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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The guy who is saving the world.

Difficulty: 0

Hi, I'm Dave from Boyinaband,

Sometimes you come across people who

completely change your perception of what a human being is capable of

Today, I'm going to show you one of those people

someone who is basically a real life Iron-Man

but less of a douche and with slightly fewer glowing blue fusion reactors embedded in his chest

Or at least he hides it well

I'll set the scene of my discovery

After commiting to the imminent destruction of my diurnal sleeping pattern,

I was browsing through the internet until I happened to come across an article about Tesla

A company developing electic cars

Now, I know less about cars than I do about spotting continuity errors,

But this article mentioned the owner of Tesla had just been asked if he would pay for a museum

of the company's namesake, Nicola Tesla, an inventor who's as badass as he is dead

The owner of the company gave a million dollars to fund the museum

And I thought "That's a lot of money for a random internet publicity stunt"

"This guy seems frickin' cool"

"I wonder what other cool stuff he's done"

"Oh wow, his company has forced all the massive car manufacturing companies towards practical electric vehicles"

"Ah, but wait, the powerplants would still have to burn those fossil fuels in the first place-"

"Oh wow, he's chairman of another company that's put more solar panels on people's houses than any other"

"But wait, what if it's already too late to cure climate change and the planet is doomed-"

"Oh wow, he's made another company that is single-handedly pushing humanity towards colonizing mars -

- To avoid the accidental extinction of the human race"

So who is this superhero that's saving us from the brink of collapse?

There WAS a genius billionaire in that picture

but it wasn't Robert Downey Jr.

The dude chilling with Tony Stark was Elon Musk

Who Robert Downey Jr. actually based the character of Iron Man on

By analyzing Elon's mannerisms, talking to him, and adding a healthy scoop of douche

God damn, that's a nice phase to say

(in rhythm) Scoop of douche, scoop of douche, scoop of -

So I was like "Holy crap! This guy is literally fixing the world, how did I not know about him?"

"Is he famous?"

Okay, phew, he's got over a million Twitter followers

that seems like a lot, right?

Oh, okay Nicki, I guess you do sing some pretty catchy -

Oh, okay Kim, I guess you do have a pretty good-looking -

Oh, okay Pewds, you do have some pretty funny videos

and make an incredibly satisfying way of pronouncing of the words "haters" -


Well, okay, Pitbull, you do shout your name very effectively in a lot of songs,

But I think it would be more beneficial if people were aware of the fate of the planet

Rather than your favourite number

(echo and music) 305! (⌐■_■)

Dale! (⌐■_■)

Dale! Dale!

What is- What the hell is- What's 'dale'?

How is this possible?

How does someone frickin' come out of nowhere and found three world-changing companies?

Well, they weren't his first world-changing companies

And he didn't actually come out of nowhere

unless South Africa is 'nowhere' to you, in which case you're a silly billy

It's right here! It's right over here, you silly billy

And in terms of business too, he didn't just pop into existence with multi-millions of dollars

(incoherent mumbling)

He started pretty early

When he was twelve, he taught himself to program -

- programmed a game, and sold it for five hundred dollars

Know what I was doing at age twelve?

Getting told by my school that long hair was for girls and I had to cut it or get suspended

Well SCREW YOU, Mrs. Cheshire, who's laughing now?

When he was seventeen he moved to Canada

and after casually getting two degrees, moved to America

and started a company with his brother to make the Internet's first yellow pages

And bear in mind, at this point the majority of people thought the Internet was a fad

like Tamagotchi or Five Nights at Freddy's,

or caring about debilitating diseases

They didn't actually have enough money for a dedicated computer to host the website on,

So Elon became nocturnal, and coded it at night,

then used the same computer to host it during the day

That concept just makes me laugh so much

like, imagine if Facebook was suddenly like

"Oop! sorry guys, it's nighttime now, and I've gotta fix the messaging system"

"See you in twelve hours, Zuckie <3"

But the work paid off.

In January '96, they got three million dollars in funding to grow the company.

Just gonna stop there for a sec,

That's quite the jump for less than a year.

But you can't change the world on a measley 3 million dollars

Fortunately, that amount paled into comparison when the company was sold three years later

for three hundred and seven million dollars

The most money ever paid for an internet company at the time

And Elon got twenty-two million of that

Instead of buying an island and carving his own face into it, the same year he started a company "X dot com"

Which, as we all know, is the most awesome letter of the alphabet

It's so goddamn futuristic oh my god was an internet payments comany, but they were against some pretty big competition

so they ended up merging with another company with a product called [mumbles slightly] oh, what has it? oh, yeah,


He wasn't just some random manager. Not only was he the CEO that ran thaaangs,

He was the guy who figured out how to make people use PayPal

Think about it: How would you get millions of people to trust this random website they've never heard of?

Well, he started by offering twenty dollars to everyone that made an account

- and twenty dollars for every friend they referred

This one interview when he was talking about it makes me laugh, where he was like

[Elon] I think it probably ... sixty or seventy million dollars

[Interviewer] oh, okay, so we're not talking peanuts here, this is-

[Elon] Yeah, it depends on your relative scale

[Interviewer] well, yeah, I ...

[hip-hop music]

My frickin' G!

But things weren't easy for him during this time

there was a lot of disagreements with how PayPal should be run

because people who make sucessful companies tend to be pretty opinionated and driven

Like, imagine if Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian and Pewdiepie had to get together and make a group and agree on a direction

Actually that's a really bad analogy because they'd very quickly conclude huge amounts of twerking and become more sucessful than anything in history

So, after he ran the company as the CEO for like a year,

he went on this two-week roadtrip to meet some possible investors, and when he got back

the rest of the people on the board of the company fired him

So that was pretty crap.

Things weren't all bad for him, because he kept his share of the company even though he was fired

You might know that in 2002, PayPal was bought by eBay

you might not remember that it was for 1.5 billion dollars

his share of that got him a hundred and sixty five million

Instead of buying several islands and carving his entire anatomy into them, he -

[Interrupts self] Oh, wait, he did buy an island at this point

that's when he created his company that - hang on


I thought Google X was a frickin' cool name, but SPACE X?

That's literally like my eight-year-old self was asked: "what is the absolute coolest name possible for a company"

[8-year-old Dave] SPACE-X! :D

[Dave] What do they do?

[Eight-year-old Dave] Go into space!! :D :D

[Normal Dave] how is that financially feasible?

[Eight-year-old Dave] ...SPACE!!! :DDDDD

[Normal Dave voiceover] This is where ol' Elon is a slightly better rocket engineering CEO than my eight year old self

He funded SpaceX with a hundred million dollars of his own money

Because, funnily enough, most people didn't think pouring money into a space company was a sound investment

I guess they thought a company fronted by someone with no prior practical rocket science experience couldn't be more efficient than NASA

Pffft, idiots.

Well, he had a degree in physics, but everyone that's taken a degree knows exactly how prepared it makes you for the real world

So, how did he learn enough about rocket science?

He taught himself.

He read a lot of books, talked to some rocket scientists and watched some youtube tutorials or something

and after calculating that he thought he could do things better than NASA -

- founded SpaceX with just enough money for three attempts at launching a working rocket

Guess which attempt the rocket launched on?

That's right, the fourth.

We're gonna come back to that in a sec, because one world-changing company wasn't enough

This is where he made Tesla Motors in 2003 with twenty million dollars

You know, just some leftover cash

[Hip-hop music]

Because, as he explained it, "climate change needs to be dealt with, and the biggest consumption of that is cars"

He did it because it was important

So he just casually challenged the entire car industry by being like:

"Yeah, I know you're a multi-billion dollar industry, but I think I can do better"


Tesla made the first production line electric car that went over 200 miles on one charge

and also didn't make the car look STUPID.

Meaning it was the first practical AND cool electric car

By the way, when I was trying to find a way to prove to you with data that people weren't a fan of the style of electric cars

I typed in "electric cars look" into google and yes, that is actually the top result

There's all kinds of stories about the big car companies getting the government to try to restrict Tesla in all kinds of ways, but

Basically, they failed, Tesla won - trap dance!

{the same hip-hop music from before}

Around 2008 though, you might remember the financial crisis happened

Which was not a good year if you happened to own multiple cutting-edge technology companies

Tesla was about to go under

so Elon injected the rest of his money into it

And I mean all of it, he had to borrow from his friends in order to support his family at that point

No matter HOW rich you are it's frickin' scary to put everything you own into something

And again, to clarify, he wasn't doing this to make the most money

it's not like he sat down and after careful consideration mused "hmm, yes, SPACE is where the money is"

he would have gone to like, the financial sector or real estate or something for that

He was doing it because it was important to progress humanity

So he sank all of his money into Tesla

all three rocket launches failed

and he had a frickin' divorce in the same year

but at the end of that year

[countdown voice] three ... two ... one ... zero

[overlapping voices] And we're flying [cheering]

[countdown voice] we have lift off

[Dave] Yay! On the third launch, he said that he knew why it failed, fixed it, and successfully launched soon after with the last drags of funds the company had

This single human being had organized and helped design what most governments are not capable of doing

And the American government noticed

NASA gave Space-X a 1.6 billion dollar contract to fly stuff to the international space station

So to my eight-year-old self, THAT is how a space-travel company can be financially feasible

[8 year old Dave] ZELDA IS A FUN GAME! :D

[Normal Dave] it defined a generation

soon after the sky rocketing success - [monotone] ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha - of Space-X, Elons other company, Tesla, began to pay off

Its model S car was released, and out of a possible five-star safety rating, it got 5.4 stars

potentially because there wasn't an explosion happening in front of the driver at all times

they started selling shares and made two billion dollars

and all the other car companies started making electric cars because they realized "holy crap, we can't be lazy anymore!"

"Stupid Elon Musk with his space rockets and your occasional relatable tweets. >:("

Seriously, his Twitter makes me laugh SO much, like, who else can credibly get away with saying

"By the way, we're actually working on a charger that automatically moves out from the wall and connects like a solid metal snake"

"for realz"

For REALZ! What frickin' billionaire uses superfluous zeds!?

Probably Dr. Dre, actually.

I guess the kind of billionaire that went choosing the vehicle names to trademark for his car company chooses the models

S, 3, X and Y

Because, and I quote: "There's not much humour in copyright law"


His sense of humour is so deadpan

One that got me particularly strongly was in an interview where he was asked about his plans to build rockets that fly to mars

[Interviewer] You want to be on that flight?

[Elon] I'd like to go to mars, absolutely. I think it would be great to be born on earth and die on mars

[Elon] just, eh, hopefully not at the point of impact

[interviewer laughs]

Amazing. And he's one of the only people in the world that could pull that one off

because he's joking, but simutaneously, he's going to Mars

But what does he do when he isn't working?

Surely, his brain can't be on all the time

He actually has time to play video games occasionally, including kerbal space program, which made me laugh.

but more often, he invents new things

Like one weeked after hearing California's government was about to have the dubious honour of building the most expensive and slowest bullet train

He got annoyed, so he met with a few friends, had a few coffees

and developed design documentation for an entirely new method of transport

cheaper than trains, faster than planes, that works like an air hocket table

called - prepare your inner eight-year-old-self - the Hyperloop

[8 year old Dave] (Delighted gasping) :D

He just made it! Then put the document out on the internet, for FREE

Because he didn't have the time to do it

y'know, multiple world-changing companies already

Got a bit on my plate

and three other ideas he suggested potentially working on were:

One: an electric plane, which, because of the lack of oxygen required because there's no jet engine, it can fly way higher -

- meaning less air-restistance, meaning

Getting from London to shanghai in seven and a half hours;

Two: A way to add a double-decker element to roads to reduce traffic and rush hour

PLEASE make this one! D:

and third; he actually said in an interview

[Elon] one of them, the third one would be, I [slight stutter] I think I could make fusion work

[Elon] ehm

[laugher] [Elon] and, eh,

[Dave] You know, just casually

And I believe him!

So his companies have continued to go from strength to strength, which brings us to now

[Gangster Dave] Ay, yo, Dave, how much he worth?

[Normal Dave] eight point three billion dollars

[Gangster Dave] Damn! :O

Keep in mind that 'point three' is enough to buy multiple islands

And unlike many other billionaires like the Wal-mart family for instance

who have a tendency to sociopathically keep it all to themselves

- despite having literally enough money to cure world hunger

I have the stats to back that up

Elon is invested in making businesses that will save the world

He realizes that people who deny climate change as a world-ending threat are idiots

And instead of getting involved in that kind of debate

found a way to make it financially beneficial for the world to work towards not destroying the planet

I just can't believe that Elon is not more people's hero

but all that said, the coolest thing is not the achievements he's done, but why he does them

He didn't go into these businesses purely for profit

he sat down and thought logically about what the world needed the most, then found a way to make it work

He cares about people in a way so few people with his ability do

and he's smart enough to make an impact bigger than governments

because he's not afraid to choose a direction that could fail, against everyone's convetional advice

and work a hundred hours a week to prove them wrong

Elon Musk is probably the guy I respect the most in the world

People tend to find it a lot easier to have that level of respect for dead people like Nicola Tesla, Elon's company's namesake

but I keep thinking, imagine what this guy could do if enough people were aware of his intentions and achievements

And gave him that level of respect while he was still alive

so even though he isn't as world famous as some rappers or TV stars

That's the the kind of person with the kind of mindset I think more people should know about

And if you're interested in Elon's achivements, you'll probably also be insterested in what Google has been doing with their secret research facility, Google X

and you can check that video out here or linked in the description


OH, and Elon!

PLEASE be a rapper

You have the perfect 'came from nothing now I'm something'-story

You frickin' could film your video, with a rocket taking off in the background, from your OWN ISLAND

And, all the best rappers are from South Africa, it would just be amazing

I'll, I'll make you the song, please, please, please

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The Description of The guy who is saving the world.