas, Nevada immediately. If we keep Fremont manufacturing at all, it will depend on how Tesla is treated going forward. “

At the end of the month, Mr Musk resented his liberal fan base when he urged his 34 million Twitter followers to “take the red pill.”

The comment, seen as pro-Republican, was welcomed by first daughter Ivanka Trump, who said on social media that she had already included it.

However, the month ended at a climax when SpaceX launched the first NASA crew to travel to the space station from US soil since the space shuttles were retired in 2011.

In July, a London high court alleged that Mr Musk had an affair with actress Amber Heard while she was married to Johnny Depp.

The allegations were made in text messages from Mr. Depp to his agent and read out during his defamation trial against News Group Newspapers.

“I definitely didn’t have an affair with Amber when she was married to Johnny. That’s completely wrong,” Musk later said The New York Times.

In July, hackers got into some of Twitter’s most famous accounts, including Musk, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Kanye West, and Bill Gates, as part of a bitcoin scam.

Mr Musk announced that he had personally called Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and that “my account was likely suspended within five minutes.”

At his “Battery Day” event in California in September, Mr. Musk turned his heads and promised that Tesla would build a “compelling” $ 25,000 electric car within three years

In November, when Tesla’s share price was still skyrocketing, Musk overtook Microsoft founder Bill Gates as the second richest man in the world with his current fortune of a staggering $ 155 billion.

A month later, Mr. Musk addressed a long-standing rumor and confirmed that he had left California and moved to Texas.

“If a team has won too long, they tend to get complacent and then stop winning the championship. California won for too long, ”said Musk.

Tesla is building an automobile factory in Gigafactory, Texas, near Austin, where the company will produce the Model Y and the Cybertruck.

Space X is testing his spacecraft, which Mr. Musk hopes will take people to Mars, at a rocket manufacturing facility in Boca Chica, Texas, and has an engine testing facility in McGregor.

The move could also save Mr. Musk billions of dollars since Texas doesn’t have a personal state income tax.

Mr Musk’s year ended in a ban when SpaceX conducted a test of its spaceship spaceship that it hopes will take humans to Mars.

It was hailed as a “great” success by the company, although it ended in a ball of fire when the giant missile exploded as it landed 6 minutes and 40 seconds after launch.

“Mars, here we come !!” he tweeted after the spectacular incident.

Whatever Mr Musk and his companies are pushing forward in 2021, it will be difficult for their founder to have a more eventful year than 2020.



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