Young Elon Musk ‘couldn’t get a job at internet company’ – so started his own

A young Elon Musk couldn't get a job at an internet company – so went and set up his own.

In 1995 Musk, then aged just 24, applied for a job at Netscape, the company that created the first web browser, Netscape Navigator.

But despite his best efforts to join the internet boom, Musk didn't even receive a reply to his application.

Undeterred, and in an early sign of his entrepreneurial spirit he did what few would consider doing – he went straight to the company's headquarters.

But despite travelling to the company, Musk has since revealed he was actually too shy to speak to anyone.

In a recent post on Twitter, one user wrote: "In 1995, @elonmusk wanted to work with an Internet company, he applied to work at Netscape, sent his resume, tried hanging out in their lobby, but he was too shy to talk to anyone.

"So he started his own Internet company (Zip2) as he wasn't able to get a job anywhere."

Musk replied to the tweet: "I could get a job, just not at an Internet company (weren’t many back then)."

According to CNBC, Elon Musk revealed in 2012 that he had tried to get a job at Netscape because he had been interested in the Internet.

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"I actually tried hanging out in the [Netscape] lobby, but I was too shy to talk to anyone. So I'm just like standing in the lobby," he said. "It was pretty embarrassing."

After his failed attempt to land a job at Netscape, Musk set up Zip2 alongside his younger brother, Kimbal Musk.

The company developed and marketed an Internet city guide for the newspaper publishing industry, with maps, directions, and yellow pages.

He later revealed in a 2014 commencement speech at the University of Southern California that the brothers had been so keen to make their new venture a success that they didn't rent an apartment and instead slept on the office floor.

He said: "Depending on how well you want to do and particularly if you're starting a company you have to work super hard.

"So what does 'super hard' mean?

"When my brother and I were starting our first company, instead of getting an apartment, we just rented a small office and we slept on the couch.

"We showered at the YMCA and we were so hard up we only had just one computer so the website was up during the day and I was coding at night, seven days a week, all the time.

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"I briefly had a girlfriend during that period and in order to be with me, she had to sleep in the office.

"So work hard, every waking hour. That's the thing I would say particularly if you're starting a company."

He also revealed in 2013 that his first company, Zip2, had only had six employees including himself and his brother – three salespeople "hired on contingency", and a friend of his mum's.

In 1999 Zip2 sold for $307 million, earning Musk $22 million for his 7% share of the company when he was just 27-years-old.

He has gone on to become valued at more than $185bn and recently held the title of being the richest man in the world.

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