Having become the richest man in the world, Elon Musk, who aspires to nothing less than to colonize the planet Mars, is perceived as being the most visionary entrepreneur of our century. In his new biography written by journalist Denis Granjou, we discover how this ambitious and ruthless workaholic inhabited by delusions of grandeur came to gain power allowing him to revolutionize the future.
Elon Musk built his empire on his own. SpaceX, Tesla, PayPal, it’s his own work, a man who can’t stand to share power.
However, the billionaire began his adult life modestly. In order to pay for his studies, he had to accept odd jobs because his father, a South African engineer and real estate developer, who had become rich thanks to an emerald mine, had cut off his funding. Nonetheless, the South African-Canadian-American entrepreneur and business leader managed to rise to the top financially. His personal fortune is estimated at over $273 billion.
“I have long been intrigued by the journey of Elon Musk. He is a man capable of being absolutely brilliant, then a fraction of a second later becoming an insolent kid again, ”confides the author.
In order to refine his research, Denis Granjou scrutinized the social networks of the billionaire. “Musk flaunts his whole life on Twitter and Instagram, notes the biographer. They are real sources of information. Besides, not a day goes by without his name being cited somewhere. »
Journalist and author Denis Granjou.
Elon Musk has always dreamed big.
As a child, he was already noticed. At three years old, his mother realizes that Elon is gifted. Interested in everything, he reads two books a day in practically every niche. At the age of 12, he sells his first video game program, but he spends almost all his time alone in his bubble, often in the garage making rockets and explosives, so much so that his parents believe that their son suffers from psychological problems. It is only later that we will learn that he has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism.
At 17, despite his father’s disagreement, he left South Africa to study in Ontario, being able to obtain his Canadian citizenship thanks to his mother from Regina, Saskatchewan. He will continue his studies in the United States in physics and economics.
Thanks to his great determination, he will quickly make his place in the business world.
Believing that NASA lacks ambition, Musk will found SpaceX to compete with them.
He will also succeed in revolutionizing the automotive world with his company Telsa, creating several prototypes of electric cars.
Visionary and creative, this does not prevent him from surrounding himself with the best in their respective fields, while maintaining control.
“His great strength is his ability not to doubt, underlines Denis Granjou. When he knows his idea is good, he goes all the way. We can still wonder about his strategy around the takeover of Twitter which, in my opinion, is more a whim than a real economic vision.
In this biography rich in words, we learn that the businessman has nevertheless experienced years of hardship. “For him a crashing rocket is equivalent to millions of dollars going up in smoke. It is a risk that Elon Musk takes without asking any questions, because he knows that it will work one day, ”specifies the author.
Musk is criticized for often taking a stand without thinking about the consequences. “During his various speeches, he manages to destabilize the world stock exchanges in a few seconds, recalls the biographer. Some observers believe that all of this is calculated upstream by this business genius. They may be right, but I remain convinced that there is a great deal of improvisation in him.
His romantic relationships are also turbulent. Elon Musk had ten children with four different women. Among his important relationships is that with Canadian novelist Justine Wilson, to whom he was married for eight years.
Heading to Mars
“Elon Musk is no doubt happy to be comforted in the idea that nothing is impossible,” says the author.
As proof, he is confident of being able to land astronauts on Mars in 2026 and then to colonize the red planet with a million people. He is also convinced that he will succeed in creating a supersonic electric plane that can take off and land vertically like a commercial plane.
“I am convinced that Elon Musk has kept a large part of his childhood in him. The money allows him not to prohibit anything on the material level, but I think that for him the important thing is elsewhere, indicates Denis Granjou. He dreams of changing the world by imagining interstellar travel or building smart cars.”
One thing is certain, the larger-than-life character has not finished surprising. “When he says he would be ready to end his life on Mars, I think we can believe him,” concludes the author.
- Denis Granjou is a great reporter and author.
- He notably signed the book, Thomas Pesquet, a French odysseya biography of the French astronaut published in 2021.