‘If you can dream it, you can do it’ reads the famous saying that has become the guiding philosophy of a majority of successful individuals in the world, who have proudly shown what spectacular dreams coupled with the insatiable desire to realise them can accomplish. Ever since we understand the importance of achievements, we begin picturising ourselves in a thousand esteemed positions with the world marvelling at our meteoric success, the most generic amongst them being the coveted Miss Universe title, a Nobel laureate, preferably in Science (since kids are unaware of complicated diversifications of Science into subjects like Discrete Particle Physics). Then, as we are ushered into the real world, that illusion begins to fade away and is replaced with rational, calculative and pragmatic thought processes, which put seemingly realistic goals in front of us that seem comparatively practical to achieve. Those ultra-imaginative dreams seem to fade into oblivion. But there are a scarce number of awe inspiring individuals, who despite all odds and all formidable challenges that life has thrown in front of them, have harboured, nurtured and have clung to their fantastical dreams. It is their relentless efforts matched with unwavering determination to ensure the culmination of their gigantic dreams that have got them into positions of unmatched respect and influence in the world. One of the most luminous examples of such extraordinary humans is the genius, billionaire, philanthropist CEO of SpaceX, Tesla and Solar City, Elon Musk.
Elon Musk had fanciful visions about voyaging into the stars (read deep space) in mighty rockets that will be emblematic of humans foraying into space and realising our fanciful desire of being a space-faring civilisation. From being a seemingly quiet person who would blast off rockets during recess in his school in South Africa to spearheading remarkable space programmes that speak of unmatched scientific precision and magnanimity, this guy has come a really long way. How he has managed to pull off such an unimaginable feat with so much élan is what intrigues us the most.
The Plan Of Action
Elon Musk started out in the late 1990s with his first internet start-up, Zip2. There was hardly any market for internet sales and online services at that time in the world, but Elon Musk and his team of ardent tech geeks painstakingly managed to convince service and retail based companies that they would be able to maximise profits if they pitched their sales online as well. This assessment bore fruits for both sides, and when Elon Musk left Zip2 due to ideological differences with the other board members, it had already raked in a valuation $300 million.
He then ventured into another relatively unexplored arena of e-wallets and founded Paypal. Paypal too proved to be a super successful venture, with a net worth of around $200 million, of which he put $80 million in Tesla. Tesla currently rules the roost in the world of solar powered automobiles, with its constantly revamped interiors and super-efficient engines that are powered for trans-continental tours in a single charging duration. But by far, his most ambitious venture has been SpaceX, the first of its kind commercial venture for space exploration. SpaceX is reckoned as one of the most successful and era-defining business ventures of today’s times, which is single-handedly redefining the way the scopes of space exploration were commercially evaluated (which were rather dystopian and full of scepticism). But thanks to SpaceX, humans have seen new hopes beckoning over the horizon. SpaceX had a very modest beginning, with most critics deriding the decision of a space exploration start-up as a preposterous idea. This directly hampered the fund raising and investment opportunities that the company could capitalise on, thereby hindering its growth. To negotiate these harrowing times, when your ideas are slighted by people who lack the depth to comprehend the grit and the passion one puts into them, can be a huge challenge, on which will ride the future of your venture. But Elon Musk had too big a dream to get rattled by these refutes and ridicules. He worked tirelessly, seeking all the help he could get from aeronautical engineers, eminent physicists and scientists, only after having convinced them about the plausibility of what he was trying to achieve. Now, when SpaceX launches a Falcon Heavy 9 that carries a shining red Tesla Model S as a payload and puts it into deep space with unmatched precision, everyone from NASA engineers, to its rivals like the Blue Origin headed by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon cannot stop raving about how enthralled they are by Elon Musk’s unparalleled vision to set up a comprehensive space exploration model for the world to feast on.
It’s all about passion
Elon Musk is definitely an era defining genius (more so if you go by Thomas Alva Edison’s definition of the term), and he had resources to do what he did. But of all those resources, the most important one was his dream. His dream to get humans to space and to build large swanky cars that run on alternative fuel did seem completely naïve and borderline ridiculous. But he stood ground, spoke from his heart with conviction, engaged with the right folks, and finally tided over turbulent times to take his dreams a few notches above where humans can possibly ever dream of reaching! And it takes a maverick to do it all.