Expectedly Soars From Tech Giants
The focus of this article is on the achievements and innovations by both Tesla and Musk during their time at PayPal. As an entrepreneur, I am always interested in identifying entrepreneurial inventors/inventors who have created industry landmarks, products, and services that revolutionized how we do business. This includes identifying those who break new ground by inventing new products, new processes, and new ways of doing things in a field that has historically been difficult to change. While there are certainly other important players in the field of entrepreneurialism and innovation, two entrepreneurs who shaped the Internet age and continue to shape it today – given their accomplishments as well as the influences they exerted – should be included in this discussion.
The first example of an innovation that Musk made was an invention related to medical devices. His primary concern, obviously, was with the creation of a treatment for epilepsy. By the time he went to school at MIT, he had already begun to develop technology that would enable people with epilepsy to communicate with each other using only their thoughts. This technology he called “thought transmission” and his first medical device, the Spectra, is used in hospitals all over the world today.
Two other examples of Musk’s innovation streak can be considered here. The first came about during the early days of the Internet when he worked on projects to make the Internet accessible to visually impaired users. This achievement is related to his studies of how language translation services would work and later helped to create the translation tool Skype. The second example is a more personal computer invention that Musk revealed in an interview with Wired magazine in 2001. His goal in this was to design a computer that had two screens – a lower one for the user’s commands and a higher screen for showing images and video.
Two other examples of Musk’s medical innovations can also be included here. In 1993, he founded the Hyper Sounds company to create a hardware-software hybrid that would allow people with stuttering to communicate without having to speak. Two years later, he created the software to help those with Alzheimer’s disease communicate. He has since become one of the faces of the disability community due to both of these important inventions.
However, it was probably his invention of PayPal that received the greatest attention. Musk’s service-oriented company made it easy for people who are paralyzed or unable to walk to sign up for online accounts, store money, or accept credit cards. This is because his PayPal service can be accessed wirelessly via the Internet. The potential uses for such accessibility are nearly endless, as can be seen in the PayPal website. Beyond its usefulness as a money transfer method, though, PayPal is an interesting case study of how inventors can seize opportunities to use their knowledge and passions for public good.
But back to Musk’s inventions. Many of his tech-savvy fans are probably still unaware that his two most important inventions are the solar panel and the PayPal. While not as well-known as, say, Steve Jobs’ apple, either of these two ingenious products has changed the way we think about solar energy and how to harness it for our personal gain. What’s more, these two inventions have revolutionized the manner in which we use money. Rather than paying in increments of hundreds, like most of us were forced to do in the past, we can now pay small amounts each month or year and be assured that our financial needs will be met.
And what about the other inventions? While few medical experts would probably agree that his design for the Lotus computer or his idea for a Hyperloops coffee pod machine are good ideas, the most important thing to consider is what his personal contributions have actually brought to the medical community. After all, while we might sympathize with Musk’s sincere attempts to help make health care more accessible to all, the vast majority of medical advancements that he has helped introduce have had nothing to do with curing cancer or alleviating other serious medical conditions. Nevertheless, people will always value inventors with their passion and unrivaled vision, and no one embodies this more than Musk.
What will his contributions be? Will his medical creations live up to his loftiest aspirations? Only time will tell. For now, it seems safe to say that we’ll be watching the great, the good, the bad, and the ugly as they all try to find a place in between. The most fascinating aspect about all of this is that while most people are happy to celebrate the vision and the genius of their fellow man, we as citizens of the world should remain vigilant when it comes to man’s next big step in improving his life.