ELON MUSK – TIME’S PERSON OF THE YEAR – TECHNOLOGY INCARNATE
Time’s person of the year 2021 can be a small tribute to the person, if we go by the largest contribution made to technology by one single person, since the onset of the technology age. Elon Musk wanders in the fairy land of technology, as if it has been his creation and quite strangely, it is. The man who slept most of 2018 on the factory floor, is not only the richest man in the world today, but also the richest man in human history. The PayPal poster boy in his totally transformational avatar, which we have seen happen through the last two decades, is the technology poster boy of the world. He defines technology now and makes his technological trajectory as the world’s growth trajectory.
He went to America with no money, got into PayPal riches and then went again to the verge of bankruptcy and then going through a financial roller coaster ride, today is the richest man in human history. A tech prodigy with the competence to manage finance and social media with the same ease. Unflustered by failures, he as created his own formula of equanimity, which has stood by him and continues to do so, through goals, milestones, targets and deliverables, which have become as iconic as the man himself. The guiding philosophy is that he gets impressed by men who can positively impact humanity. He has finally impacted humanity and continues to do so, things no one even dares to imagine.
Time describes 2021 as the year of the Elon Unbound. He bagged an exclusive contract from NASA in April to put the US astronauts to the moon, first time since 1972. October, 2012, car rental giant Hertz announced its plans to buy 1,00,000 Teslas for its fleet. One of his rockets launched NASA’s first antiasteroid planetary-defense test and another for a first-of-its kind mission to study cosmic rays. Prompted by a Twitter poll Musk sold 10% of Tesla stocks. It roiled markets, cost him billions and produced enough tax revenue to fund US Commerce dept for a year. His car company controls two thirds of the electric vehicle market, pioneered by him, today valued at $1 trillion. Musk’s net worth thus crosses $250 billion.
A life beyond sci-fi and fantasy. Elon Musk’s journey seems to have taken a different trajectory now. PayPal, the new mode money transfer business was his first offering. Tesla, his imaginary car now rules the market; electric and autonomous. A whole industry coming out of fossil fuels has made Musk arguably the biggest private contributor to fight climate change. He put life into America’s moribund space industry with SpaceX. The dream of reusability of rockets has been partially but significantly achieved. Full reusability by reflying both rocket stages is yet to be achieved. SpaceX is the first private player in the space industry. Becoming an interplanetary spacefarer is his goal. Musk’s Starlink program hopes to launch a 42,000 satellite constellation to provide Internet service to the world. Fortune is just a mere side effect, doing things others can’t even imagine, ”in arenas where the stakes are existential” is his primary task.
FOR ELON MUSK SKY IS JUST THE BEGINNING.