Homepage / Technology / Multi-billionaire Elon Musk: ‘I arrived in North America at 17 with $2,000’
CEO explains why his Australian company just announced 8,000 job cuts European stocks seen higher amid rising trade war fears; OPEC in focus White House says China's 'economic aggression' is a global threat The inspiration for tech titan Jack Ma's Alibaba was an unlikely politician Microsoft's Nadella: Trump administration policy separating children from families is 'abhorrent' A major cryptocurrency exchange says it was hacked and $30 million in coins was stolen Canada approves recreational use of marijuana Lapses at many levels of bank led to India's huge PNB fraud, internal report shows Australia's largest telco says it will cut 8,000 jobs over the next three years China-based hacking campaign is said to have breached satellite, defense companies Kim Jong Un and China's Xi discuss 'a new future,' North Korean media says Asian shares set for mixed open after trade fears spook markets worldwide Cramer: Tesla's stock still has more upside—just use the right chart Cramer points to the trillion-dollar question about US-China trade: What about Apple? Elon Musk: If I can help kids at the border, I will SNAP CEO on Innovation and Imitation Oracle reports strong fourth quarter results and stock edges up Start-up that uses polymer science to make avocados last longer just scored a deal with Costco Here's a map of every Whole Foods where you'll get an Amazon Prime discount The CEO of agency giant IPG welcomes challengers to Facebook and Google: 'The more the merrier' Traders bet one soaring tech stock is about to lose steam Facebook takes another shot at grabbing social media stars from YouTube UK says it is happy with Rupert Murdoch's Sky News commitments related to bid for parent company Apple CEO Tim Cook says separating immigrant children at US border is 'inhumane' In the short history of Trump trade conflicts, it has paid to buy the market dip Danny Meyer stands by cashless push: 'We're unaware of any federal law' that requires accepting cash Express Scripts boots another online pharmacy — CareZone — from its network Home Depot and two other Dow stocks look ripe for a buy, says technician Snap shares plunge after analyst says users are less engaged White House's Navarro on China trade talks: No knowledge of Apple iPhone exemption Merkel, Macron agree on euro zone budget Walgreens and Humana are partnering to create senior health hubs Sarepta Therapeutics shares soar 50% on positive preliminary results for muscular dystrophy gene therapy Verizon pledges to stop some selling of phone-location data There's one Dow stock having a great day: Verizon Europe's IPO market heats up, and unicorns are getting in line Amazon wants a hand in all your deliveries, unveils last-step option for FedEx, UPS and private mail Soybean prices drop to two-year low on US-China trade war fears Cramer: US-China trade fight 'is not serious' right now; Trump has upper hand China has a limited number of weapons to use in a trade war with the US Laws governing medical marijuana could soon be relaxed in the UK The flip phone is about to make a big comeback as foldable screen nears reality Here is what a student could have made if they invested their 2014 summer earnings in FANG stocks VW names interim Audi boss, seeking to steady brand after its CEO's arrest Here’s the fundamental error in Trump’s trade strategy Chip stocks dive on trade war fears as industry gets a majority of its revenue from China New home construction booms to a near 11-year high in May A dangerous dot-com era phenomenon is back and it's going to inflict pain, Jim Paulsen warns Netflix gets a $500 price target, the highest on Wall Street Apple is the big tech firm most at risk from a US-China trade war AT&T promises fewer ads, tailored programming after merger with Time Warner Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: VZ, TSLA, AAPL, WFC, T, SIRI & more Billionaire Howard Marks: Computers won't put the best human investors out of business CVS introduces prescription drug delivery as it braces for Amazon's possible entry Former turnaround exec Bozoma Saint John: Uber was 'the poster child for everything gone wrong' Trump told Tim Cook that US would not place tariffs on iPhones, but Apple's still worried Amazon's Alexa will now be your butler at Marriott hotels Billionaire investor Jim Mellon: Sharp sell-off in US stocks is the start of a 'very major correction' South Africa will avoid a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to currency weakness, central bank deputy says Dow futures tumble as China responds to latest Trump threat North Korea's Kim visits Beijing as South Korea and the US halt military drills 'Belligerent' US trade stance could hurt America's iconic companies the most, Jim O'Neill says Irish central banker says it's too early for the ECB to discuss future rate hikes All global currencies will become cryptocurrencies, Circle CEO says Abu Dhabi Financial Group unit offers to buy Abraaj's investment management arm Beijing subways could get facial recognition and palm scanning tech, Chinese media reports Roche agrees to pay $2.4 billion to buy the rest of Foundation Medicine Japanese e-commerce company Mercari surges more than 70% in Tokyo debut European markets seen sharply lower as Trump threatens new tariffs China's central bank delivers surprise stimulus as trade spat with US worsens Shares of China's ZTE sink 23% after US Senate targets company in new bill Has a US-China trade war begun? Experts weigh in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in China on a two-day visit: Chinese state media China pledges it will fight back firmly if Trump goes ahead and publishes list of additional tariffs Trump reportedly told Apple's Tim Cook that iPhones will be spared from China tariffs Smartphone maker Xiaomi to postpone mainland China listing until after Hong Kong IPO Asian shares poised to edge higher despite trade jitters; oil prices rise Senate passes military funding bill that would reimpose sanctions on Chinese telecom ZTE Cramer Remix: Tariff headlines have investors flocking to these stocks Cramer's warning on recent tech IPOs: Be careful with their sky-high valuations Elon Musk sends company email about 'extensive and damaging sabotage' by employee Elon Musk sent an email to Tesla employees about another fire in its factory on Sunday Microsoft condemns 'forcible separation' of children from families after criticism of work with ICE Snap CEO Evan Spiegel says even his wife, Miranda Kerr, hated the app’s redesign UBS CEO: Blockchain technology almost a must have for business Bitcoin jumps after New York approves Square's Cash app for crypto trading Apple is worried about Chinese tariff retaliation that could hamstring its supply chain Elon Musk tells shorts on Twitter they have 3 weeks to cover Watch these drones string power lines along poles high above the ground SurveyMonkey confidentially files for IPO President Trump signs space junk directive aimed at cleaning up the cosmos Dropbox rises more than 8% adding to last week's gains President Trump directs Defense Department to 'immediately begin the process' of establishing 'Space Force' as sixth military branch Elon Musk hung out in the Netscape lobby in the '90s hoping to get a job Square gets regulatory green light for cryptocurrency trading in New York Domo drops below billion-dollar valuation in lead-up to IPO Russia cuts Treasury holdings in half as foreigners start losing appetite for US debt With Twitch, Amazon tightens its grip on live streams of video games This fitness app wants you to have a personal trainer in your pocket Intel shares fall after small Wall Street firm downgrades chipmaker, predicting slower growth


Multi-billionaire Elon Musk: ‘I arrived in North America at 17 with $2,000’

Forty-six-year-old tech titan Elon Musk is currently worth more than $20 billion, according to Forbes.

But the Tesla and SpaceX boss hasn’t always been so wealthy. On Saturday, Musk tweeted about the early years of his career.

“I arrived in North America at 17 w $2000, a backpack & a suitcase full of books. Paid my own way thru college. Dropped out of Stanford Eng/Phys grad school w $110k in college debt. Created Internet startup w bro & Greg Khouri (love bro & loved Greg, may he RIP),” the billionaire tweeted on Saturday.

Musk was born in in Pretoria, South Africa, he said in an interview with entrepreneur and investor Kevin Rose published on YouTube in 2012. Musk also lived in Johannesburg and Durban in South Africa but wanted to move to America.

“It always seemed like when there was cool technology or things happening, it was kinda of in the United States. So, my goal as a kid was to get to get to America basically,” Musk told Rose.

Musk’s first stop in North America was in Canada, where his mother was born. Musk filled out the required forms to get both his mother — and then himself — a Canadian passport, he said in a 2013 interview at the Computer History Museum.

“Within three weeks of my getting my Canadian passport, I was in Canada,” said Musk. He spent a few years in Canada at Queen’s University, he says, and then got a scholarship to go to the University of Pennsylvania.

He didn’t know he wanted to be an entrepreneur, he said.

“I actually wasn’t sure what I wanted to do growing up. I think at one point I thought inventing stuff or creating things would be a cool thing to do. But I wasn’t really sure if that meant starting a company or whether that meant working for a company that made cool stuff,” Musk told Rose.

Musk moved to Silicon Valley to attend Stanford University graduate school. He tried, and failed, to get a job at Netscape Communications, the company that created the first web browser, Netscape Navigator.

“In ’95 I kinda thought the Internet would be something that would change the world in a major way and I wanted to be a part of it. Actually, what I first tried to do, was I tried to get a job at Netscape. I wouldn’t actually try to start a company, I’d try to get a job at Netscape,” he told Rose.

He even took to hanging around the Netscape lobby hoping to get a job there.

“I didn’t get any reply. I mean I had a physics and economics degree, or physics and business degree from Wharton, and I was doing grad studies in applied physics and materials science. I guess that… I mean, I didn’t have a computer science degree or several years working at a software company,” he tells Rose. “For whatever reason, I didn’t get a reply from Netscape and I actually tried hanging out in the lobby, but I was too shy to talk to anyone. So I’m just like standing in the lobby.

“It was pretty embarrassing. I was just sort of standing there trying to see if there’s someone I could talk to and then I just couldn’t, I couldn’t… I was too scared to talk to anyone. So then I left.”

Musk left Stanford to start Zip2, which was founded in 1996, according to Crunchbase.

“I was just writing software that summer, and it got to the start of the quarter for Stanford and I had to make a decision, so I decided to go on deferment. I figured if I start a company and it doesn’t work, then I can always go back to grad school,” Musk told Rose. “So I talked to the chairman of the department and he let me go on deferment, and I said I’d probably be back in six months and he said he was probably never going to hear from me again, and he was correct. I’ve never spoken to him since.”

Zip2 aimed to bring media companies to the internet, he told Rose. The “initial idea was to create software that could help bring the media companies online. So we helped, in a small way, bring companies like New York Times, Hearst, Knight-Ridder and so forth, bring them online. They weren’t actually always online — people don’t realize that,” Musk told Rose in 2012.

Saturday, Musk Tweeted about his work at Zip2.

According to Musk, his work with Zip2 in the 1990s is the reason he understands the way newsrooms work now. Musk has gone on tweet storms criticizing the media recently (one of which attracted anti-semitic rhetoric) and said he wants to launch a platform to rate the credibility of journalists, which he plans to call, Pravduh. “Pravda” means “truth” in Russian.

At the end of May, Musk tweeted that he had bought the domain name Pravduh.com.

Musk also dropped cryptic clues in March that he was launching an “intergalactic media empire,” called “Thud!” for which he reportedly tapped editors from The Onion.

As for Zip2, Compaq bought the company in 1999. Musk said that, at the time, he had to choose between buying a house and a sports car with his windfall. He opted for the sportscar, he tweeted.

Musk wrecked that car, a McLaren F1, in 2000 while driving with his PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, he revealed in a 2012 interview with PandoDaily.

“Peter said, ‘So what can this do?’ and like probably No. 1 on the list of famous last words, I said, ‘Watch this.’ So I floored it and did a lane change on Sand Hill,” said Musk, referring to the famous Silicon Valley road. “We hit an embankment, like a 45-degree embankment on Sand Hill, which tossed the car into the air like a discus and it kept rotating with about three foot of air clearance.”

Saturday’s tweets from Musk about his early years came after he revealed some details about a SpaceX version of the Tesla supercar, the Roadster.

While the idea of a rocket-powered Tesla may feel like a joke, Musk insists he is serious.

See also:

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook

Source: Tech CNBC
Multi-billionaire Elon Musk: ‘I arrived in North America at 17 with ,000’

Comments are closed.