Meet Elon Musk, care-of Wikipedia:

“Musk was born and raised in South Africa, the son of a South African engineer and a Canadian mother who worked as a New York City dietitian and model. Musk bought his first computer at age 10 and taught himself how to program; by the age of 12 he sold his first commercial software for about $500, a space game called Blastar.

After matriculating at Pretoria Boys High School he left home in 1988 at the age of 17, without his parents’ support…..”

He’s involved in at least a rocket company and an electric car company. Two technologies that are on the fringe with very small chances of success when one considers the obstacles each of these endeavors face. His ex-wife has at least this to say about him:

“Elon has huge steel balls,” his ex-wife notes on her blog. “He truly does.”

And I guess she’d know better than most : )

Wired, recently carried a great article, ‘How Elon Musk turned Tesla into the car company of the future’, outlining some of the recent story of Elon Musk, Tesla Motors, Toyota, Daimler, how they fitted a Smart Car with an electric motor, and more. It’s a stunning read of how far ‘huge steel balls’ will get you : )

There are some great extracts of the story so far. Small stories that have made a massive difference to Tesla’s future. Stories like this one about a meeting and test drive in a Tesla Roadster with the head of Toyota:

“Toyoda piloted them onto the 405 freeway—the top was off and the wind whipped their hair as they accelerated. They sped south, toward SpaceX, while Toyoda’s limo and fleet of minivans attempted to keep up. At the rocket factory, the two men hunched over Musk’s computer and gleefully watched rocket-launch videos like a pair of 12-year-olds. Musk asked if Toyoda wanted a frozen yogurt—there was a fro-yo cart in the factory. It sounded good, and a few minutes later they were eating yogurt amid hulking rocket fuselages. It was a lot of fun.

Four weeks later, Toyota decided to invest $50 million in Tesla. The auto giant also signed on to develop prototype electric vehicles with the startup and indicated that it would support Musk’s $42 million offer for the billion-dollar Nummi factory in Fremont.

During the press conference announcing the deal at Tesla headquarters, Toyoda took the microphone and talked about getting to drive the Roadster and how it had impressed him. He decided to work with Tesla, he said, so that Toyota could learn from the small company’s “spirit” and “energy.” When asked by a Reuters reporter why he had chosen to partner with Tesla among all the electric car startups, Toyoda looked over at Musk. “Musk-chan,” he said. “I love him.”

If you’ve got some time, it’s a story that will take from 0-100 in around 4 seconds…. (click here for the original article)

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