Elon Musk is the CEO of two companies, Tesla Motors and SpaceX, while being a father of the five at the same time. How does he do it? No one knows. Considering that he has 80-100-hour workweeks on a regular basis, you’d think there’d be little time for anything else.
The same man who’s got so much on his plate already took some small sliver of time out of his busy schedule to give to a cause that compels him. He decided to donate $1 million in honor of Nikola Tesla – for whom Musk named his business.
Nikola Tesla was an inventor who patented his inventions and made quite a bit of money for them at the time. In 1891, Tesla demonstrated wireless power transfer, while later driving an electric car running wireless power transfer with a speed of 90 miles an hour in the 1930s. After Thomas Edison’s direct current method for the power grid was endorsed over Tesla’s alternating current, Tesla’s investors abandoned his project, and he was forced to abandon his Wardenclyffe lab, located on Long Island in New York. While he died in abject poverty, his work in wireless power transfer is the foundation for Qi wireless charging in smartphones such as Nokia’s Lumia series.
The Friends of Science East (FSE), a company founded by Long Island high school teachers, wanted to turn Tesla’s old Wardenclyffe lab into a Tesla museum in his honor. After a huge fundraising campaign by cartoonist Matthew Inman (the same cartoonist that brought attention to Nikola Tesla’s inventions and achievements), Inman urged Musk to donate – and donate he did.
Elon Musk named his company, Tesla Motors, after the famed inventor who has been labeled one of the most world-famous inventors of all time. Tesla Motors, like Nikola Tesla, covered its tracks by patenting every thing it could to build electric cars. Just last month, Elon Musk and Tesla Motors decided to open-source its electric car patents for widespread use, noting that its patent-hogging, once considered a wise move, had done nothing but harm the electric car industry and the technological development that could spring from it.