Before he ever tried building electric cars or sending people to Mars, Elon Musk attempted to get a job at Netscape, an early web browser company. Musk was not qualified to start a startup and he didn’t have the personality or credentials necessary for the job. They didn’t respond to Musk’s job application.
Netscape made a mistake by passing Musk on. His ideas were some of the best of all time. In the meantime, Netscape was forced to abandon Browser Wars and was purchased by AOL in 1999. Although its browser was shut down in 2008, it is still available in part in Firefox. Musk found that not being offered the job he desired was the best thing to have ever happened. This should be a source of inspiration to all aspiring entrepreneurs.
This story was shared by Musk in 2012 in an interview with Kevin Rose, an entrepreneur. CNBC highlighted it in 2018. Rose heard Musk tell the story in a 2012 interview with Kevin Rose. Rose was highlighted by CNBC 2018. In fact, Musk had wanted to work at a particle accelerator before the U.S. government pulled the plug on the Superconducting Super Collider.
His first visit to Silicon Valley was to pursue graduate studies in materials and applied physics at Stanford. Rose was told by him that he thought in 1995 the internet would revolutionize the world and that he wanted to participate. Actually, I was trying to find a job with Netscape when I started. “I wouldn’t really try to start my own company.
Musk was fortunately not successful. He said, “I did not get any response.” Musk was a graduate in business and physics, but had no experience in computer science or working in software companies. This may explain why Netscape didn’t take an interest in Musk.
Musk also did not have the gift for gab. Musk tried hanging out in the lobby at Netscape to see if he could strike up an acquaintance that would help him get in the door–a strategy that can be very successful. Musk couldn’t accomplish it. He said, “I was too shy for anyone to talk to me.” It was embarrassing. “I was just trying to find someone to talk to, and I couldn’t. It was impossible for me to speak to anybody. Then I fled.” Musk recently revealed that he suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, which can cause social awkwardness, making it more difficult for him to initiate a conversation.
Musk knew exactly what he wanted, even though he was unable to get into Netscape’s doors. Musk spent most of his summer creating software, but when it came to fall, he was forced to make a decision: either start a business or go to Stanford.
He said, “I decided that if I started a business and it fails, I could always return to graduate school.” So I spoke to the chair of the department, and he allowed me to go on deferment. He said that I would be back within six months, and that he probably wouldn’t hear from me ever again. He was right. He has never spoken with me since then.”
Musk was also a co-founder of Zip2, which created internet guides for newspapers. Compaq purchased Zip2 early 1999. Musk also co-founded X.com that later became PayPal. It was purchased by eBay for $1.5 million (eBay sold it off in 2015). That made Musk a millionaire a hundred times over and gave him the funding, the credibility, and the confidence to pursue his biggest dreams.
Though it’s strange to imagine what could have been, it’s possible that someone who reviewed Musk’s application for a job had recognized his genius or had Musk been more comfortable talking with strangers. It’s possible that we live in a world where Teslas are not around, so Netscape Navigator may be the browser of our choice.
The interview is here:
Publited Sat, 21 August 2021 at 06:34.40 +0000