40 Facts About Elon Musk You Probably Don’t Know

Elon Musk is one of those rare gems that come along ever so once in a while. He is a genius, billionaire and a philanthropist working to make the world a better place and land some people on Mars along the way. These are facts about Elon you don’t know:

40. Wunderkind

It was at the tender age of 12 that Elon created a video game. It was a basic computer game with the name “Blaster.” It was similar to the game that was very popular at the time – “Space Invaders.”

Wikimedia Commons

For only $500 he sold the rights to the game and it can actually still be found online today.

39. Engrained in Celluloid

Elon is quite fond of the entertainment industry. He has been in a few TV shows including “The Big Bang Theory” as well as “The Simpsons.”

The Big Bang Theory, CLP

Elon has also produced a few movies which include 2005’s “Thank You for Smoking.” He produced this with his friend and PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel.

Next: From pain to pleasure

38. Victim Survivor Who Is Thriving

As is often the story with certain individuals that turn a lifetime of pain into lessons and create amazing lives for themselves, so is the case with Elon Musk.


Elon was bullied severely growing up in South Africa and even had the experience of being thrown down a flight of stairs by a group of boys and ended up in the hospital for it.

37. Origins

People know that Elon grew up in Sunny South Africa, but not many people know his mother is actually Canadian. When he was nineteen, he moved to Canada for a short time to attend Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.


Two years later he transferred to UPenn in the USA, where he has lived ever since.

Next: It’s in the blood

36. Keeping It in The Family

Even though Musk had a huge role in creating the SolarCity, he doesn’t run the company.


Rather than running the company, he handed that role over to his two cousins, Peter and Lyndon Rive.

35. Speeding Up Transport

Isn’t everyone frustrated with highways packed with cars on the way and back from work? That’s why Musk patented a technology called Hyperloop. This is a pod-like vehicle that travels through a tube.


Apparently, the Hyperloop will take people at a “faster-than-cheetah” speed of 1,200 km/h. It has not been created but Elon has developed an open-sourced platform to inspire other people to develop the idea further.

Next: An inspiration!

34. Iron Man for Real

Now, this is really interesting! Not many people know that the director of the Iron Man films – Jon Favreau actually was so inspired by Elon Musk that his version of Tony Stark is based on him.


When the second film came around, Elon even made an appearance and some of the movies was even filmed at SpaceX headquarters.

33. “Don’t Stop, Work-It, Work-It!”

Elon is actually a very hard worker and admits it. He has many companies and between all of them work around 80-100 hours a week.


He basically works 18 hours a day and only eats lunch while answering emails or taking messages.

Next: Red pill or blue pill Neo?

32. Peace Above All

Elon Musk is known for taking risks in business and his decisions have paid off. But when it comes to the military, he wasn’t so sure.


Elon left South Africa in order not to get conscripted into the South African army.

31. The Matrix?

Elon has interesting theories on what he believes reality to be. He has said on multiple occasions that he believes that life as we know it is actually a computer simulation, similar to the Matrix.


Musk says that there is as little as a 1 in billion chance that we are existing in “base reality.”

Next: Just like James Bond

30. Shaken, Not Stirred

James Bond is a hugely successful film franchise. The 1977 “The Spy Who Loved Me” film starring Roger Moore featured a custom submarine that was shaped like a Lotus car. The name of the vehicle is called the Wet Nellie.


Back in 2013, Elon bought the Wet Nellie for almost $1 million. His plan is to use the Tesla Motors technology in order to make the submarine-car functional!

29. Opening the Universe to Possibilities

Back in 2010, Musk got the Gold Space Medal from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. This is, in fact, the absolute highest honor in the air and space world.


Just to highlight the honor of this award, past winners include famous US astronauts Neil Armstrong and John Glenn.

Next: Taking care of people

28. Safety, Safety, Safety!

Elon owns the car company Tesla Motors. The Model S is designed by it. It is cool, fast and extra sleek. It is also very safe. Actually, it is the safest car ever made.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Model S a safety score of 5.4 out of 5. To be awarded that is simply unheard of – but not for the brilliant Elon Musk.

27. No More Studying

Not many people know this, but Elon Musk is actually a college dropout. After 2 days of studying in 1995, he dropped out. He was studying the Ph.D. program at Stanford.


A year later he sold his first company called Zip2 for $2 million. The company was founded in Palo Alto, California as Global Link Information Network in 1995, by brothers Elon and Kimbal Musk and Greg Kouri.

Next: A new way of schooling

26. Raising Standards

Now, of course, Elon would only want the best out of education for his children. He couldn’t find any good options so he did what only a billionaire genius would do – he created his own school.


He actually transformed a Bel-Air mansion and turned it into a school for his kids as well as 20 other pupils. The school’s name is “Ad-Astra”, which means “To the Stars.” It is Latin.

25. Gigantic Space on Ground

Tesla Motors is exceptionally popular with the public. Because so many people want to buy Tesla cars, Elon had to build another factory.


He bought it in the Nevada desert and called it the Gigafactory. Once it is complete it will be 15 million square feet making it the biggest building in the entire world.

Next: What was that Chewbacca?

24. This Is a Good Idea, Me Thinks

Musk’s SpaceX created a series of reusable space rockets called the Falcon series. A fan of Star Wars, Musk named these rockets after the Millennium Falcon.


SpaceX was founded on May 6, 2002. It has over 6,000 employees and the nature of its business is concentrating on orbital rocket launches.

23. Risky Moves

Elon Musk is known for taking risks and his habit of doing so almost made him go bankrupt. He literally could have gone from riches to rags!


In 2008, he received a 1,8-billion-dollar contract from NASA. This completely saved his company, just when it was on the brink of going under.

Next: Going out with a bang

22. Playing with Fire!

Elon Musk is an inventor and engineer by nature. When he was very young, he experimented with different objects all the time.


He actually went through a phase, like certain boys do, of testing out explosive substances. He was really into it and says of it, “surprised that he still has all his fingers.”

21. Second Chances

Elon Musk has been married and divorced three times. He was married to Justine Musk from 2000-2008. They had 6 children. Their first died an infant death.

Photo by John Phillips/UK Press via Getty Images

He married and divorced Talulah Riley twice. They were married in 2010 and divorced in 2012. It seems they didn’t learn their lesson as they were married again in 2013 and divorced in 2016.

Next: A bit cheesy indeed!

20. A Sense of Humor

Elon launched the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft in 2010. It took off carrying a top-secret payload. A lot of people wondered what that payload was.


Later, it was revealed that the payload was actually a wheel of cheese. Obviously, Mr. Musk has quite the sense of humor. It still hasn’t been revealed what kind of cheese it was.

19. Accepting Failure

Everyone, including Elon Musk, knows how absolutely successful he is. In fact, he actually embraces it. He is a true businessman and all businessmen fail at one point or more in their lives.


Elon adopts the philosophy that if you are not failing at times, you simply are not trying hard enough. Elon has so many businesses that are amazingly successful, of course, he had to learn from his failures.

Next: A lot of money

18. Not What You Think

Everyone knows that Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors but, he did not actually found the company. It was founded by Martin and Marc Tarpenning back in July 2003.


Elon only joined the Tesla board of directors until one year later. Since then Tesla Motors has been doing exceptionally well.

17. Salary

Musk is worth a reported $22 billion, but the official salary he currently receives from Tesla is far more modest: The CEO earns just around $37,000 per year.

Photo by Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

(Musk is also the CEO of SpaceX, which is privately held.) If Musk had things his way, he says, he’d choose not to take a salary at all.

Next: Just in case the end of the world comes

16. Ready for the Apocalypse

Tesla has a Model X that has a very interesting feature. It is “a biohazard defense mode.” It is equipped with an air filter that is almost 900 times stronger than your average car.

Wikimedia Commons

You see, Elon Musk thinks far ahead and he says that this particular feature will definitely come in handy is there is ever an apocalypse.

15. Top Gear

Top Gear is one of the absolute most popular shows on TV. Even people that are not interested in automobiles watch the show. The hosts are just a lot of fun to watch!

Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, Elon is not a fan at all. He sued the show, claiming that they falsely showed a Tesla car running out of power. Elon may be one powerful man in the world, but he did not win the lawsuit.

Next: Caring about the company’s future

14. Profit Isn’t the Answer to Everything

Tesla Motors is a ginormous company as stated before as they needed a new factory and have so many employees. It makes revenue of $4 billion dollars every year.


Elon, though is very passionate about his company and really sees far into the future so he pours a ton of cash into research that Tesla has only turned a profit in two fiscal quarters.

13. Musk Knows All About Fun

When Elon Musk was at UPenn, he and a friend rented out a 10-bedroom fraternity house. Elon always knew how to make money and had a clever idea.


In order to make money, he turned the house into an unlicensed nightclub most weekends. He’s not much of a party animal though or even a party-goer and never partook in the festivities.

Next: A heavy addiction

12. Addictions

Elon Musk is, by far, not the type to tamper with either drugs or alcohol or even gambling – thank goodness! It makes sense that he is quite a video game addict.


Elon is a big fan of first-person shooter games. When Elon Musk was in college, he would play video games the way people today watch a Netflix series over one weekend. He wouldn’t stop and would just play for days on end!

11. A Visionary

Elon Musk is exceptionally intelligent and ambitious. At the beginning of his career as an entrepreneur he had the following goals: make internet banking a breeze, put all efforts towards stopping global warming and make humans a multi-planetary species.


Well, he has had a very successful career thus far and has created Pay-Pal (which everyone uses), Tesla Motors, Solar City as well as SpaceX.

Next: Great team, good work

10. Hiring Great People

In order to work for Elon Musk, there are certain criteria when working for him. Obviously, you have to be smart – super, super, super smart.

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The other criteria Elon Musk has for working as an employee for him is you have to be a nice person. He has a strict rule for hiring “No a**holes!”

9. A Brilliant Brain

Yes, Elon Musk is a billionaire. It is a feat many men aspire to but not many can accomplish. And although he does brilliant as a businessman and knows how to attract money, it is not his true love or passion.

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At the end of the day, Elon Musk sees his businesses as a means to support his scientific endeavors. He has an engineering brain and loves to solve complex engineering problems.

Next: The importance of the written word

8. Read and You Will Lead

“You don’t know what you don’t know. You realize there are all these things out there,” says Musk, who said he read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica as a child.

The Independent

It is true that many leaders today read many books in a month. It keeps the mind fresh with new ideas and opens up the mind.

7. Advertising Isn’t Always the Way

Elon Musk doesn’t particularly rely on advertising to get his products sold. He doesn’t pour all his money into it.

Digital Vidya

Instead, he asks himself: “Will this activity results in a better product or service? If not, I stop those efforts.” But, at the end of the day, he has such a good name that people automatically know that if it is a product connected to him, it is good.

Next: Why complaining doesn’t work

6. Don’t Complain, Create!

Elon Musk is known for finding solutions instead of complaining about problems. Building the future for yourself is the best way to achieve the outcomes you actually desire.


“Paying attention to complaints is a great way to find innovative ideas that people actually need,” says Mike Kogan of “Wolfie” in the development of his company. He learned this from Musk.

5. Love the People That Surround You Every Day

Leaders know how to treat the people that buy from them and the people that work for them well. They show appreciation. Musk, for example, regularly expresses gratitude to customers through Twitter.


Business owners definitely learn from him and treat employees like family knowing that being good to employees means customers will be happy. It all runs from the source – great management. People even know this from Virgin CEO Richard Branson who is known for treating his employees well and showing them appreciation.

Next: Following the crowd doesn’t help

4. Don’t Be A Sheep

“Don’t just follow the trend,” Musk said. The most successful companies focus on creating new innovations. They don’t try to chase the competition.


Jonny Videl, CEO, and founder of Viral Contest Marketing has learned a lot from Musk when it comes to this. “Going viral doesn’t happen by accident,” he says. “Stand out by focusing on what makes you unique instead of chasing others.”

3. Build A Feedback Loop

In Musk’s words: “It’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”


“I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”

Next: Gotta take risks

2. Elon is Really Huge on Risk-Taking

The best time to be an entrepreneur is when you’re young. “As you get older, your obligations increase,” Musk said.


“So, I would encourage you to take risks now, to do something bold, you won’t regret it.” That is the reason that he has taken so many risks in his business life.

1. Finding The Good in All You Do

In Elon’s words, “If you make something that has high value to people…and frankly, even if it’s something, if it’s like just a little game or some improvement in photo sharing or something, if it has a small amount of good for a large number of people, I think that’s fine.


“Stuff doesn’t need to change the world just to be good.” It is important to look for the good in what you do in what you do – especially in work and see how many people you can positively touch.

As you can see, Elon Musk is just a really amazing human being who is a visionary among all things and wants to help and change the world. He is the trendsetter and is doing a really good job at it!