So how did Elon Musk start Tesla? You might be surprised to know that he didn’t initially want to be the company’s CEO. He had a completely different vision in mind. However, Musk did not let this stop him from pursuing his vision. By 2004, Musk had become the company’s largest investor.
Musk credited Straubel with helping them improve batteries. Musk wanted to build cars that would stop relying on gasoline and produce sustainable energy instead. But that goal required changes in the automotive industry.
The first step in Elon Musk’s journey to creating a new company was to study physics and economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Musk’s first college experience involved turning a frat house into a nightclub. He and his brother Kimbal partnered together to create Zip2, a company that provided city travel guides to newspapers. Then, they started Tesla. The company eventually went public and Musk has been making headlines ever since.
In 2007, Musk met Eberhard at a meeting of the Mars Society. The two had bonded over a mutual love of space exploration. However, Eberhard subsequently sued Tesla after Musk invested in the company. Musk became CEO of Tesla and eventually stepped down as co-founder. However, the lawsuit was settled in September 2009.
After the Model 3 sedan was launched in 2016, Elon Musk’s main focus was the mainstream market. The Model 3 was priced under $70,000 and Musk was over-excited. However, in August, Musk reportedly announced that he would deliver 200,000 Model 3 cars in the second half of 2017. This prompted some investors to ask him if he could do it with SpaceX while pursuing his passion for electric cars.
Before joining Tesla, Tarpenning had their own jobs. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. After leaving the university, he joined the conglomerate Textron and developed software for companies such as Seagate Technology and Bechtel. Later, he was appointed vice president of engineering at Packet Design. He also contributed $6.5 million as the company’s third employee.
Before launching Tesla, the two founders co-founded Zip2. The idea was to create an online alternative to the traditional yellow pages. However, Google would not launch until 1998. Eventually, Eberhard sold Zip2 to Compaq Computer Corporation for $300 million. Eventually, he was ousted as CEO and the board replaced him with a more experienced leader. With his newfound success, Tesla continues to produce electric sports cars.
The two were married in 2000 and had six children. Their first son, Nevada, died from sudden infant death syndrome. Elon and Justine Musk divorced in 2010, but reunited in July 2013. They divorced in 2016, and he has been dating actress Talulah Riley ever since. This marriage has been very successful for Elon Musk and Tesla, but he has remained private about his personal life. Amid the turmoil, the company has managed to secure more outside investors, and Musk is living a life without worry.
While Musk’s initial success was accompanied by some controversy, his company has grown to become a billion-dollar enterprise. In 2005, Musk had no direct involvement in the day-to-day operations of the company. Initially, he oversaw the development of its Roadster product but did not get involved in the day-to-day operations. Eventually, he led the company’s Series B $13 million investment round, and in 2006, the third $40 million-plus funding round. Today, his stake in Tesla is worth billions of dollars.
After gaining widespread media attention, Musk announced that he was considering taking Tesla private for $420 per share. The tweet was met with a lawsuit by the SEC. Musk was accused of falsely releasing information to the public. He defended his actions by saying he had secured funding to take Tesla private. Tesla finally accepted a much less generous settlement from the SEC, but he was forced to step down as chairman of the board. He still has the opportunity to remain CEO.
The Roadster was an amazing achievement for a young company. As the first electric car, it was capable of going from zero to sixty mph in less than three seconds and could travel about 250 miles between chargings. Other electric car companies had failed to deliver practical battery power and affordable motors. The Roadster was the first electric car that could meet these two needs. However, the Roadster’s high performance set it apart from the competition, and eventually led to its successful initial public offering (IPO) in June of 2010. This IPO raised $226 million in funding.