Musk travelled to Canada at the age of 17 to attend Queen’s University and evade military service in South Africa. Musk got his Canadian citizenship the same year, partly because he thought it would be easier to get American citizenship that way. Musk moved to the United States in 1992 to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned an undergraduate degree in economics before continuing on to earn a second bachelor’s degree in physics. Musk went to Stanford University in California to earn a Ph.D. in energy physics after leaving Penn. But that Ph.D couldn’t make it to Elon Musk Degrees since he walked out of Stanford after only two days to start his first firm.
In the summer of 1995, Musk relocated to Silicon Valley. He enrolled at Stanford University’s PhD programme in applied physics, but dropped out after only two days. Kimball Musk, Elon’s 15-month younger brother, had recently graduated from Queen’s University with a business degree and had travelled to California to join him. As the early Internet grew in popularity, the brothers decided to develop a company called Zip2, an internet business directory with maps. That’s how Elon Musk started entering into the business world.
Zip2 eventually recruited angel investors and grew into a profitable firm thanks to the brothers’ efforts. Zip2 was sold to Compaq for ＄307 million in 1999 by the brothers. Elon subsequently went on to create his own online financial services company, X.com. Confinity, a company formed by Peter Thiel and two others mere months after X.com and with headquarters in the same building, was its main competitor. In March 2000, the two firms joined and adopted the name of their major product, PayPal, an online money transfer service for individuals. In October 2002, Ebay, the online auction site, purchased PayPal for ＄1.5 billion in Ebay stock. Elon Musk, who had been the largest shareholder in PayPal with 11.7% of the company’s equity shares, found himself with ＄165 million in Ebay stock at the age of 31.
Since leaving PayPal, he has founded, co-founded, and/or led companies focused on addressing three distinct existential risks to humanity’s long-term survival: climate risk, single-planet dependency risk, and human species obsolescence risk. Two of these companies, SpaceX and Tesla Motors, he risked his entire early fortune to build.