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Inside the career of Elon Musk

William Cross

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Inside the career of Elon Musk

Elon Musk is one of the world’s most recognisable and famous entrepreneurs. He was one of the co-founders of Tesla Motors, before moving to aerospace manufacturing when he started SpaceX in 2002. Musk has had a turbulent career to date, drawing praise and criticism from fellow business leaders and politicians.

Where it all started

Musk was born in 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. At age 10, he developed a keen interest in computers, which continued throughout his adolescence. Believing that the United States was the only place where he could achieve his dreams, he relocated from South Africa shortly before his 18th birthday, against this father’s wishes.

Education

Musk couldn’t emigrate directly to the United States, so he remained in Canada while awaiting visa approval. He entered Queen’s University in 1989, before finally moving to the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, where he studied economics and physics. He graduated in 1997.

Early work

Musk had a couple of internships with Silicon Valley companies, including Rocket Science Games. In 1995, he founded Zip2 with his brother, Kimbal, while turning down a PhD program with Stamford University. Zip2 was a raging success, generating $307 million when it was acquired by Compaq in 1999. Musk’s 7% share generated $22 million.

SpaceX and Tesla

In the early 2000s, Musk was instrumental in the creation of SpaceX and Tesla. SpaceX was critical in reviving public interest in space exploration and is now the largest private manufacturer of rocket engines in the world.

Musk has also been critical to the success of Tesla, a company that specialises in the design and manufacturing of electric vehicles. Despite some ups and downs with Tesla, the company reached a market capitalisation of $206 billion, making them the globe’s most valuable automaker. Between July 2019 and July 2020, Tesla also registered its first four consecutive periods of growth.

I cover fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain and investing at Metic Press. I’ve also written frequently about leadership, corporate diversity and entrepreneurs. Before Metic Press, I worked for ten years at MMS, covering topics ranging from client consulting to talent management. I’m a graduate of Middlebury College and Columbia Journalism School. Have a tip, question or comment? Please let me know.

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Do you need online marketing for your business?

William Cross

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Do you need online marketing for your business

Before the internet became the main way for customers to find products or services, it was common to open up the Whitepages to find a business to meet your needs. Nowadays if you need something your go-to is probably a search engine, and that’s where SEO services come in!

If you’re wondering why it’s essential for today’s modern businesses, then the simple answer is that SEO services help to ensure that your business is found, by the right customers.

The goal is to ensure that the right people find you when they need to.

What’s involved?

Most SEO services usually involve a few different components to achieve good results and ensure that your website and business is being found by the right customers.

These components include:

Keyword research

The first stage of effectively optimizing your website and ensuring it can be found is making sure the right keywords are on your website. Why? Because if your website uses the right keywords it makes it easier for search engines to know what your website or business is about and ensure that customers can find you. If you don’t use the right key phrases then search engines won’t be able to tell what you’re website is all about, and people won’t be able to find you. SEO services often start with finding the right keyword strategy to optimise your business. Implementing these correctly will help your business rank higher on the search engine results.

Website optimisation

SEO services also often involve ensure that your website is properly optimised for search engines. Search engines will crawl your website looking for information on what your website is about, it there are technical issues, or limited meta data then your website is likely to rank lower, or not at all. Search engines want to ensure the quality of information they are providing to searchers and if there are problems with your website, it may be penalised –  this could mean your site drops of the search results altogether, making it almost impossible for people to find your site.

Knowledgeable experts will do an audit of your website to find and fix any current issues and to ensure that meta titles and descriptions are properly optimised to tell search engines exactly what your website it about.

Improving user experience

Another common task you can expect is for agencies or providers of SEO services to identify possible opportunities to improve the user experience or UX design of your website. They will monitor data over time to see what is, or isn’t working. High bounce rates on some pages might for instance indicate that people who are clicking into the page aren’t finding the information they need, those with experience in search behaviour will be able to offer recommendations on how to improve the page to ensure that people are reading through, and hopefully converting to use your products or services.

Link building

Search engines will rank websites that are trusted, or provide the most relevant, valuable information higher. A common way that they determine this is by looking at the number of links connected to your website. If lots of trustworthy sites are linking to your website, this in turn tells the search engine that your website it trustworthy, that is why link building strategies are often an important component of SEO services.

Content creation

The content on your website serves a number of purposes; it’s important to your customers as it shows them what your business is about and helps to answer their questions, and it’s important in search because it helps the search engine understand what your business is about.

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A beginner’s guide on the pros and cons of virtual reality

William Cross

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virtual reality

For ardent gamers and tech-lovers, virtual reality (VR) represents one of the most exciting new developments in the tech world. However, the uses of VR are far-reaching, since the technology can be applied to a variety of sectors like gaming, education, entertainment, engineering, design, media and even medicine. Palmer Luckey, the founder of the Oculus Rift, is credited with reviving the industry. So, what are some of the pros and cons of this new technology? Read on to find out.

Pros

Starting with the pros, there’s no doubt that there are many. Firstly, owners of VR systems say that the experience is unparalleled. It’s immersive, fun and totally worth it. The level of detail is sublime, and for gamers, in particular, VR provides them with an experience that cannot be matched.

Furthermore, VR can be a social medium. It can connect you to thousands of people across the world and encourages teamwork and collaboration. You can play online poker with others, link up with a squad in a modern warzone or build your own spacecraft and explore alternate, virtual galaxies. And that’s just the gaming side of it – VR his proven to have many benefits when applied to other sectors.

Cons

As is the case with all great things, there are drawbacks. For VR, the most significant disadvantage is the cost. Because it’s still working its way into mainstream circles (in some countries and sectors it’s already there), the costs associated with purchasing a new VR system can be quite high. In Australia, an Oculus will set you back around $800, while the HTC VIVE will take $1300 off your bank balance.

Also, it can become incredibly addictive, causing users to detach themselves from their local environment. It’s also not as easy as it sounds – some people need proper, fully-fledged training in VR uses to get the most out of it. So, if you’re new to VR, be patient and take your time.

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3 tech inventions that never really took off

William Cross

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3 tech inventions that never really took off

Only a select few products or inventions go on to have great success on the market. Despite their perceived utility and quality, some products never take off, for whatever reason. Others are just impractical or expensive, making them unviable for many customers. Here are some of the wackiest inventions to have hit the shelves in recent years, only to fade into obscurity.

The radio newspaper

In 1939, excitement grew when news arose that households could have their newspapers transmitted to them. The premise was simple – the radio device would receive the information from a central transmitter, which could then be printed onto a 9-foot piece of paper. Each page took 15 minutes to print and then had to be cut and folded. Those days, 15 minutes was considered rapid; however, the premise never gained traction. The device, however, was instrumental in the development of an office gem – the fax machine.

Wink glasses

Masunaga, a Japanese tech manufacturer, developed a “revolutionary” pair of glasses that monitor how often your eyes blink. With people spending hours staring at screens (whether it be for work or recreation), eye health has become a significant concern for health professionals. The glasses would fog if you weren’t blinking enough, encouraging the wearer to blink at a quicker rate. Why didn’t it work? Well, the price was insane, and users complained of the device being impractical and annoying.

Boiled egg squarer

Who would have thought that this would exist? If boiling your eggs normally isn’t quite up to your speed, then check out the boiled egg squarer. Who doesn’t love a cube-shaped egg for breakfast? It’s easier to cut, won’t roll around on your plate and you can even line up the egg slices against the corners of your toast We still can’t fathom the value of this.

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