2020-05-28 20:43 (Thu)
Real-Life Tony Stark: Elon Musk
Real-Life Tony Stark: Elon Musk
  • Joon Ha Kim Head of Society Division
  • Approved 2019.12.20 22:56
  • Comments 0
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Tesla presented its new vehicle on November 21: the Cybertruck. Elon Musk — dubbed the real-life Tony Stark for his modern visionary and revolutionst take on technology — uncovered the blandest vehicle imaginable: a pick-up truck. Prior to its unveiling, a pick-up truck with a Tesla logo seemed incompatible and, simply put, blasphemous. However, it also gathered an eccentric crowd and inspired countless fan-made futuristic designs of the Cybertruck, which all agreed on one thing: a smooth surfaced sports car with bigger storage space. A year later, Tesla surprised them with a polygon on four wheels. 

The sharp edges and its steel alloy body are evocative of car designs in the 1980s, and of post-apocalyptic vehicles from science fiction at the same time. The Cybertruck is anachronistic with its archaic design and its futuristic minimalism as it is equipped with a single infotainment tablet for a dashboard. Previously, Musk sent a car to space, and now with this unprecedented design, he blows our minds to space. Despite his frequent innovations, every new release is novel and hailed as unprecedented.   

His revolutionary ideas may be products of his rough childhood. Born in South Africa in 1971, Musk showed a deep interest in computing by the age of ten. Despite his parents’ divorce and constant bullying from peers, his passion didn’t waver; he sold his first game, Blastar, for 500 USD when he was only twelve. From an early age, he planned a future in the United States, where he could realize his dream of helping humanity with science and technology. After graduating from Queen’s University in Canada, he went to the University of Pennsylvania to study business and physics; at the same time he worked on Zip2, a web software company which was sold for 307 million USD to Compaq in 1999. Musk continued to show a propensity for  developing new products, founding Paypal and X.com, which were sold in the following years.

In an attempt to rekindle public interest in space exploration, Musk conceptualized landing on Mars to expand human civilization. For feasible commercial space-travel, rockets produced by Russia and NASA were too expensive, so his next goal was to privatize space exploration by founding SpaceX. Although their rockets are not yet commercially viable, SpaceX successfully developed rockets with reusable fuel tanks, which is a big first step to affordable space travel. Musk’s shift to privatized sustainable businesses is noticeable since the foundation of SpaceX. After joining Tesla and becoming its CEO, he announced making Tesla Technology open-source to the public to accelerate development of electric cars, and created OpenAI, a non-profit artificial intelligence research company.

There seems to be a clear pattern from SpaceX and Tesla, especially after the CyberTruck’s unveiling. Musk loves making ambitious plans. Although he is well known for delaying initial plans, Musk delivers products that surpass expectations. His rockets are 100 times cheaper than those of NASA, and his cars are 25,000 USD cheaper than average electric cars from other companies. Certainly, he may have faced issues with smoking marijuana in a YouTube podcast and may have brought enemies, but Elon Musk is the only entrepreneur and modern inventor who has built a future instead of just building products.

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