The incredible story of Elon Musk, from getting bullied in school to the most interesting man in tech
What Can’t Elon Musk do?
As CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, founder of The Boring Company, and co-founder of OpenAI, Musk seems to be everywhere all at once, pushing all kinds of incredible new technologies. He’s said he won’t be happy until we’ve escaped Earth and colonized Mars.
Between space rockets, electric cars, solar batteries, research into killer robots, and the billions he’s made along the way, Musk is basically a real-life Tony Stark — which is why he served as an inspiration for “Iron Man.”
But it wasn’t always easy for Musk. Here’s how he went from getting bullied in school to a small-time entrepreneur to CEO of two major companies that seem like they’re straight out of science fiction — and how he almost went broke along the way.
This is an update to an article originally published in August 2016.
Elon Musk was born on June 28th, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa. Wikimedia Commons His father said he’s “always been an introvert thinker.” Bloomberg News, YouTube
“Where a lot of people would go to a great party and have a great time and drink and talk about all sorts of things like rugby or sport, you would find Elon had found the person’s library and was going through their books,” Musk’s dad, electronics engineer Errol Musk, said.
Musk’s mother is a professional dietitian and model. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Maye Musk, a Canadian national, has appeared on boxes of Special K cereal and the cover of Time magazine.
How I became an entrepreneur at 66 | Paul Tasner
It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. Take it from Paul Tasner — after working continuously for other people for 40 years, he founded his own start-up at age 66, pairing his idea for a business with his experience and passion. And he’s not alone. As he shares in this short, funny and inspirational talk, seniors are increasingly indulging their entrepreneurial instincts — and seeing great success.
Barbie Unveils 17 New Dolls Based On Inspiring Women Like Frida Kahlo And Chloe Kim, And We Want Them All
Barbie dolls have been introducing girls to beauty and fashion trends for 58 years, but recently the company decided to switch things up. To better understand what the current society needs, Barbie surveyed 8,000 mothers. It found out that 86% of them are worried about what kind of role models their daughters are exposed to, so the company created 17 dolls of real and inspiring women.
“Girls have always been able to play out different roles and careers with Barbie and we are thrilled to shine a light on real-life role models to remind them that they can be anything,” senior vice president and general manager of Barbie, Lisa McKnight, said in a news release.
Each “Inspiring Women” doll comes with educational information about the way each woman shaped society. The lineup consists of both historical and modern-day figures. Amelia Earhart, the first female to fly across the Atlantic Ocean and Frida Kahlo, the acclaimed Mexican artist and activist, are among them. Although the series has only three dolls so far, the lineup is set to grow with the release of new ones, a spokeswoman for Mattel said.
Barbie also made new additions to its Shero program, which began in 2015. The initiative has already honored such history-making women like Ibtihaj Muhammad, Misty Copeland, Ava DuVernay, Eva Chen, and Ashley Graham. Now, it’s celebrating even more modern-day figures: gold-winning Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim, world-renowned chef Hélène Darroze, and others.
More info: mattel.com
Barbie surveyed 8,000 mothers and found out that 86% of them are worried about what kind of role models their daughters are exposed to
In response, the company has released a series of empowering women dolls from both the past and present
Frida Kahlo, Artist
Amelia Earhart, Aviation Pioneer
Martyna Wojciechowska, Journalist
Hélène Darroze, World-Renowned Chef
Ashley Graham, Model And Body Activist
Patty Jenkins, Filmmaker
Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician And Physicist
Yuan Yuan Tan, Prima Ballerina
Sara Gama, Soccer Player
Leyla Piedayesh, Designer and Entrepreneur
Ibtihaj Muhammad, Fencing Champion
Bindi Irwin, Conservationist
Xiaotong Guan, Actress And Philanthropist
Chloe Kim, Snowboarding Champion
Gabby Douglas, Gymnastics Champion
Ava Duvernay, Film Director
Hui Ruoqi, Volleyball Champion
Nicola Adams Obe, Boxing Champion
Some people applauded the new dolls
While others thought they shouldn’t exist in the first place
What do you think?
Secret To SaaS Success: Recognize That You’re Not Selling Software
I’ve been working in the software industry for over 25 years. Pretty much my entire professional career (if you don’t count that stint as a night clerk at Red Roof Inn).
Back in the late 1900s, when you sold software, you sold software. What your company produced was a large set of properly aligned bits (software). You then got those bits to your customers somehow (floppy disk, DVD, FTP, whatever). And, then those customers installed those bits on a computer of their choosing and if all went well, they’d get some value out of it. But, that wouldn’t always happen. Often, they’d fail to ever install it and get it working. Or fail to learn it. Or fail to use it properly. Basically fail to get the value expected — or the value promised, or sometimes any value. Ironically, the higher the purchase price was, the lower the chances of seeing success. History is replete with multi-million dollar software purchases that never saw the light of day. As an entrepreneur, this pains me. Most start software companies to make money, they start companies to solve problems.
Now, fast-forward to today. It’s 2017. Many software companies are now Software as a Service (SaaS) companies. What they produce is the same as before: A large set of properly aligned bits (software). Only now, instead of shipping those bits off to the customer somehow, they “host” those bits on the customers behalf and off the benefit of that software as a service.
Makes sense, right?
Now, naive folks that are new to SaaS often make the mistake of thinking they’re still selling software. They’re not. Because…
SaaS = Success as a Service
If you’re in the SaaS business, the only way to survive in the long-term is not to just deliver software. It’s to deliver success. You have to actually deliver the benefit that the software is promised to provide. And, if the customer fails to get that benefit then you have failed. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.
The reason for this new bar is relatively straight-forward. Back in the old days, you got paid for your software upfront and though you wanted your customer to succeed, and maybe even labored to help them succeed, if they didn’t succeed, well, such was life and you moved on. Today, if the customer doesn’t succeed, they cancel. In a month, in a quarter, in a year — but eventually, they cancel. And, more likely than not, if they cancel, you’ve lost money. The math won’t work.
So, to survive and thrive in the long-term, you can’t sell software, or even access to software, you have to sell — and deliver — success.
Let me give you a concrete example and some lessons learned from my company, HubSpot, which provides marketing/sales software. HubSpot is a textbook SaaS company. We’re about 10 years old, and we’re now public [NYSE:HUBS].
Here’s what we invest in (because it works):
1. Onboarding. If you help customers get started with your product, they are more likely to do so. Ideally, your software is so simple and intuitive and easy that customers just get up and running and succeed on their own. But, if you have a relatively broad or sophisticated product, customers will often need help. In those cases, onboarding works.
2. Education. HubSpot has HubSpot Academy, which is a team that helps educate people on inbound marketing. Interestingly, they don’t just invest in HubSpot customers, they educate the broader marketing industry.
3. Community. HubSpot hosts inbound.org, an online community built for marketers. It allows them to find the best content (curated by the community itself), discuss topics of interest, post jobs and find jobs. It acts as the premier professional network for marketers. The community has over 200,000 members now.
So, why does HubSpot spend millions of dollars educating and supporting marketers? It’s simple. because we’ve realized that our success depends on the success of our customers.
We’ve learned and accepted that we’re building a “Success as a Service” company.
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