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Seven shock Elon Musk revelations as CEO and brother ‘probed over insider trading’

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SEVEN shocking revelations about Elon Musk have been revealed in a new book as the Tesla mogul and his brother are reportedly being probed over insider trading.

Jimmy Soni’s new book The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley details the “turbulent” early days of Musk’s online finance company X.com as he and others battled an early business rival.

AP

X.com and Confinity, led by Peter Thiel, merged as both companies realized they could die amid competition[/caption]

The book revealed that Musk’s staff worked 36 hour shifts and slept under their desks

X.com would eventually merge with Confinity and rebrand as PayPal, where competition was so fierce that “it would make George R.R. Martin blush,” the author said while referring to the creator of TV series Game of Thrones.

The Sun reveals some of the most shocking revelations that surround Musk’s competitiveness and “all-consuming work ethic”.

MUSK’S EARLY DAYS

The book describes the company Musk founded with his brother Kimbal as the two rented an office in Palo Alto, California.

The pair reportedly slept there and took showers at a nearby YMCA while working on Zip2, which they sold in 1999 for a whopping $307million.

Musk got $21million at the age of 27 and put a lot of the money into X.com, which he envisioned as an online financial services superstore, DailyMail.com reveals.

X.com merged with Confinity to avoid competition in 2000 and under entrepreneur Peter Thiel, the company was renamed PayPal in 2001.


‘DIE, DIE, DIE’

X.com and Confinity were bitter rivals and Musk said the race was about “who could run out of money the fastest”.

The mogul reportedly emailed his staff a blunt message: “KILL THEM DEAD. DIE. DIE. DIE”

Confinity was run by venture capitalist Thiel, who was the first outside investor in Facebook.

The bad feelings were apparently mutual as Confinity wrote on a staff member’s birthday cake: “Die X.com”.

Their companies merged to create PayPal, where competition and hours were said to be brutal.

The merger came as both companies realized that they both could die.

They even used a tool known as the “World Domination Index” that monitored users.

PUSH IT

Musk’s staff worked 36-hours shifts with many of them sleeping under their desks and playing Salt ’N’ Pepa’s Push It to stay awake.

Others even brought their infant children to work on weekends.

Musk himself even canceled his honeymoon with his first wife, Justine Wilson, in 2000 because of how busy he was.

HONEYMOON CANCELED

Wilson had once said that she would tell her then-husband: “‘I am your wife, not your employee.”

To which Musk replied: “If you were my employee, I would fire you.”

The couple eventually rescheduled it for the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

However, Musk felt that he couldn’t take time away from his work and ended up turning the romantic vacation into a fundraising trip.

Musk and Wilson’s marriage lasted five years before they divorced in 2008.

‘NERDMASTER 3000’

The book gives insight into Musk’s childhood. He was born in South Africa before emigrating to Canada in the late 1980s. He studied physics at the University of Pennsylvania. 

From a young age, Musk was obsessed with computers, selling a coding project at the age of 13. 

The project was a video game called Blaster where players have to destroy an alien spaceship.

While looking for jobs in Silicon Valley, Musk admitted to being “too shy to talk to anyone” while using the internet dial-up service Netscape.

“It was pretty embarrassing,” he said. “I was just sort of standing there trying to see if there was someone I could talk to and was too scared to talk to anyone, so then I left.”

HICCUPS ON THE ROAD

Musk is known for his eccentricity and personality.

Hires for PayPal ranged from chess and puzzle champions to high school dropouts.

One engineer was known to put his bare feet on his desk to remove toenail gunk “in full view”.

A nearly fatal accident happened when Musk flipped his silver McLaren F1 car, worth $1million, while Thiel was on board.

Neither of the men wore seatbelts but remarkably came out unscathed.

According to Musk, the car flipped “like a discus” and people who saw the accident “thought we were going to die.”

Musk was hit with a big repair bill since the vehicle wasn’t insured.

‘VACATIONS WILL KILL YOU’

The Tesla mogul revealed in 2015 that he has only attempted to take a week off twice.

The first time he tried to take a break in 2014, his Orbit Sciences rocket and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic rocket exploded.

Branson’s spacecraft exploded above California’s the Mojave Desert.

Then, the second time he tried to take a week off, one of Musk’s rockets exploded.

He said: “Vacations will kill you.”

The revelations come as an investigation is underway whether Musk and his brother Kimbal breached “insider trading rules”.

The Securities and Exchange Commission launched a probe after Kimbal sold shares worth more than $100million, the Wall Street Journal reported.

It happened just a day before Elon created a Twitter poll asking social media users whether he should sell 10percent of his stake in Tesla.

More than 3.5million people voted in the poll and around 58 percent said he should sell his stake.

Musk even promised to respect the result of the vote and it was a response to a “billionaires tax” that had been proposed by the Democrats.

The SEC and Tesla didn’t approach when approached by the Wall Street Journal.

AFP

Tesla mogul Musk revealed that he only tried to take a week off twice[/caption]

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