Elon Musk is my kind of guy.
As a millennial co-founder of a digital marketing platform, Musk represents an entrepreneur and innovator my generation can really look up to. And as twentysomethings look for leaders that emulate the values and ethos we hold dear, it's easy to see that Musk is very quickly becoming our era's Richard Branson, whose personal brand is a formidable mix of rockstar, mad scientist, and altruist. Here are 7 reasons why Musk matters:
- He takes risks. In 1999, he sold his first company, Zip2 for $307M. He was 27 years old. Musk dropped out of Stanford's PHD program in Applied Physics to pursue an entrepreneurial journey and became a force in the world of technology. Seems to be working out for him.
- He works hard, but plays harder. Just after the sale of Zip2, Musk treated himself to the coolest car ever, the $1M McLaren F1. Musk does not shy away from the better things in life, and instead of making him seem greedy, it somehow makes him even more of an icon for the good life, because it's all on his terms.
- He ups the ante. After cruising around in a fast car for a while, Musk sunk his teeth in PayPal, whose success was cemented by viral marketing and an unprecedented way to exchange funds. In 2002, Musk sold PayPal to eBay for $1.5B.
- He's an agent of change. Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, two companies that are going where no other companies have been before. Whether it's on the Autobahn or in outer space, Musk continues to challenge conventional wisdom and not only change the game, but reinvent it.
- He's a giver. Besides the fancy cars and rock star love life, Musk speaks to a millennial passion point, and that is, philanthropy. As Chairman of the Musk Foundation, he focuses on science education, pediatric health, and clean energy. This year, he donated $10M to the Future of Life Institute, a global program focused on the benefits of artificial intelligence. He sits on important boards like the Stanford Engineering Advisory Board, and continues to find ways to contribute to society-at-large.
- First, he'll take California. Musk blew our minds with his plans to create the Hyperloop, a proposed hyper shuttle between Los Angeles and San Francisco that will operate using magnetic levitation technology at a max speed of 430 miles per hour. NBD.
- Then, he'll take Mars. It may sound like a sci fi pipe dream for now, but Musk has big plans to take us all to Mars in 10 years time, and with internet access to boot. For his steadfast determination and complete devotion to charting new territories and being socially responsible to boot, Musk just matters.