You can ask Elon Musk to do a lot of things on his computer, but don’t ask him to catch a bus. That is how his sister, Tosca, would describe him.
South African born Elon Musk is one of the most famous and successful entrepreneurs in the world.
His achievements are legendary and include starting X.com, which became Paypal, founding SpaceX, and building Tesla into the most valuable car company in the world.
Musk is widely seen as one of the most intelligent tech entrepreneurs in the world who achieved what people thought was not possible.
With the aura of a real-life Tony Stark, many people picture him as an exceptional child with crazy ideas. This was indeed the case.
Speaking to The Money Show, Musk’s father, Errol Musk, said Elon had brilliant ideas from a young age.
“Elon has always been a very deep thinker. The things he would come out with as a youngster was somewhat surprising,” Errol Musk recalls.
When he was very young, for example, he would ask “where is the whole world?”.
Elon Musk really came into his own when he was introduced to the world of computing.
When he was 11, Hyperama ran a computer course in partnership with Wits and computing experts from England.
Elon was keen to attend, but the course organisers informed his father that they do not take any children. Elon, however, persisted and told his dad he must do this course.
Errol, who has worked with Hyperama as a consulting engineer previously, called the company and they agreed to let Elon attend the introductory lecture.
Elon, who was only in primary school at the time, was told to dress appropriately, sit on the side, and keep quiet.
“I left him at the 3-hour lecture at Wits, and when I came back to fetch him everyone came out, but not Elon,” his father recalls.
They searched the halls of Wits and finally discovered him in a lecture hall with his tie and jacket removed, his sleeves rolled up, talking to the computer experts from England.
The one professor called Errol Musk aside and told him Elon had to get a computer. Errol duly purchased a computer for Elon, which was the start of something special.
Using this computer, Elon taught himself to program and become familiar with the Internet. It was clear that he was an exceptional talent and loved the field.
Just one year after receiving his first computer, at the age of 12, Elon coded a space fighting game called “Blastar” which he sold for $500 to trade publication PC and Office Technology magazine.
He went on to use this talent to create some of the world’s most valuable computing and technology companies – all thanks to a short computer lecture at Wits.