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Peter Thiel says Elon Musk is a ‘negative role model’ because he’s too hard to emulate – CNBC

Peter Thiel, co-founder of Palantir.

Photographer | CNBC

Facebook board member and Presidential Donald Trump supporter Peter Thiel called Elon Musk a "negative role model" because his many innovations make him difficult to emulate.

Thiel, who called himself a "good friend" of the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, made the comment during a debate on stage at UCLA's Internet50 event Tuesday. Thiel was debating Robert Metcalfe, a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Austin, on the question, "Has true innovation stalled?"

Thiel argued in the positive, while Metcalfe took the other side.

"Elon is the counterexample" to the argument that true innovation has stalled, Thiel said, comparing him to former Apple CEO Steve Jobs as a singular great innovator.

"It's a very weird thing where that the go-to story is we have one person who helped develop electric cars and reusable rockets," Thiel said. "But if you tell a young person, 'Why don't you be like Elon?' it's a negative role model where the basic response is, 'Well that's too hard, I can't do that.'"

Thiel said it may be easier to suggest that a young person "start a computer internet company from your college dorm room," which could be an allusion to Facebook's origin story.

Thiel and Musk go way back: Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal, which later merged with Musk's financial services company.

WATCH: Elon Musk's new underground tunnel project will transport cars at 125 mph

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Peter Thiel says Elon Musk is a 'negative role model' because he's too hard to emulate - CNBC

Tesla is unveiling a 3rd version of its solar roof this week, Elon Musk says – Business Insider

Tesla plans to unveil a third version of its solar-roof product, CEO Elon Musk said on the company's third-quarter earnings conference call Wednesday evening.

"Tomorrow afternoon we will be releasing version three of the Tesla solar roof," the CEO said at the end of his prepared remarks. "I think this is a great product. Versions one and two we were still figuring things out version three is finally ready for the big time."

Tesla's other solar-energy product, its more traditional solar panels, are under fierce scrutiny following a lawsuit from Walmart. The retailer claims Tesla's solar panels caught fire on the roofs of seven stores across the US. Tesla has not responded to requests for comment about the suit since it was filed but is required to respond to Walmart by Friday.

"There's no money down and you instantly save on your utility bill and there's no long-term contract," Musk said later on the call, in which Tesla also announced a surprise profit for the quarter, blowing past Wall Street's estimates."It's really a no-brainer. Do you want something that prints money? And if it doesn't print money, we'll fix it or take it back."

Musk also pointed to a recently released study by Zillow, a real-estate website, that said solar panels increased home values by about 4%.

Since Walmart's suit was filed, Business Insider reported the existence of a Tesla initiative called Project Titan. The move sought to replace as many faulty Amphenol connectors in previously installed solar equipment as quickly and quietly as possible.

Read more: Tesla solar panels have become a nightmare for some homeowners, especially for one Colorado woman whose roof went up in flames

Tesla told Business Insider at the time that its software-monitoring applications found that a "small number" of the connectors experienced failures and disconnections higher than their standards allowed.

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Tesla is unveiling a 3rd version of its solar roof this week, Elon Musk says - Business Insider

Elon Musk should send people to Mars on a keto diet to save money, according to a doctor who studies ketosis – INSIDER

Before Elon Musk sends people to Mars, he might want to consult Dr. Stephen Phinney about what the space explorers should eat.

Phinney, a nutritional biochemist and chief medical officer of diabetes-reversal company Virta Health, has been studying nutrition, and particularly ketosis, for decades.

He's learned that it may be easier for some people to excel in extreme endurance pursuits if they carry lots of fuel in their bodies, as the keto diet allows, rather than on their backs, bikes or in their spaceships.

"It's going to cost a heck of a lot less to send people [to Mars] on a ketogenic diet," Phinney said at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' annual Food and Nutrition Conference on Sunday in Philadelphia.

The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat eating pattern that forces the body to burn fat, rather than carbs, for fuel.

While the plan is controversial in the nutrition community, it's especially counterintuitive for endurance athletes, who have long been known to need quick energy in the form of carbohydrates.

Phinney cited several examples of elite endurance athletes who broke records after going keto, suggesting that part of the diet's power for them was the ability to stop carrying carbs in the form of bagels, bananas, and goos.

Space travelers could potentially benefit from this as well, he said.

Back in 2012, ultra-endurance runner Tim Olsen won a 100-mile race, taking 21 minutes off the previous course record. He switched to a keto diet in order to avoid the digestive distress he'd previously experienced consuming the necessary 6,000 calories in carbs on the course, Phinney said.

Olsen won again the next year.

Then there's Mike Morton, who set a record running the most miles (172.5) over the course of 24 hours, as well as Sami Inkinen and Meredith Loring, the couple who made history rowing from California to Hawaii in 45 days. All were "keto-adapted," meaning their bodies had learned to use fat for fuel.

Phinney also discussed research suggesting that the keto diet is at least no worse than a higher-carb eating plan for some endurance athletes.

In one of his studies, he and colleagues compared 10 elite ultra-endurance male runners who were eating a traditional high-carb diet to 10 other (physically similar) elite ultra-endurance male runners who were eating a low-carb diet.

Over the course of six months, the researchers found that the low-carb athletes used mostly fat as fuel while the higher-carb group's bodies used mostly carbohydrates.

Surprisingly, there was little difference in the two group's "resting muscle glycogen or depletion" during and after a three-hour run, meaning somehow the low-carb group's muscles were still able to store and replenish sugars without actually eating much sugar.

The results suggests athletes who are given long enough in this case, six months to get their bodies well-adapted to fueling with fat may be able to make what they need for fuel.

There's a healthy and unhealthy version of every eating plan. Shutterstock

Phinney and his fellow presenter Louise Burke, a sports dietitian who had a more cautious view of keto, said there's much more work to be done to understand exactly if, how, and why a keto diet can work for some endurance athletes, and to better understand why some people excel on it while others lag.

The overall takeaway is that "any diet can be followed in good and bad forms," Burke said.

Keto with plenty of vegetables and healthy fats is good. "Dirty keto" or "lazy keto" with a menu packed with "fat bombs" is bad.

"You've got to do it the right way if you're going to do it," she said.

Phinney isn't the only researcher to ponder the usefulness of keto in space. In 2017, a researcher tested the keto diet while participating in an undersea NASA experiment designed to simulate Mars living. His theory was that the diet could one day help protect people from the neurological risks of traveling in space.

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Elon Musk should send people to Mars on a keto diet to save money, according to a doctor who studies ketosis - INSIDER

Elon Musk’s hearing over Thai cave diver ‘pedo guy’ slur to begin amid ‘con man’ investigation – ABC News

Updated October 29, 2019 06:13:20

An academic in South Africa has cast doubt on Elon Musk's defence that the term "pedo guy" is a common insult in Pretoria and therefore not defamatory, ahead of Tuesday's hearing and his legal counsel doubling-down on the stance to the ABC.

A Los Angeles court will decide on Tuesday (7:30am AEDT) whether to go ahead with a defamation case against Mr Musk, brought by British caver Vernon Unsworth, who played a key role in last year's Thai cave rescue operation.

In a television interview, Mr Unsworth suggested Mr Musk's offer to provide a submersible rescue pod was grandstanding and said Mr Musk "can stick his submarine where it hurts".

The founder of Tesla and SpaceX took to Twitter in response, ending a volley of angry tweets with "sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it" he later apologised and deleted the tweets.

Mr Unsworth sued two months later in a Los Angeles federal court, saying Mr Musk falsely branded him a paedophile and child rapist.

Mr Musk has not provided any evidence to back his allegation and is instead arguing that he relied on information provided by a private investigator which he did not know to be false at the time and did not intend to publicly brand Mr Unsworth a paedophile.

Mr Unsworth has strongly denied any accusation of paedophilia and has sued for defamation, looking for $111,000 in damages.

However, Mr Musk is trying to have the case thrown out before trial on several legal grounds.

"Mr Musk testified that 'pedo guy' was a common insult used in South Africa during his youth," wrote Mr Musk's attorneys, in court documents.

"It is synonymous with 'creepy old man' and aimed at mocking a person's appearance and demeanour, not an accusation of paedophilia," the attorneys wrote.

The ABC contacted several linguists from universities in Pretoria where Mr Musk lived until he was 17 years old to check the claim.

Most did not feel appropriately qualified to address the issue, but Molly Brown, the head of the Department of English at the University of Pretoria, said the term was not well known.

"I think I can confirm that 'pedo-guy' is not a commonly used insult in South Africa," she told the ABC.

"A quick look at the local twitter sphere confirms this the only tweets I can find in support of Mr Musk's assertion come from men who attended his school," she said.

"This might mean that the term was current in his particular school environment."

"I also think that just as most of us would rather die than dress as we did at school, so the average person abandons school slang as a means of public communication within a surprisingly short time after leaving school behind."

In a statement to the ABC, Alex Spiro, one of the lawyers representing Mr Musk, doubled down on the supportive tweets as evidence that "the term or insult 'pedo guy' was commonly used in Mr Musk's school in South Africa".

"Mr Musk deleted the tweet and apologised," he said.

While part of the legal appeal seems to try to distance Mr Musk from the paedophile allegation.

Mr Musk spent more than $US50,000 ($74,000) on a private investigator, who offered his services to "dig deep" into Mr Unsworth's past.

The investigator travelled to Thailand and sent back reports with unverified claims, which Mr Musk appears to have taken as fact.

"The investigator reported that Mr Unsworth was a fixture in Pattaya Beach, Thailand a locale notorious for prostitution and child trafficking, that he had a taste for young Thai girls," wrote Mr Musk's attorneys in the court documents.

The attorneys wrote that according to the investigator: "He whore-mongered his way through the go-go bars of Thailand, that his only friends were his 'sexpat' peers, and that he married his Thai wife when she was a teenager, after starting a relationship when she was a young girl."

Again, no evidence was presented to Mr Musk, or to the court in the recent documents.

In their response to the court, Mr Unsworth's lawyers say that, contrary to the investigator's reports, he met his wife in London in 2011 when she was 32 years old and he only made his first trip to Thailand to visit her in 2018.

"Like the bully that he is, Musk chose to lash out publicly at the criticism only by falsely attacking Unsworth, a relatively unknown individual, and publicly challenging him to sue for libel," Mr Unsworth's attorney Lin Wood wrote.

"Musk's motion is based principally on the antithetical bases that, on the one hand, he was not calling Unsworth a paedophile, while on the other hand, he did not harbour serious doubts as to whether Unsworth was actually a paedophile."

Based on these verbal reports from the so-called investigator, Mr Musk emailed comments to a BuzzFeed News reporter that were meant to be off the record, referring to Mr Unsworth as a "child rapist".

Mr Musk's lawyers are now arguing the billionaire should not be held liable for his comments because he did not believe them to be false.

"Because Mr Musk based this tweet on information concerning which he did not have serious doubts, Mr Unsworth cannot establish it was written with actual malice," wrote Mr Musk's attorneys.

"Although it turns out that the investigator lacked solid evidence of Mr Unsworth's behaviour, that does not matter here."

In their response to the court, Mr Unsworth's lawyers say Mr Musk did not vet the investigator, James Howard-Higgins, for reliability and say Mr Musk himself now acknowledges that Mr Howard-Higgins was a "con man just taking us for a ride".

The defamation case against Mr Musk has been set for December 2.

Topics:law-crime-and-justice,world-politics,thailand,south-africa,england,united-states

First posted October 28, 2019 15:45:27

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Elon Musk's hearing over Thai cave diver 'pedo guy' slur to begin amid 'con man' investigation - ABC News

Elon Musk says SpaceX’s Mars rocket will be cheaper than he once thought. Here’s why – CNN

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Excerpt from:

Elon Musk says SpaceX's Mars rocket will be cheaper than he once thought. Here's why - CNN

Watch Elon Musk unveil his latest plan for conquering Mars – Business Insider

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Elon Musk has a giant new addition to his plans for colonizing Mars. The Starship Rocket. For years, this rocket was merely a concept on paper.But not anymore.On Saturday, September 28 Musk stood in front of a fully-assembled prototype of the rocket as he unveiled SpaceX's future plans.

Elon Musk: Which future do you want? Do you want the future where we become a space-ranked civilization and are in many worlds and out there among the stars? Or one where we are forever confined to Earth. And I say it is the first.

Narrator: If all goes according to plan, when Starship is complete it will tower 387 feet tall, measure 30 feet in diameter, and be capable of transporting people to Mars. For comparison, it will be about 5.5 times taller than SpaceX's first successful rocket, the Falcon 1. Starship is the rocket that Musk has aspired to build ever since he founded SpaceX in 2002. And after years of modeling, multiple changes to the rocket's design, and a substantial investment from Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa it has come out looking unlike anything SpaceX has ever built before.For example, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets are covered by an aluminum-lithium alloy.But as you can see, Starship is covered with something different, which Musk called the best design decision of the entire project.

Musk: The best design decision on this whole thing, is 301 stainless steel. Because at cryogenic temperatures, 301 stainless actually has about the same effective strength as an advanced composite or aluminum-lithium. Unlike most steels which get brittle at low temperature, 301 stainless gets much stronger.

Narrator: And unlike the nine engines on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets, Starship will fly on six, more powerful, Raptor engines.

Musk: The ship will have a total of six engines. Three of the sea level variety of Raptor. Those are actually on the rocket right now. So we've got the three sea level Raptor engines and they gimbal, which means that the whole engine moves. So the way a rocket steers is by moving the entire engine. So whereas an aircraft engine is static and you move by moving the control surfaces like the ailerons and rudder and elevator and flaps, this rocket when the engines are powered you move the entire engine to steer it. The Starship will have three sea level engines that will move up to 15 degrees angle and three vacuum engines that will optimize for efficiency that will not move, they will be fixed in place.

Narrator: Musk said that within the next one to two months, SpaceX will launch this Starship prototype, called Mk 1 (pronounced Mark), to 12.5 miles in the air and then land it back home in Boca Chica, Texas.After that ...

Musk: Our next flight after that might actually just be all the way to orbit with a booster and the ship.

Narrator: The prototype shown here will probably never reach orbit.That mission will go to an upgraded version of the rocket, called Mk 3, which SpaceX could start constructing as soon as next month, according to Musk. And by next year? Musk says SpaceX could be launching people to space on this thing.Whether that's actually the case, we'll just have to wait and see.In the meantime, Musk remains optimistic.

Musk: To Mars!

View original post here:

Watch Elon Musk unveil his latest plan for conquering Mars - Business Insider

Former Tesla employees reveal what it’s like to work with Elon Musk, – Business Insider

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a complicated figure.

This year, he has both been named the most inspiring leader in the tech industry and fallen from Glassdoor's ranking of the top 100 CEOs (which is based on employee feedback).

People who have worked with Musk have given similarly diverging accounts to Business Insider and other publications, saying Musk can be both brilliant and temperamental.

Nine former Tesla employees who worked with Musk or interacted with him on multiple occasions shared their impressions of him. (Eight requested anonymity due to a fear of reprisal from the electric-car maker.)

Here's what they said.

Are you a current or former Tesla employee? Do you have an opinion about what it's like to work there? Contact this reporter atmmatousek@businessinsider.com.

Excerpt from:

Former Tesla employees reveal what it's like to work with Elon Musk, - Business Insider

Elon Musk: Starship could take people to orbit within a year – CNN

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Elon Musk is fighting multiple really ugly court fights at once - CNN

Elon Musk unveils Starship to take crew to Mars and back – Irish Times

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Elon Musk unveils Starship to take crew to Mars and back - Irish Times

Elon Musk Just Unveiled Wild Starship Plans For "The Moon, Mars, And Beyond" – ScienceAlert

Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, addressed planet Earth on Saturday night about his latest plans to "extend consciousness beyond Earth" using a towering steel spaceship.

Standing between two rockets that represented both the future of SpaceX and its nail-biting past, Musk delivered his talk to more than 100 people from the company's fast-developing launch site in Boca Chica, southeast Texas.

Behind Musk was a shorter rocket called Falcon 1, which after three catastrophic failures in 2006, 2007, and 2008 finally delivered a small payload into space for the first time. That mission's success also prevented Musk and SpaceX from going broke.

"Eleven years ago today SpaceX made orbit for the first time," Musk said of that first successful Falcon 1 launch, on September 28, 2008. "If that fourth launch had not succeeded, there would have been curtains. But fate smiled upon us that day."

Yet as he spoke, all eyes were fixed on the 164-foot-tall (50-metre-tall), stainless-steel rocket ship behind Musk that SpaceX had finished assembling only hours before his speech.

"I think this is the most inspiring thing I've ever seen," Musk said of the vehicle, called Starship Mark 1: a critical prototype for a planned system called Starship.

A complete Starship may stand 40 stories tall at a launch pad, ferry dozens of people into orbit at a time, and eventually send crews to the Moon and Mars.

"There are many troubles in the world, of course, and these are important, and we need to solve them. But we also need things that make us excited to be alive," Musk said.

"Becoming a space-faring civilisation being out there among the stars this is one of the things that I know makes me be glad to be alive."

"Do you want the future where we become a space-faring civilisation and are on many worlds, and are out there among the stars? Or one where we're forever confined to Earth?" he said.

"I say it is the first."

But Musk's audacious vision needs a vehicle to carry it out, and to him that vessel is Starship.

In September 2018, Musk presented a carbon-fibre version of a Mars vehicle called Big Falcon Rocket. He also introduced Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese fashion billionaire, as a major funder of the system's development and the person who will fly around the Moon in a SpaceX rocket in 2023.

A couple of months later, though, SpaceX abandoned the carbon-fibre design and switched to a stainless-steel variant. Musk announced the reimagined spacecraft as Starship that December.

Since then, SpaceX built and launched a crude prototype called Starhopper and finished Starship Mk 1 (which Musk said may fly in a month or so). Those prototypes are work toward a Starship system that's fully reusable that way, no multi-million-dollar rocket parts are wasted, and the only major cost to launch is fuel.

"The critical breakthrough that is required for us to become a space-faring civilisation is to make space travel like air travel," Musk said. "This is basically the holy grail of space travel."

SpaceX posted a video to Twitter (below) on Saturday that imagines how Starship would work.

In the animation, a Starship vessel is stacked on top of a giant rocket booster, called Super Heavy, that's equipped with up to several dozen car-size Raptor rocket engines. The booster hauls Starship much of the way toward orbit, detaches, and falls back to Earth.

Once refueled, the booster then launches another Starship to meet the first one in orbit, refuel it with methane and oxygen liquids Musk says can be mass-manufactured on Earth as well as Mars using carbon dioxide, water, and solar energy and send it on its way.

The biggest changes to Starship's design include a refinement of its lower wings, flipper-like upper canards, and the addition of hexagon-shaped heat shield tiles lining the spacecraft's belly.

SpaceX got rid of three wings that also functioned as landing legs. Instead, Starship as currently envisioned now has six pop-out landing legs and two canard-like wings.

The wings and tiles are crucial to safeguarding Starship as it returns to Earth at 25 times the speed of sound and plows through the planet's atmosphere. This phase, called reentry, generates a searing-hot plasma that can destroy an unprotected spacecraft.

"For a reusable ship, you're coming in like a meteor. You don't want something that melts at a high temperature," Musk said, emphasising the need for steel (most rockets use aluminium or carbon-fibre). He also noted that stainless steel is about 50 times cheaper by weight than carbon-fibre composites.

Starship's redesigned wings should help the vehicle maintain lift, slow down more gradually, and spread out the heat of reentry, while the thermal tiles absorb that energy.

Once the ship reaches denser atmosphere, Musk said the wings will help steer Starship as it falls toward a landing pad.

"It just falls like a skydiver, and controls itself, and then it turns and just lands," Musk said. "It will be totally nuts to see that thing land."

Kimi Talvitie a spaceflight enthusiast, software engineer, and artist built an impressive 3D model of a "skydiving" Starship (below) using details Musk shared ahead of his presentation.

Though Starship may be years away from being fully realised, Musk shared some shocking notions about how it may stack up against all other rockets even SpaceX's own partly reusable Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launchers.

Musk calculated that, in an ideal scenario, one Starship system could launch to space and return three times per day, or about 1,000 times a year. Assuming each launch can fly about 150 tons of payload into orbit, that works out to about 150,000 tons per year.

That's more than 333 times the mass of the football field-size International Space Station.

Meanwhile, he said, all of Earth's rockets launching today might together deliver no more than 300 tons into space.

"We're talking about something that is, with a fleet of Starships, 1,000 times more than all Earth capacity combined. All other rockets combined would be 0.1 percent, including ours," Musk said.

"But you kind of need that if you're going to build a city on Mars. It's gotta be done."

The rapid reusability of the system, when Musk emphasised is essential, could also move Starship into an operational state much faster.

"I think we could potentially see people fly next year," Musk said. "We can do many flights to prove out the reliability very quickly."

Musk said SpaceX hasn't yet figured out how it plans to keep people alive inside its Starships, in terms of oxygen, food, water, and waste, let alone on the surface of Mars. But he added there's a definite need for "regenerative" life support systems, which recycle and conserve all the supplies humans need.

"I think for sure you'd want to have a regenerative life support system," Musk said. "Regenerative is kind of a necessity. I actually don't think its super hard to do that, relative to the spacecraft itself."

Despite Musk's optimism, though, fully functional regenerative life support systems have yet to be achieved in elaborate facilities on Earth, let alone in spacecraft.

Musk's drive in creating Starship is not just about feeling good about the future, but also, in his mind, rescuing humanity from certain doom.

"As far as we know, this is the only place in this part of the galaxy, the Milky Way, where there is consciousness," Musk said of planet Earth.

He explained that it took about 4.5 billion years for that "consciousness" we humans to evolve, but that we have maybe a few hundred millions years left before our ageing Sun begins to expand, heat up Earth, and make our home planet uninhabitable.

Musk referred to this as a window of time for consciousness.

"That's all we've got, OK? Several hundred million years," Musk said. "If it took life an extra 10 percent longer for conscious life to evolve, it wouldn't have evolved at all, because it'd be incinerated by the Sun."

Though this or other humanity-destroying calamities are a long way off, Musk doesn't want to waste any time while our window to spread among the stars, as is evidenced by the frenetic pace of SpaceX's Starship rocket development program.

"I'm optimistic by nature, but there's some chance that window will not be open for long," Musk said. "I think we should become a multi-planet civilisation while that window is open.

"And if we do, I think the probable outcome for Earth is even better because then Mars could help Earth one day. I think we should really do our very best to become a multi-planet species, and we should extend consciousness beyond Earth, and we should do it now."

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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Elon Musk Just Unveiled Wild Starship Plans For "The Moon, Mars, And Beyond" - ScienceAlert

50 US corporations have CEO-worker pay gaps of more than 1,000 to 1 – Fast Company

Walmarts CEO makes 1,076 times what some of the companys workers make in a year. The discount giant is not alone. Workers at 50 U.S.-based corporations would have to work at least 1,000 years to make what their CEOs did in just one year in 2018.

The biggest culprit is Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who earned more than $2.28 billion from Tesla in 2018, including his salary, stock options, stock appreciation, and other perks. With a median Tesla worker salary of $56,163, Musk takes home 40,668 times a median workers income per year.

Musk is an outlier. The second biggest CEO to median worker pay gap takes place at Abercrombie & Fitch, where CEO Fran Horowitz-Bonadies makes 3,660 times the salary of the median worker. Gap, Mattel, and Align Technology (the makers of Invisalign) come next, all with salary disparities greater than 3,100 to one.

Its really a systemic problem, says Sara Anderson, the lead author of the Institute for Policy Studies new report, Executive Excess 2019: Making Corporations Pay for Big Pay Gaps, which published these statistics today. Anderson has been the lead author of these reports for the past 26 years and directs the IPS Global Economy Project. Now, she says, policymakers are finally acting on an issue she sees as one of the key drivers of inequality. Thats true not just in the U.S. but also in other countries, where major U.S. corporations often employ people in order to get away with cheaper wages.

Beginning with their 2018 proxy statements, public companies in the U.S. have been required to disclose the difference between what their CEOs make in a year and what median workers earn, a change called for in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In 2016, policymakers in Portland, Oregon, passed a tax on corporations with CEOs who make at least 100 times more than the median worker pay. Its exciting to see this taking off at state and local levels, says Anderson, who was quite involved in passing Portlands tax. The tax applies to companies doing business in Portland and penalizes them according to the size of their CEO-worker pay gaps. For instance, companies where CEOs make 250 times that of the median worker have to pay 25% in taxes.

The general income gap in the U.S. has been increasing over the past several decades. Between 1978 and 2017, the earnings of the top 0.1% of Americans went up by about 340%but thats still nothing compared to how much CEOs have been making. In that same time period, CEO pay grew at three times that rate, with the average CEO of a major corporation making 5.4 times as much as an average member of the top 0.1%. Unsurprisingly, the pay gap is broadly unpopular among voters. I am from a rural, pretty red community in the Midwest, and for a long, long time, ordinary people have been totally outraged about the gap between CEO and worker pay across the political spectrum, Anderson says.

Anderson was surprised by the diversity in the top 50 U.S. corporations with the widest pay gaps. While low-wage retailers, like Walmart, predictably made the list, there were also plenty of big tech firms and even auto parts businesses. It shows the breadth of this problem, she says. We cant just think that its a few bad apples like Walmart and McDonalds.

Walmart, with its 1,076:1 pay gap, has the 46th highest CEO to worker pay gap on the list. McDonalds is number 16, with a gap of 2,124:1.

In March 2020, San Francisco will have a tax similar to Portlands on the ballot, and bills have been introduced in at least six other state legislatures. Taxes and fees relating to CEO versus worker pay disparities have been proposed in Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Washington, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

Its taken a while for policymakers to catch up on this, says Anderson. The disclosure rule is really a first step toward tougher policies to crack down on this issue . . . Now we can see how much specific companies are contributing to our countrys inequality problem and use that data to narrow these gaps.

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50 US corporations have CEO-worker pay gaps of more than 1,000 to 1 - Fast Company

WeWork’s CEO drama has one industry insider calling it an ‘Elon Musk situation’ – Business Insider

WeWork's CEO Adam Neumann is stepping down from the startup amid its delayed initial public offering.

However, the controversial executive will remain executive chairman of the company that he's built over the past five years, putting him in a position to provide advice and vision while absent from day-to-day decisions.

That has one venture capital expert comparing him to Tesla's polarizing chief executive, Elon Musk.

"Startups deserve to have the visionary on board," Santosh Rao, head of research at Manhattan Venture Partners, told Business Insider on Tuesday. "But this is a weird situation. He will be there but he's not going to run the company."

"It's almost like an Elon Musk situation," he continued. "The company runs on his charisma and vision, so I think this is a good middle ground."

Earlier this month, Manhattan Venture Partners, an investment firm and research shop that focuses on later stage, Pre-IPO companies, initiated coverage on WeWork shortly before its IPO documents were filed with US regulators. In its report, Rao said WeWork was worth about $28 billion, about half of the company's originally targeted value.

That valuation target was said to fallen drastically in recent weeks, as low as $10 billion, amid skepticism of Neumann'sweb of loans, real-estate deals, and family involvement with the company.

"Maybe if WeWork had come out before Lyft and Uber, they would have got a pass," Rao told Business Insider earlier this month. "But now, seeing how the appetite for companies without a path to profitability has gone down, I don't think they will get the benefit of the doubt."

Both Uber and Lyft have stumbled out of the gate following their public-market debuts earlier this year. Many investors from later private rounds are now in the red, as the stocks have fallen 20% and 43%, respectively, in the months since.

Two WeWork executives, Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham, will be filling Neumann's shoes as co-CEO's, the company said.

Read more:WeWork will replace Adam Neumann with two new CEOs. Here's everything we know about Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson.

"As co-founder of WeWork, I am so proud of this team and the incredible company that we have built over the last decade," Neumann said in a statement.

"Our global platform now spans 111 cities in 29 countries, serving more than 527,000 members each day. While our business has never been stronger, in recent weeks, the scrutiny directed toward me has become a significant distraction, and I have decided that it is in the best interest of the company to step down as chief executive. Thank you to my colleagues, our members, our landlord partners, and our investors for continuing to believe in this great business."

An earlier version of this post misstated when MVP launched coverage of WeWork, it was before the company's S-1 was filed.

Are you a WeWork employee? Have a story to share? Get in touch with this reporter at grapier@businessinsider.com. For sensitive tips, secure contact methods can be found here.

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WeWork's CEO drama has one industry insider calling it an 'Elon Musk situation' - Business Insider

‘The power of revelation’: Adam Neumann and Elon Musk show how startup founders use the same tactics as cult l – Business Insider India

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'The power of revelation': Adam Neumann and Elon Musk show how startup founders use the same tactics as cult l - Business Insider India

Before Elon Musk reaches Mars, SpaceX may need to survive …

On clear mornings, the mirror-like skin of a rocket ship catches the sunrise and bounces the early light into the bedroom of Maria and Ray Pointer.

Maria, a 64-year-old Alaskan native who has lived in Boca Chica, Texas, since 2005, said she finds herself gazing at the vehicle while juicing oranges or making breakfast.

"I get to look at this shiny sunrise, this orange sun glisten off of a rocket ship," she said. "It's like a picture book for a child, you know? You turn the page and there's the rocket ship."

The vehicle belongs to SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk. It's a prototype of Starship, a rocket-launch system that may stand nearly 400 feet when completed.

SpaceX's experimental stainless-steel Starhopper rocket ship in Texas. A person is shown at the bottom for scale.Elon Musk/SpaceX via TwitterMusk views Starship (formerly called " Big Falcon Rocket") as the heart of SpaceX's future. It's designed to be the largest and most capable rocket system in history, and also the cheapest to launch.

So far, SpaceX has based most of Starship's skunkworks-style development program out of south Texas, far from the company's California headquarters.

Starhopper, as Musk dubbed the first prototype, squared perfectly in the Pointers' west-facing windows. The company recently crawled the gleaming, 60-foot-tall rocket past their yard and onto a launchpad less than two miles from their home.

In April, the vehicle completed its first "hops," short test launches of perhaps a foot or two off the ground, which proved the ship worthy of tougher trials.

Completed Starship vehicles would have two main sections. A lower stage, or booster, called Super Heavy, would help propel an upper-stage spaceship, Starship, far above the Earth. The spaceship would then detach, ignite its Raptor rocket engines, and shoot into orbit.

According to Musk, one Starship may carry 100 people and 150 tons of cargo to the surface of Mars. There, the ship would refuel on methane and oxygen created from Martian resources before returning to Earth.

Developing this system at the company's remote and privately controlled Texas facility comes with several advantages. The area is fairly close to the equator, which adds a natural speed boost to rockets. SpaceX's autonomy over the site also gives the company more flexibility in scheduling launches, privacy from competitors, and greater freedom in how it uses the land.

But launching a skyscraper-size rocket from this area (engineering challenges notwithstanding) is no trivial undertaking. For one, any future flight path must avoid populated islands. The bay-bottom mud and sand below SpaceX's site also cause dense structures and tall towers tend to sink and lean. Gulf Coast weather is a challenge, too, as SpaceX recently saw when gale-force winds damaged its Starhopper.

And then there are the 20 or so people, like the Pointers, who live in or near Boca Chica Village. For them, the unparalleled view of the experimental rocket program, while stirring, is also foreboding.

"Most of us came down here are here because we're retired and wanted a nice quiet place to live," Sam Clauson, a part-time resident of Boca Chica Village, said.

A distant view of SpaceX's Starhopper rocket ship prototype from Highway 4 in Boca Chica, Texas.Dave Mosher/Business Insider

That quiet has been broken. The area is morphing from a sleepy beach community into an industrial site, and possibly an active Mars spaceport. Starhopper's first "hop" was so loud that it knocked off part of a window treatment inside the Pointers' house. (That test involved one Raptor engine, though 31 are planned for the booster.)

The disruptive roar of rocket engines also serves as a reminder that an explosion could happen nearby. The Pointers, the Clausons, and their Boca Chica neighbors sit no more than two miles from SpaceX's current launch pad likely the closest anyone on the planet lives to such a site.

Still, it appears SpaceX is staking a good chunk of its future on south Texas.

Highway 4 dead-ends at Boca Chica Beach, just east of SpaceX's launch site.Dave Mosher/Business Insider

SpaceX's Texas facility is about five miles south of South Padre Island, a popular destination for spring breakers, and about 17 miles east of Brownsville, the largest nearby city and one of the most impoverished in the US.

One two-lane road, Highway 4, runs to the site. The route begins at Gateway International Bridge on the US-Mexico border; east of Brownsville, it's mostly desolate and uninhabited. Border patrol planes fly over a handful of farms, and plaques mark historic sites, such as the Battle of Palmito Ranch, arguably the last conflict of the Civil War. (The Confederates repelled Union forces, though several days after the war technically ended.)

SpaceX's private ownership and operation of the site is a key advantage: It gives the company far more autonomy and flexibility to do launches and speed up experiments than SpaceX would have at a government-controlled site. The lack of competitors' facilities in the area also reduces the risk of trade secrets inadvertently getting into the wrong hands. (Though residents and visitors often post photos of work at the site online.)

A satellite view of Boca Chica, where SpaceX is building a rocket launch site. Google Earth; Landsat/Copernicus

Plus, Boca Chica is one of the US's southernmost locations, which offers SpaceX a meaningful advantage in rocket-fuel economy. At the equator, the Earth's surface moves laterally at about 1,040 mph. At the planet's north axis, its velocity is zero. So the closer a rocket is to the equator, the more free momentum it can pick up during launch, and the more fuel it can reserve.

At Cape Canaveral, Florida where SpaceX launches most of its rockets Earth's eastward surface velocity is about 914 mph. In Boca Chica, the speed is a slightly faster 935 mph. Both sites provide about 5% of the velocity a rocket needs to get to orbit, and every ounce of fuel saved allows for a larger payload, more wiggle room in flight paths, and greater assurance that a mission will succeed.

These and other perks have spurred SpaceX's interest in Boca Chica since at least May 2012. That's when the company scooped up its first property in the area via its shell company, Dogleg Park LLC (a "dogleg" is a course-changing rocket maneuver). Over the next three years, Dogleg acquired more unclaimed and derelict plots from Cameron County in part by paying off decades of back taxes. The company also mailed letters to homeowners about buying them out.

In 2014, with the support of county and state officials, SpaceX went public with its plan to convert those plots into a spaceport. By then, the company had bought or leased nearly 100 acres of land. SpaceX has since acquired dozens of additional acres.

An overview of the Boca Chica area in Texas circa 2017. Google Earth

Carlos Cascos was the judge who signed off on SpaceX's original plan to develop the Boca Chica site. He said Musk seemed to look at the area as a kind of "genesis project" for bringing economic opportunities to south Texas.

"He wanted to go in an area, improve it improve the working conditions, living conditions by bringing in a substantial company," Cascos said.

Musk told Texas legislators in 2014 that Boca Chica could become a "commercial version of Cape Canaveral."

To woo SpaceX to follow through on that vision, Cameron County and the state freed up incentives totaling about $15 million. SpaceX bit, and the Federal Aviation Administration granted final approval in July 2014.

Musk and SpaceX are developing a stainless-steel rocket ship called Starship. Kimi Talvitie; NASA; Mark Brake/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Musk is hungry to establish a city on Mars and back up humanity like a hard drive in case asteroid strikes, nuclear war, climate disruption, or other cataclysms befall Earth. He seems to believe people should be exploring space with abandon.

Musk hopes to establish a self-sustaining Martian base by 2050, and Starship is essential to that plan.

If Starship materializes according to Musk's plans, it would become the largest and most affordable spaceflight system ever built. That's because it's intended to be fully reusable. Big, multimillion-dollar rocket parts wouldn't get discarded as in most launch systems today. Achieving this level of reusability, Musk says, would undercut the per-ounce cost of launching payloads on SpaceX's own go-to rocket, Falcon 9, by a factor of 5 to 10.

An illustration of SpaceX's upcoming Starship spaceship (left), Super Heavy rocket booster (right), and an integrated Starship-Super Heavy launch system. Kimi Talvitie

From a business standpoint, the ramifications of a functional Starship would be sweeping and staggering. SpaceX could use the system to speed up its effort to remake the internet by deploying hundreds of telecommunications satellites in a single launch. Starship would also make NASA's forthcoming monster rocket, called Space Launch System, seem archaic. Plus, the economics of the Starship threatens to bankrupt some of SpaceX's biggest private competitors.

But the system is not yet real. Musk has said it could take between $2 billion and $10 billion to get there, though an aerospace industry analyst told Business Insider that upper range could easily balloon to $20 billion if SpaceX hits major setbacks.

So far, the company has built functional, powerful Raptor rocket engines perhaps the most critical piece of the system and it's making vehicle prototypes to attach them to (like Starhopper). Both experimental vehicles have been welded together from panels of stainless steel, each about as tall and wide as a person. Once assembled, these prototypes will enable SpaceX to see whether its engines can push a multimillion-pound spacecraft into orbit.

One of SpaceX's orbital-class Starship prototypes gets assembled in Boca Chica.Dave Mosher/Business Insider

The Pointers' home is sandwiched between those checkboxes on SpaceX's to-do list. Next to a warehouse-size tent, workers are building a follow-up prototype to Starhopper that could be capable of reaching orbit. A nosecone was recently attached to the new prototype's hull.

Yet SpaceX's journey to this point has not been a walk in the park.

Musk breaks ground on SpaceX's launch site in Boca Chica, Texas, with congressman Filemon Vela (left) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry on September 22, 2014.Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images

During a groundbreaking ceremony in September 2014, Musk and then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry plunged shovels into a pile of sandy dirt and posed for photographers.

"It could very well be that the first person that departs for another planet could depart from this location," Musk said that day.

He told reporters that SpaceX expected to spend about $100 million developing the site. The original plan was to develop an operational spaceport by 2017 and launch up to two Falcon Heavy and 10 Falcon 9 rockets a year.

The company underestimated the task.

In its original plans for the site, SpaceX was to erect four lightning towers around a launchpad to draw any would-be strikes away from the rocket. Designs also called for a tower capable of flooding the pad with 250,000 gallons of water during lift-off, a trick used to dampen dangerous levels of noise and vibration that could threaten a launch.

A map, circa May 2014, showing SpaceX's plans to develop part of Boca Chica into an active spaceport for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rocket launches. SpaceX/Federal Aviation Administration

But Brazos Island, where SpaceX built its first launch pad in the area, is essentially a giant sandbar. Its porous soil allows ocean water to seep in and out with the shifting tide. Digging down just a few feet down can reveal a soupy, salty, gritty muck.

SpaceX kicked off construction by drilling for bedrock, which could help anchor a dense launch pad. It never found any.

"There was no way for the company to have known this prior to purchasing the land," SpaceX said.

Susan Hovorka, at the University of Texas, has studied the state's coastal geology. She said the idea of bedrock doesn't apply to the Gulf Coast. To geologists, she said, bedrock implies a kind of sharp break in the density of deposits, usually between soil and a stony layer.

"In areas like the Gulf Coast, where deposition has been ongoing, there is not sharp break," Hovorka said.

SpaceX's earliest Mars rocket ship prototype, called Starhopper, sits on a launchpad after its first launch in April 2019.Dave Mosher/Business Insider

Concrete pilings can support large structures in soft soil, and SpaceX's construction plans called for hundreds of them. But John Hancock, who led a wetland-reclamation project in the area in 2006, said he was "flabbergasted" that anyone would try to build anything large near Boca Chica Beach.

"Where the pad is, that's all bay bottom there is no bottom," he said. "Back in 2006, there was a tower that was built on Padre Island. Before it was ever occupied, it started leaning, and they had to blow the thing up."

SpaceX eventually decided to "surcharge" or compact the ground at its launch site. Contractors dumped about 310,000 cubic yards of soil enough to cover a football field with 13 stories of dirt.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 explodes during a test on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida on September 1, 2016.USLaunchReport/YouTube

The company said the move created ground that was "more suitable" for dense foundations, but added that the process delayed the company's schedule.

The losses of Falcon 9 rockets in 2015 and 2016 also drew SpaceX's time and resources away from Boca Chica. As a result of all these challenges, the company's original plan and schedule for the site went into the waste bin.

During a May 2018 teleconference, Musk said the Texas facility would be dedicated to Starship instead of the commercial spaceport it had previously pitched. SpaceX workers began swarming the site later that year.

In March, just before the debut of Starhopper, Musk said on Twitter that SpaceX was "working on regulatory approval" for Starship launches from Boca Chica as well as Florida.

A sign points to one of SpaceX's launch site facilities in Boca Chica.Dave Mosher/Business Insider

After lifting off of a launch pad, rockets don't fly straight up into space; they turn and accelerate somewhat parallel to Earth's surface.

It takes about eight minutes to reach low-Earth orbit, and on their way vehicles reach tremendous speeds. Within a minute of launch they can exceed the speed of sound, and a minute or so later they reach speeds five times that fast.

This means if something goes wrong, a failed launch can send high-speed wreckage raining back down. (Even when a rocket mission succeeds, falling rocket parts still pose a risk.) To avoid putting any people in danger, orbital-class rockets launched from SpaceX's Texas site would have several unique obstacles to avoid in their flight path.

In a white paper published in 2014, experts Edward Ellegood and Wayne Eleazer flagged numerous issues that they said the FAA did not fully address when it granted SpaceX approval for the Boca Chica site.

A map shows potential rocket flight paths from Boca Chica.Edward Ellegood and Wayne Eleazer/Space Traffic Management Conference

One of the biggest challenges, they said, would be avoiding flying over Cuba, southern Florida, and the Yucatan Peninsula, as well as smaller islands in between. The study added that oil rigs also pepper the Gulf of Mexico, several major aircraft flight paths cut across it, and the water has heavy boat traffic.

"Falling vehicle components and payloads from failed launch attempts, or debris from their aerodynamic or commanded breakup, can damage aircraft in flight and structures on the ground as well as injure individuals," Ellegood and Eleazer wrote. "In addition, some debris may detonate on impact, producing a blast hazard, or may act as firebrands to initiate fires on impact."

Mitigating these hazards might limit the orbits SpaceX could access, or at the very least incur complexity and cost.

Ellegood and Eleazer also flagged a hazard on the ground: weather.

"High ground-level winds may result in the vehicle being tipped over," they wrote. The warning turned out to be prophetic.

SpaceX's "test hopper," an experimental stainless-steel ship, after it was built in Texas (left) and an illustration of the vehicle. A person is shown at the bottom to provide a sense of scale.Elon Musk/SpaceX via Twitter; Business Insider

On January 5, Musk published a striking rendering of a Starhopper prototype, complete with a nosecone and a human figure for scale. Six days later, he posted an incredibly similar image, but this time it was real.

"Starship test flight rocket just finished assembly at the SpaceX Texas launch site," Musk tweeted. "This is an actual picture, not a rendering."

As the internet awed at the shiny vehicle, however, a cold front was preparing to push south from Canada, bringing powerful winds.

Without a building in which to house its new prototype, SpaceX anchored Starhopper in an operations yard next to the Pointers' home. But when 50-mph gusts arrived on January 23, the nosecone blew off like a hat.

"It was nothing but rattling and metal and trees breaking it felt like a hurricane," Pointer said the next morning. "Everything SpaceX did to get ready for this storm worked against them. It looked like they blocked the wind coming from the southeast, but the winds shifted in the night and came from the northeast, and that sucker went flying."

The nosecone or top portion of SpaceX's Starhopper prototype blew off its base on January 23, 2019, leading the company to scrap the part.Maria Pointer (bocachicaMaria)

Barry Goldsmith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service based in Brownsville, said strong winds are typical in south Texas.

"The cold air has nothing to stop it coming out of southwestern Canada or northwestern Canada, driving down the plains," he said. "To see wind gusts at gale force, which is roughly 40 mph during the winter, is not an uncommon occurrence."

These winds, he added, are a problem SpaceX is "going to have to manage."

The company also has to factor in a phenomenon called wind shear the difference in the speed and direction of wind at one altitude versus another. When a rocket screams beyond the speed of sound, the changing wind speeds are like extreme turbulence. Musk once said high wind shear can hit a rocket "like a sledgehammer."

"We could have a day where the winds at Boca Chica beach and the SpaceX site may be 10 mph or less from the east. And then just 3,000 to 5,000 feet above the surface, it could be howling out of the south at 35 knots or 40 mph," Goldsmith said.

This nuisance can be avoided by waiting until a different day to launch a rocket, but Goldsmith said SpaceX might face that possibility more in Texas than at its Florida launch sites.

On top of these day-to-day weather issues, Texas' Gulf Coast also has a history of devastating cyclones.

Parts of south Texas, like Arroyo City, were inundated by Hurricane Beulah on October 8, 1967.Ted Powers/Associated Press

In 1967, Hurricane Beulah made landfall near the spot where SpaceX's new launchpad sits. The storm pushed a 15- to 20-foot storm surge over Padre Island and killed at least 58 people. In 2008, Hurricane Ike severely damaged the Pointers' home, even though Boca Chica did not take a direct hit.

Goldsmith said SpaceX should expect a direct hurricane hit every 15 to 40 years. In that case, storm surge could be a big concern, since Brazos Island is coastal and close to sea level. NOAA's storm-surge-vulnerability maps suggest SpaceX's properties could be deluged by more than 9 feet of seawater if a Category 5 hurricane makes landfall there.

But Goldsmith guessed that the company will have hurricane mitigation plans in place, such as a means to raise, move, or lock down equipment. Indeed, SpaceX now appears to be constructing a building to shelter its prototypes.

A view of Weems Road in Boca Chica.Dave Mosher/Business Insider

Rockets launch from dozens of spaceports around the world. If people live close by, site operators often evacuate the population prior to launch. But no other spaceport confines a local village inside of it the way SpaceX's does in Boca Chica.

Some area residents own homes about 1.5 miles from SpaceX's launch pad. By comparison, Florida's Kennedy Space Center has a three-mile safety limit from a blast wave.

"The reason for that limit was there was the assumption was everything goes to hell in a handbasket at once," said Bob Sieck, who served as launch director for more than 50 space-shuttle missions and now volunteers on NASA's Safety Advisory Council. He added that in his opinion, for a full-scale Starship, "two miles is too close it's cutting it too close."

Despite this proximity, Clauson said the last official meeting that SpaceX held with villagers was several years ago.

"We were just all citizens trying to find out what the hell is going on, and what are we going to have to put up with? And are we going to be safe here? Are we going to lose our land?" he said.

Things went south during the meeting, according to Clauson.

View original post here:

Before Elon Musk reaches Mars, SpaceX may need to survive ...

Hive: Elon Musk News, In-Depth Articles, Photos & Videos …

Most entrepreneurs are lucky to have one billion-dollar company to their name. Elon Musk, Americas real-life Tony Stark, has four. Perhaps best known as the C.E.O. and founder of the private aerospace company SpaceX and C.E.O. and co-founder of electric carmaker Tesla Motors, Musk isnt shy about his ultimate ambitions: helping to save the planet by shifting the world economy to sustainable energy. But, like any savvy billionaire, Musk is hedging his bets, too, by working actively to establish a human colony on Mars.

If anyone can bring humanity into the interplanetary age, its Musk. Born in South Africa to an electrical engineer father and model Maye Musk, he developed an interest in computer programming at an early age, selling the code to a video game he had developed to a magazine when he was just 12 years old. In 1992, Musk moved to the United States, where he received a dual degree from the University of Pennsylvania in physics and economics, before flying west to Stanford to begin a Ph.D. in applied physics. Two days into his program, he dropped out to become an entrepreneur. His first start-up, a software company called Zip2, sold to Compaq four years later, in 1999, for more than $300 million in cash, with more than $30 million in stock options.

A millionaire many times over at the age of 28, Musk didnt hesitate before starting over again with X.com, a financial services business that quickly merged with the company that would become PayPal. Two years later, the payments processing start-up was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock, netting Musk another $165 million. But by then, Musk was already dreaming bigger. In 2002, he poured $100 million of his fortune into founding SpaceX, a private aerospace company with the goal of making spaceflight affordable by building the first reusable rocket. And in 2004, he got involved with Tesla Motors, leading a series A funding round and joining its board as chairman. That limitless ambition nearly cost him everything. During the financial crisis in 2008, after he had become C.E.O. of Tesla, both companies were on the verge of failure and Musk was deep in personal debt trying to keep them afloat. But Musk is the most risk-immune person Ive ever met, recalled venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, a friend and managing partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the renowned venture capital firm, who has backed both efforts, in an interview with Esther Dyson for Business Insider. Hes really an American hero, more than anyone Ive ever met.

SpaceX and Tesla both pulled through, thanks to Musk and an assist from the U.S. government, which gave him a $1.6 billion NASA contract and offered generous green energy subsidies on Teslas first production car, the blistering fast, all-electric Roadster. Today, SpaceX is the largest private producer of rocket motors in the world, and Tesla is onto its third-generation vehicle, the Model 3, which has already secured about $15 billion in pre-order sales, according to the company. SolarCity, another company Musk co-founded and for which he is the largest shareholder, is now one of the top two residential solar contractors in the U.S. Musk, obviously, is not taking a break from success. His next mission? Landing a rocket ship on Mars, as early as 2018.

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Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic …

"Ashlee Vance's new book, 'Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,' is a tremendous look into arguably the world's most important entrepreneur. Vance paints an unforgettable picture of Musk's unique personality, insatiable drive and ability to thrive through hardship." - The Washington Post

"It is the book I have enjoyed most this year." - Tyler Cowen, famed economist and best-selling author

"The best business book I have read in years." - Don Graham, former publisher of The Washington Post

"Exhaustively reported . . . this work will likely serve as the definitive account of a man whom so far we've seen mostly through caricature. By the final pages, too, any reader will sense the need to put comparisons to Steve Jobs aside. Give Musk credit. There is no one like him." - The New York Times

"Ashlee Vance's portrait of the entrepreneur at mid-life is an essential read . . . a riveting portrait of Silicon Valley's most driven entrepreneur since Steve Jobs." - The Financial Times

"The result is a book that is smart, light on its feet and possesses a crunchy thoroughness. . . . Mr. Vance delivers a well-calibrated portrait of Mr. Musk, so that we comprehend both his friends and his enemies. It's a book with many ancillary pleasures. Mr. Vance brings us up to date on the states of green energy and space launches. He also veers away from his subject just often enough, offering profiles of the frequently brilliant people who work alongside Mr. Musk The best thing Mr. Vance does in this book, though, is tell Mr. Musk's story simply and well."- The New York Times

"Really good biographies stand out in two ways. First, they provide lots of zesty stories that haven't been told before. Beyond that, they explain all the zigzags and false clues of a prominent person's life, in a way that makes the total picture come into focus. . . it's clear that this new Musk bio delivers the goods in both respects. . . Ashlee Vance provides a wealth of insights about how this tech titan operates." - Forbes

"Vance's lively book yields all manner of fascinating insights about Musk's companies, his vision, and his personal life." - Slate

"Of the many profiles of business leaders, Vance's take on Musk is among the best. The author's objective and unbiased viewpoint captures Musk's good and bad, his achievements and failures." - The Motley Fool

"Vance's book is a masterful piece of reporting." - Vice

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Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic ...

Elon Musk | SpaceX

Elon Musk leads Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), where he oversees the development and manufacturing of advanced rockets and spacecraft for missions to and beyond Earth orbit.

Founded in 2002, SpaceXs mission is to enable humans to become a spacefaring civilization and a multi-planet species by building a self-sustaining city on Mars. In 2008, SpaceXs Falcon 1 became the first privately developed liquid-fuel launch vehicle to orbit the Earth. Following that milestone, NASA awarded SpaceX with contracts to carry cargo and crew to the International Space Station (ISS). A global leader in commercial launch services, SpaceX is the first commercial provider to launch and recover a spacecraft from orbit, attach a commercial spacecraft to the ISS and successfully land an orbital-class rocket booster. By pioneering the development of fully and rapidly reusable rockets and spacecraft, SpaceX is dramatically reducing the cost of access to space, the first step in making life on Mars a reality in our lifetime.

Elon also leads Tesla, which makes electric cars, giant batteries and solar products.Previously, Elon co-founded and sold PayPal, the world's leading Internet payment system, and Zip2, one of the first internet maps and directions services, which helped bring major publishers, including the New York Times and Hearst, online.

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Elon Musk | SpaceX


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