Elon Musk, CEO of the famous electric automaker Tesla Motors and private spaceflight company SpaceX, is already obsessed with space even at a young age. At age 30, he founded SpaceX. At age 41, he oversaw the first cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Back in 1984 as kid living in South Africa, he taught himself programming and created a space-themed video game called Blastar. The game is a reminiscent of Space Invaders and Asteroid, though it’s much more basic. Your mission, as the game’s space pilot, is to shoot the alien freighter carrying deadly hydrogen bombs and status beam machines. There is never more than two ships on the screen, there are few sound effects and like many video games back then, it has no ending.
True, Musk created a rather basic space shooter video game but he managed to sell the code to the magazine PC and Office Technology for $500 at the age of 12. That code was republished in the recent released Musk Biography. Google’s Software Engineer Tomas Lloret took it upon himself to create the HTML5 version of the game that can be played on the web. You can play the game here.
Those who have played video games in the last thirty years probably won’t be impressed by the efforts of the young Musk. However, you have to remember this game was developed when he was only a 12-year-old child back in the ’80s. Musk’s Blastar, simple as it may be, actually went far beyond what he was able to create around that time plus he managed to make money out from it. This could have been one of the baby steps and the primary reason that he is a billionaire now. He always stays one step ahead.
Despite Musk’s accomplishments, he always exudes a humble persona. In charity events he would offer insight from his days growing up in South Africa trying to find a place in the tech world as an aspiring programmer. He urged aspiring entrepreneurs to reach out to people they admired and put themselves in a position to succeed. Musk quotes, “Find your way to those people who inspire you. If you can, go to where those people will be and meet them.”