Late Stage Mature Pre IPO Unicorns -

The Secret how Elon Musk made Billions from Tesla

12/21/2018 Atlanta, GA – – Elon Musk didn’t start Tesla; he was an investor in Tesla, after it was founded.

This is an important fact that most people don’t know.  They think that he’s the brains behind it.

Musk was a very early investor in Tesla.  From a recent Wired article:

ELON MUSK DIDN’T start Tesla. But he did, in the most important ways, create it. When Musk invested $6.3 million in Tesla in 2004 and became the firm’s chairman, he found a pulpit worthy of his ambitions. Soon he would become chief executive and turn Tesla as much into a cause as a company. “The overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy toward a solar electric economy,” Musk wrote in a 2006 document he called “The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan.” “We will not stop until every car on the road is electric,” he said at one point. It was a lesson in his approach to life. “Optimism, pessimism, fuck that,” he once told WIRED about his other company, SpaceX. “We’re going to make it happen. As God is my bloody witness, I’m hell-bent on making it work.”

He wanted to make the first electric production car for the masses.

His original $6.3 million investment is worth multiple Billions today, and if he pulls off what he says he can – much more.  But it isn’t about the money per se – he was already substantially wealthy before this endeavor.  It’s about getting it done – seeing his grand business plan work.

The lesson here isn’t that Elon Musk should be your hero, or that he has the characteristics of a leader.  The lesson here is that anyone who wants to be an executive like Bill Gates, or Elon Musk, always has an easy buy in.  There are thousands of companies out there that perhaps lack executive leadership, maybe they have a good product in biotech or IoT but the engineer who designed it is an eccentric genius who scolds clients and calls them stupid.  Perhaps supply chain and distribution systems are inefficient or rely on monopolistic sources, or they have too much debt.

Things that can be fixed.  Do you have what it takes?

In fact, if you look at the wealth of most entrepreneurs, it came from their ownership of the stock.

Here’s one you can sink your teeth into: Space X

Big ambitions, big profits.  (And big risks).

The trick is to get them before they IPO – once they are public they are made for consumers.  This process is grueling – it’s not only about money.  When companies go public they inevitably change.