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TIME Chooses Elon Musk as Person of the Year for 2021

Elon Musk
Elon Musk, the brilliant engineer and entrepreneur, has been chosen by TIME for its Person of the Year for 2021. Credit: Maurizio Pesce /CC BY 2.0

TIME named Elon Musk, the brilliant engineer who is behind Tesla, his own space exploration company and a host of other concerns, as its Person of the Year for 2021 on Monday.

Musk occupies a unique niche in the pantheon of entrepreneurs, with legions of social media followers who scan his every pronouncement for clues as to what to invest in and what he thinks of societal developments.

One word from him regarding cryptocurrency and the markets reel; another word regarding  his nonpayment of income taxes spurs a debate on how multibillionaires should be selling off their own shares of their companies.

Elon Musk brilliant engineer, entrepreneur

As TIME noted on Monday, “The richest man in the world does not own a house and has recently been selling off his fortune. He tosses satellites into orbit and harnesses the sun; he drives a car he created that uses no gas and barely needs a driver. With a flick of his finger, the stock market soars or swoons.”

In its encomium on the iconic figure in business today, TIME goes on to state “His startup rocket company, SpaceX, has leapfrogged Boeing and others to own America’s spacefaring future. His car company, Tesla, controls two-thirds of the multibillion-dollar electric-vehicle market it pioneered and is valued at a cool $1 trillion.

“That has made Musk, with a net worth of more than $250 billion, the richest private citizen in history, at least on paper.”

There seems to be no area of technology that Musk shies away from trying to improve upon, with his “Starlink” array of telecommunications satellites now in the skies over Greece.

Starlink, a subsidiary of Musk’s Space X corporation, provides internet access through a network of low-Earth-orbiting (Low Earth Orbit-LEO) satellites. It has already launched its the first part of its associated activities in Greece.

A small group of users can already use its internet services. Soon, the Starlink internet hardware will be sent to those who have pre-ordered it.

The regulatory framework for the standard satellite dishes necessary for satellite-based internet, so that it works along the model of satellite TV, has already been signed. The difference between internet “satellite dishes” and usual satellite TV, however, is that the former are both receivers and transmitters.

In October, the tech billionaire’s net worth reached the stratosphere when it was announced that his net worth exceeded the entire GDP of the nation of Greece.

The businessman and engineer who is currently the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is currently worth $219.9 billion, while the nation of Greece’s GDP is $189.4 billion.

For a single individual to be worth more than any developed country is astounding, but to be worth more than contemporary Greece is no small feat.

Greece is classified by the International Monetary Fund as an advanced, high income economy, with its economy split between service (80%), industrial sectors (16%), and agriculture (4%). It is currently the sixteenth-largest economy in the European Union, which has a total of 27 members.

Some experts say that Musk will soon become the world’s first trillionaire.





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