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Jacob Smith: Be like Musk

Jacob Smith • Updated Apr 26, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Earlier this month, Facebook owner and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress about whether his social media site misused the information from the people who use Facebook. 

While the world criticized Zuckerberg for potentially taking their information and selling it to the highest bidder, fellow billionaire Elon Musk was busy as quite possibly the coolest man in existence. 

First of all, in February, Musk launched a Tesla Roadster into space as a test for his Falcon Heavy rocket, a booster designed by Musk’s company, SpaceX. Musk has made clear his intentions to get humanity to Mars, and his new booster is one step toward that goal. 

He could have chosen to go with a standard test, though, and just launch a rocket designed by a team of engineers into space. It still would have been impressive. Instead, he posed an astronaut mannequin in the driver’s seat of a Tesla Roadster, and launched it into space. 

Getting humanity to Mars isn’t Musk’s only goal, though. His other company, ironically named the Boring Co., set a goal to reduce traffic by creating cheap underground tunnels to use for transit. 

Musk currently has a team of architects and engineers who research ways the tunnels can be cheaper and more efficient. 

Of course, all this costs money. Even Musk, worth $19 billion, according to Forbes, can’t foot the entire bill. Now, Musk could have raised all the money through investors, but for a man whose ultimate goals are to colonize Mars and revolutionize mass transit, that’s not cool enough. 

The Boring Co. sold 50,000 hats and 20,000 flamethrower to raise money for the project. 

No, you didn’t read that wrong. They sold 20,000 of what they call the world’s safest flamethrower. The flamethrowers sold out in around 100 hours, netting Musk and his company roughly $10 million. 

I should clarify. This isn’t a military-strength flamethrower. This is a small flamethrower that’s meant more as a party gag and comes with a fire extinguisher in case things get out of hand. 

The best part about this is that 20,000 people saw a flamethrower on sale for about $550 and thought to themselves, “I have to have this.”

Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. If I had a spare $550 and happened across a flamethrower available to the general public, I’d at least stop and consider buying it. 

It was all so Musk could further his goals to make humans an interplanetary species and drill holes we can travel through safely and speedily. 

In the social-media obsessed world we have today – the world Zuckerberg helped to create with Facebook – take some inspiration from Elon Musk; find something awesome to do and go do it. 

Jacob Smith is a staff writer for The Democrat. Email him at jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com and follow him on Twitter @wilsonnewsroom.

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