How Elon Musk is Changing the World.

musk1How Elon Musk is Changing the World – Tesla would be proud

What do Paypal, Tesla and a man named Elon Musk have in common?

Elon Musk one the original founders of Paypal, the world’s largest online payment provider for online sales and purchases.  When Musk, the owner of the online banking company, X.com, merged his company with Confinity in March, 2000, little did he or the world know just how much impact that was going to have on the world.  But the Paypal story is for another time…

Elon Musk eventually sold his interest in Paypal, but not before he formed SpaceX in 2001, with the bold goal of putting an experimental greenhouse on Mars.  Then in 2004, he became involved with Tesla Motors.  According to the Wikipedia article, Tesla Motors is “an American automotive and energy storage company that designs, manufactures, and sells electric cars, electric vehicle powertrain components, and battery products.”

In 2006, Musk cofounded SolarCity with his two cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rives, providing the concept and capital for the company.  Musk is the largest shareholder of the company, which is the second largest provider of solar power systems in for the United States.  Then in 2013, he announced Hyperloop, his concept for a high-speed transportation plan using pressurized capsules riding on a cushion of air in pressure reduced tubes.

Finally, at the end of 2015, he created a not-for-profit research company, called OpenAI, with the goal of creating artificial intelligence that will safely benefit mankind.

Elon Musk, like Nikola Tesla, for whom Tesla Motors is named, is a forward thinker.  He does not simply dream of impossible things for the future, but plans to make possible things in the future that once were imagined as only the products of dreamers.  In fact, some ten years ago, he created a master plan which is actually almost complete.

musk3In the typical fashion of many geniuses, his plan wasn’t very complicated.  One of the amazing ability of many of the great innovators in history has been their ability to take what seems impossibly complicated to the majority, and break it down into something that anyone can understand.  In a nutshell, here’s the plan:

  • Create a low volume electric car, which would have to be expensive
  • Use that money to develop a medium volume car at that would be cheaper
  • Use the money from sales of that car to create a high volume car most people can afford

And finally:

  • Provide solar power.

These things, once believed to be impossible, have largely been accomplished.  Tesla is one of only two automotive companies in the United States that has not gone bankrupt.  The other one is Ford.

Of necessity, the first cars had to be expensive, because with the very modest capital to work with (from the sale of his Paypal interests), much of the work had to be done by hand, which is very expensive, and the product, itself, had to be beautiful, in order to sell for the higher price.

The cars were beautiful, and they did sell, and now Tesla is a success that is gradually ramping up the volume and bringing down the prices.  Furthermore, with developing technology, the vehicles are becoming increasingly efficient, and able to go further and faster than ever before.

Of course, Musk’s dream is to create sustainable, useful energy, which is where the solar power comes in.  When fossil fuels run out, if a renewable source of energy has not been fully developed, civilization will collapse.  His dream has therefore focused on the one thing that will exist, by necessity, for as long as human beings exist, the sun.  A major part of his focus is on integrating solar energy and transportation, while making transportation safer for everyone.

The benefits are self-evident.  If solar powered cars are successfully developed, it will be even simpler to create solar powered homes, schools, factories, etc.  Secondly, if autonomous, self-driving cars are successfully developed, we will finally see an end to the carnage on our roads.

musk2This is why Elon Musk has now come out with what he calls, Master Plan, Part Deux.  According to the Tesla Blog, this consists in a nutshell of:

“Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage

Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments

Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning

Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it”

For those who may scoff, remember that his first master plan and more has basically been accomplished in ten years.  Imagine in ten years, a world where there is no smog, motor vehicle accidents are a thing of the past, and your car makes money for you while you sleep!  The is the Elon Musk plan for tomorrow.

Jean-Christophe (Jay)


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