In the startup world, no name quite evokes more starry-eyed fangirl-ing than that of Elon Musk. Understandable, considering he’s a serial entrepreneur, savvy CEO, leader of the new space race, etc. Or borrowing words from his real life doppelganger Tony Stark - a “genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.” (He formed the Musk Fund in 2002, which focuses on grant-making in the areas of renewable energy, science and engineering education) But with any success story, it hasn't always been smooth sailing. Tesla didn’t make a profit for around a decade and lost US$100 million in stock value after a negative review came out in the New York Times in 2013. And that's one setback.
When it comes to entrepreneurialism, we often laud and idolise Iron Man-style confidence and hefty fundraises, but fail to realise that with value comes roadblocks, and pursuits that lead nowhere, and often insomnia. One thing the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist has managed to consistently do well is capturing the public’s attention. His ventures, simply put, are aligned with the bigger picture and speak to a supply that consumers didn’t even know they could demand. He insists that we care about sustainability, exploration, and humanity’s betterment through technology — and lures with flash and the promise of fulfilling a new ideal persona: status meets awareness. The risks may be high but the rewards — well, we don’t need to elaborate. It’s difficult to pinpoint what's led him to the position of being one of the greatest innovators of our time — is it brains, scale, timing? Or is it something simpler — the notion of self-actualisation through technologies towards a future that the rest of us can’t even envisage on our own? As he stated: “if something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.” If that’s truly the case, then he might just be one of the luckiest people alive.
While we’re on the topic of Elon Musk — why not join us on 5 August to get to know the little company that he founded Paypal. The Paypal and BraintreeAsia Pacific team will be leading a seminar with Garage Academy, “Payment Optimisation for Startups with Paypal Braintree,” to explore how to maximise payment systems for online merchants.
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