Not All Geeks Are the Same

Man of Space vs Space Cadet
Elon Musk
SpaceX’s Dragon space ship has splashed down in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of Baja California, completing its supply mission to the International Space Station. Elon Musk, at the head of SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California, coordinated the last phase of the historic flight with NASA mission control in Houston, Texas.

The success of the company’s first orbital cargo delivery means the 12 additional flights scheduled under the $1.6 billion contract with NASA will proceed in earnest. Only four entities have put a space capsule in orbit and brought it back: the United States, Russia, China — and Elon Musk.

As a kid, Musk bought his first computer when he was 10 and taught himself how to program. When he was 12 he sold his first commercial software, a space game called Blaster. That was the beginning of Elon Musk’s journey in to space.

After dropping out of graduate school at Stanford, Musk started his first company, Zip2, in 1995.¬† Zip2 provided online content publishing software for news organizations. Four years later he sold the company to Compaq for US$307 million in cash and US$34 million in stock options. He then co-founded PayPal. After that, Musk wanted to do something to make a difference for humanity. He believes man’s best chance for survival is to get to Mars and make humans an interplanetary species.

The guy is impressive. That’s why Robert Downey Jr. modeled his portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man character after Elon Musk. In addition to his success with SpaceX, Musk is set to begin delivering his Tesla Motors Model S to 10,000 customers who have pre-ordered the electric cars. See Laundelles August 18, 2010.

Last, but not least, Musk is chairman of Solar City, a provider of scalable clean energy. Whew! all that by 40 years of age. We can’t wait to see what Elon will do in the next 40 years.

Mark Zuckerberg
On Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page, he listed his personal interests as “openness, making things that help people connect and share what’s important to them, revolutions, information flow, minimalism”. Huh?

Some use technology to help humanity. Others use it to waste time. Zuckerberg’s claim to fame was setting up a website at Harvard that let students select the best looking person from a choice of photos. It was initially called Face mash. According to Zuckerberg’s roommate at the time, Arie Hasit, “he built the site for fun”.

As Hasit explains:
We had books called Face Books, which included the names and pictures of everyone who lived in the student dorms. At first, he built a site and placed two pictures, or pictures of two males and two females. Visitors to the site had to choose who was “hotter” and according to the votes there would be a ranking. There you have it.

Enjoy Robert Plant singing The Ocean. Any excuse to enjoy Led Zeppelin: