Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, that designs and sells consumer electronics, computer software, online services. It is considered one of the Big Four of technology along with Amazon and Facebook; the company's hardware products include the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, the Apple Watch smartwatch, the Apple TV digital media player, the HomePod smart speaker. Apple's software includes the macOS and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, the iLife and iWork creativity and productivity suites, as well as professional applications like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Xcode, its online services include the iTunes Store, the iOS App Store, Mac App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV+, iMessage, iCloud. Other services include Apple Store, Genius Bar, AppleCare, Apple Pay, Apple Pay Cash, Apple Card. Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne in April 1976 to develop and sell Wozniak's Apple I personal computer, though Wayne sold his share back within 12 days.
It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. in January 1977, sales of its computers, including the Apple II, grew quickly. Within a few years and Wozniak had hired a staff of computer designers and had a production line. Apple went public in 1980 to instant financial success. Over the next few years, Apple shipped new computers featuring innovative graphical user interfaces, such as the original Macintosh in 1984, Apple's marketing advertisements for its products received widespread critical acclaim. However, the high price of its products and limited application library caused problems, as did power struggles between executives. In 1985, Wozniak departed Apple amicably and remained an honorary employee, while Jobs and others resigned to found NeXT; as the market for personal computers expanded and evolved through the 1990s, Apple lost market share to the lower-priced duopoly of Microsoft Windows on Intel PC clones. The board recruited CEO Gil Amelio to what would be a 500-day charge for him to rehabilitate the financially troubled company—reshaping it with layoffs, executive restructuring, product focus.
In 1997, he led Apple to buy NeXT, solving the failed operating system strategy and bringing Jobs back. Jobs pensively regained leadership status, becoming CEO in 2000. Apple swiftly returned to profitability under the revitalizing Think different campaign, as he rebuilt Apple's status by launching the iMac in 1998, opening the retail chain of Apple Stores in 2001, acquiring numerous companies to broaden the software portfolio. In January 2007, Jobs renamed the company Apple Inc. reflecting its shifted focus toward consumer electronics, launched the iPhone to great critical acclaim and financial success. In August 2011, Jobs resigned as CEO due to health complications, Tim Cook became the new CEO. Two months Jobs died, marking the end of an era for the company. Apple is well known for its size and revenues, its worldwide annual revenue totaled $265 billion for the 2018 fiscal year. Apple is the world's largest information technology company by revenue and the world's third-largest mobile phone manufacturer after Samsung and Huawei.
In August 2018, Apple became the first public U. S. company to be valued at over $1 trillion. The company employs 123,000 full-time employees and maintains 504 retail stores in 24 countries as of 2018, it operates the iTunes Store, the world's largest music retailer. As of January 2018, more than 1.3 billion Apple products are in use worldwide. The company has a high level of brand loyalty and is ranked as the world's most valuable brand. However, Apple receives significant criticism regarding the labor practices of its contractors, its environmental practices and unethical business practices, including anti-competitive behavior, as well as the origins of source materials. Apple Computer Company was founded on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne; the company's first product is the Apple I, a computer designed and hand-built by Wozniak, first shown to the public at the Homebrew Computer Club. Apple I was sold as a motherboard —a base kit concept which would now not be marketed as a complete personal computer.
The Apple I went on sale in July 1976 and was market-priced at $666.66. Apple Computer, Inc. was incorporated on January 3, 1977, without Wayne, who had left and sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800 only twelve days after having co-founded Apple. Multimillionaire Mike Markkula provided essential business expertise and funding of $250,000 during the incorporation of Apple. During the first five years of operations revenues grew exponentially, doubling about every four months. Between September 1977 and September 1980, yearly sales grew from $775,000 to $118 million, an average annual growth rate of 533%; the Apple II invented by Wozniak, was introduced on April 16, 1977, at the first West Coast Computer Faire. It differs from its major rivals, the TRS-80 and Commodore PET, because of its character cell-based color graphics and open architecture. While early Apple II models use ordinary cassette tapes as storage devices, they were superseded by the introduction of a 5 1⁄4-inch floppy disk drive and interface called the Disk II.
The Apple II was chosen to be the desktop platform for the first "killer app" of the business world: VisiCalc, a spreadsheet program. VisiCalc created a business market for the Apple II and gave home users an additional reason to buy an Apple II: compatibility with the office. Before VisiCalc, Apple had been a distant third place c
LinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps. Founded on December 28, 2002, launched on May 5, 2003, it is used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their CVs; as of 2015, most of the company's revenue came from selling access to information about its members to recruiters and sales professionals. As of March 2019, LinkedIn had 610 million registered members in 200 countries. LinkedIn allows members to create profiles and "connections" to each other in an online social network which may represent real-world professional relationships. Members can invite anyone to become a connection. Since December 2016 it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft. LinkedIn participated in the EU's International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles. LinkedIn is headquartered in Sunnyvale, with offices in Omaha, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D. C. São Paulo, Dublin, Milan, Munich, Stockholm, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and Dubai.
In January 2016, the company had around 9,200 employees. LinkedIn's CEO is Jeff Weiner a Yahoo! Inc. executive. Founder Reid Hoffman CEO of LinkedIn, is Chairman of the Board, it is funded by Sequoia Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and the European Founders Fund. LinkedIn reached profitability in March 2006. Through January 2011, the company had received a total of $103 million of investment; the site has an Alexa Internet ranking as the 28th most popular website. According to the New York Times, US high school students are now creating LinkedIn profiles to include with their college applications. Based in the United States, the site is, as of 2013, available in 24 languages, including Arabic, English, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Russian, Japanese, Polish, Indonesian and Tagalog. LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011 and traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, under the NYSE symbol "LNKD"; the company was founded in December 2002 by Reid Hoffman and founding team members from PayPal and Socialnet.com.
In late 2003, Sequoia Capital led the Series A investment in the company. In August 2004, LinkedIn reached 1 million users. In March 2006, LinkedIn achieved its first month of profitability. In April 2007, LinkedIn reached 10 million users. In February 2008, LinkedIn launched a mobile version of the site. In June 2008, Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, other venture capital firms purchased a 5% stake in the company for $53 million, giving the company a post-money valuation of $1 billion. In November 2009, LinkedIn opened its office in Mumbai and soon thereafter in Sydney, as it started its Asia-Pacific team expansion. In 2010, LinkedIn opened an International Headquarters in Dublin, received a $20 million investment from Tiger Global Management LLC at a valuation of $2 billion, announced its first acquisition and improved its 1% premium subscription ratio. In October of that year, Silicon Valley Insider ranked the company No. 10 on its Top 100 List of most valuable start ups. By December, the company was valued at $1.575 billion in private markets.
LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011. The company traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, at $45 per share. Shares of LinkedIn rose as much as 171% on their first day of trade on the New York Stock Exchange and closed at $94.25, more than 109% above IPO price. Shortly after the IPO, the site's underlying infrastructure was revised to allow accelerated revision-release cycles. In 2011, LinkedIn earned $154.6 million in advertising revenue alone, surpassing Twitter, which earned $139.5 million. LinkedIn's fourth-quarter 2011 earnings soared because of the company's increase in success in the social media world. By this point, LinkedIn had about 2,100 full-time employees compared to the 500 that it had in 2010. In April 2014, LinkedIn announced that it had leased 222 Second Street, a 26-story building under construction in San Francisco's SoMa district, to accommodate up to 2,500 of its employees, with the lease covering 10 years; the goal was to join all San Francisco-based staff in one building, bringing sales and marketing employees together with the research and development team.
They started to move in in March 2016. In February 2016, following an earnings report, LinkedIn's shares dropped 43.6% within a single day, down to $108.38 per share. LinkedIn lost $10 billion of its market capitalization that day. On June 13, 2016, Microsoft announced that it would acquire LinkedIn for $196 a share, a total value of $26.2 billion and the largest acquisition made by Microsoft to date. The acquisition would be an debt-financed transaction. Microsoft would allow LinkedIn to "retain its distinct brand and independence", with Weiner to remain as CEO, who would report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Analysts believed Microsoft saw the opportunity to integrate LinkedIn with its Office product suite to help better integrate the professional network system with its products; the deal was completed on December 8, 2016. In late 2016, LinkedIn announced a planned increase of 200 new positions in its Dublin office, which would bring the total employee count to 1,200. In July 2012, LinkedIn acquired 15 key Digg patents for $4 million including a "click a button to vote up a story" patent.
Tesla, Inc. is an American automotive and energy company based in Palo Alto, California. The company specializes in electric car manufacturing and, through its SolarCity subsidiary, solar panel manufacturing, it operates multiple production and assembly plants, notably Gigafactory 1 near Reno and its main vehicle manufacturing facility at Tesla Factory in Fremont, California. As of March 2019, Tesla sells the Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Roadster and Semi vehicles and Powerpack batteries, solar panels, solar roof tiles, some related products. Tesla was founded in July 2003, by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, under the name Tesla Motors; the company's name was derived from engineer Nikola Tesla. In early Series A funding, Tesla Motors was joined by Elon Musk, J. B. Straubel and Ian Wright, all of whom are retroactively allowed to call themselves co-founders of the company. Musk, who served as chairman and is the current chief executive officer, said that he envisioned Tesla Motors as a technology company and independent automaker, aimed at offering electric cars at prices affordable to the average consumer.
Tesla Motors shortened its name to Tesla in February 2017. After 10 years in the market, Tesla ranked as the world's best selling plug-in passenger car manufacturer in 2018, both as a brand and by automotive group, with 245,240 units delivered and a market share of 12% of the plug-in segment sales. Tesla vehicle sales in the U. S. increased by 280% from 48,000 in 2017 to 182,400 in 2018, globally were up by 138% from 2017. Tesla Motors was incorporated in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning who financed the company until the Series A round of funding; the founders were influenced to start the company after GM recalled all its EV1 electric cars in 2003 and destroyed them. Elon Musk led the Series A round of investment in February 2004, joining Tesla's board of directors as its chairman. Tesla's primary goal was to commercialize electric vehicles, starting with a premium sports car aimed at early adopters and moving into more mainstream vehicles, including sedans and affordable compacts.
Musk oversaw Roadster product design at a detailed level. In addition to his daily operational roles, Musk was the controlling investor in Tesla from the first financing round, funding $6.5M the Series A capital investment round of US$7.5 million with personal funds. Musk led Tesla Motors' Series B, $9M of US$13 million, co-led the third, $12M of US$40 million round in May 2006. Tesla's third round included investment from prominent entrepreneurs including Google co-founders Sergey Brin & Larry Page, former eBay President Jeff Skoll, Hyatt heir Nick Pritzker and added the VC firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Capricorn Management and The Bay Area Equity Fund managed by JPMorgan Chase; the fourth round in May 2007 added another US$45 million and brought the total investments to over US$105 million through private financing. Tesla aims to change the automotive industry by creating many innovative pieces, its marketing, production and technology strategies all are notably different from its competitors.
Tesla's automotive strategy is to emulate typical technological-product life cycles and target affluent buyers. It moved into larger markets at lower price points; the battery and electric drivetrain technology for each model would be developed and paid for through the sales of earlier models. The Roadster was low-volume and priced at US$109,000. Model S and Model X targeted the broader luxury market. Model 3 is aimed at a higher-volume segment; this business strategy is common in the technology industry. According to a Musk blog post, "New technology in any field takes a few versions to optimize before reaching the mass market, in this case it is competing with 150 years and trillions of dollars spent on gasoline cars."Tesla's production strategy includes a high degree of vertical integration, which includes component production and proprietary charging infrastructure. The company operates enormous factories to capture economies of scale. Tesla builds electric powertrain components for vehicles from other automakers, including the Smart ED2 ForTwo electric drive, the Toyota RAV4 EV, Freightliner's Custom Chassis Electric Van.
Vertical integration is rare in the automotive industry, where companies outsource 80% of components to suppliers, focus on engine manufacturing and final assembly. Tesla's sales strategy is to sell its vehicles online and in company-owned showrooms rather than through a conventional dealer network. Moving towards an e-commerce strategy, customers are able to customize and order their vehicles online. Tesla's technology strategy focuses on pure-electric propulsion technology, transferring other approaches from the technology industry to transportation, such as online software updates. Tesla allows its technology patents to be used by anyone in good faith. Licensing agreements include provisions whereby the recipient agrees not to file patent suits against Tesla, or to copy its designs directly. Tesla retained control of its other intellectual property, such as trademarks and trade secrets to prevent direct copying of its technology. Tesla Human Resources VP Arnnon Geshuri committed to bringing manufacturing jobs "back to California".
In 2015, Geshuri led a hiring surge about which he said: "In the last 14 months we've had 1.5 million applications from around the world. People want to work here." Geshuri emphasizes hiring veterans, saying "Veterans are a great source of talent for Tesla, we're going after it."
"PayPal Mafia" is a group of former PayPal employees and founders who have since founded and developed additional technology companies such as Tesla Motors, LinkedIn, Palantir Technologies, SpaceX, YouTube and Yammer. Most of the members attended Stanford University or University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign at some point in their studies. Six members, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, Luke Nosek, Ken Howery, Keith Rabois, have become billionaires. PayPal was a money-transfer service offered by a company called Confinity, acquired by X.com in 1999. X.com was renamed PayPal and purchased by eBay in 2002. The original PayPal employees had difficulty adjusting to eBay's more traditional corporate culture and within four years all but 12 of the first 50 employees had left, they remained connected as social and business acquaintances, a number of them worked together to form new companies in subsequent years. This group of PayPal alumni became so prolific; the term gained wider exposure when a 2007 article in Fortune magazine used the phrase in its headline and featured a photo of former PayPal employees in gangster attire.
The PayPal Mafia is sometimes credited with inspiring the re-emergence of consumer-focused Internet companies after the dot-com bust of 2001. The PayPal Mafia phenomenon has been compared to the founding of Intel in the late 1960s by engineers who had earlier founded Fairchild Semiconductor after leaving Shockley Semiconductor, they are discussed in journalist Sarah Lacy's book Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good. According to Lacy, the selection process and technical learning at PayPal played a role, but the main factor behind their future success was the confidence they gained there, their success has been attributed to their youth. PayPal's founders encouraged tight social bonds among its employees, many of them continued to trust and support one another after leaving PayPal. An intensely competitive environment and a shared struggle to keep the company solvent despite many setbacks contributed to a strong and lasting camaraderie amongst former employees. Individuals whom the media refers to as members of the PayPal Mafia include: Peter Thiel, PayPal founder and former chief executive officer, sometimes referred to as the "don" of the PayPal Mafia Max Levchin and chief technology officer at PayPal sometimes called the "consigliere" of the PayPal Mafia Elon Musk, is founder of X.com which acquired the company Confinity.
Musk co-founded Tesla Motors, SpaceX, OpenAI, The Boring Company, is the Chairman of SolarCity David O. Sacks, former PayPal COO who founded Geni.com and Yammer Scott Banister, former Ironport CTO and PayPal board member Roelof Botha, former PayPal CFO who became a partner of venture capital firm Sequoia Capital Steve Chen, former PayPal engineer who co-founded YouTube. David Gausebeck, former PayPal Technical Architect, co-creator of the Gausebeck-Levchin test, co-founder of Matterport Inc. a digital 3-D modeling company. Reid Hoffman, former executive vice president who founded LinkedIn and was an early investor in Facebook, Friendster, Six Apart, IronPort, Digg, Ping.fm, Care.com, Kongregate, Last.fm, Technorati Ken Howery, former PayPal CFO who became a partner at Founders Fund Chad Hurley, former PayPal web designer who co-founded YouTube Eric M. Jackson, who wrote the book The PayPal Wars and became chief executive officer of WND Books and co-founded CapLinked. Jawed Karim, former PayPal engineer who co-founded YouTube.
Rod D. Martin, former special counsel to CEO Peter Thiel whose 10X Capital took over Galectin Therapeutics in 2009 and who founded Advanced Search Laboratories in 2012. Dave McClure, a former PayPal marketing director, a super angel investor for start up companies and founder of 500 Startups which has hit 500+ investments. Andrew McCormack, co-founder of Valar Ventures Luke Nosek, PayPal co-founder and former vice president of marketing and strategy, became a partner at Founders Fund with Peter Thiel and Ken Howery Jason Portnoy, former vice president of financial planning and analysis who became CFO at Peter Thiel's Clarium Capital, CFO at Palantir Technologies, founding partner at Subtraction Capital. Keith Rabois, a former executive at PayPal who worked at LinkedIn, Slide and Khosla Ventures, invested in Tokbox, Slide, LinkedIn, Room 9 Entertainment, YouTube, Yelp. Jack Selby, former vice president of corporate and international development at PayPal who co-founded Clarium Capital with Peter Thiel becoming managing director of Grandmaster Capital Management.
Premal Shah, former product manager at PayPal, became the founding president of Kiva.org. Russel Simmons, former PayPal engineer who co-founded Yelp Inc. Jeremy Stoppelman, former vice president of technology at PayPal who co-founded Yelp, Inc. Yishan Wong, a former engineering manager at PayPal worked at Facebook and became the CEO of Reddit. Traitorous eight
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U. S. the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento; the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, the country's second most populous, after New York City. California has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; the City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world, the 36th most populous as of 2017.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies, after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 among large PSAs, is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people. California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation and politics, it is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.
S. state. California is bordered by Oregon to the north and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; the state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time and wildfires have become more pervasive features. What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries; the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.
The western portion of Alta California was organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom; the word California referred to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The name derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible.
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, inhabited by black women without a single man among them, they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with great virtue; the island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the craggy rocks. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA. Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000; the Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their political organization with bands, villages, on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash and Salinan.
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Space Exploration Technologies Corp. doing business as SpaceX, is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars. SpaceX has since developed the Falcon launch vehicle family and the Dragon spacecraft family, which both deliver payloads into Earth orbit. SpaceX's achievements include the first funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit, the first private company to launch and recover a spacecraft, the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station, the first propulsive landing for an orbital rocket, the first reuse of an orbital rocket, the first private company to launch an object into orbit around the sun. SpaceX has flown 16 resupply missions to the International Space Station under a partnership with NASA. NASA awarded SpaceX a further development contract in 2011 to develop and demonstrate a human-rated Dragon, which would be used to transport astronauts to the ISS and return them safely to Earth.
SpaceX conducted the maiden launch of its Crew Dragon spacecraft on a NASA-required demonstration flight on March 2, 2019 and is set to launch its first crewed Crew Dragon in 2019. On 11 March at 8:45 a.m. EST, the Spacex Crew Dragon completed its first uncrewed flight that splash-landed in the Atlantic; the flight named SpX-DM1 has demonstrated the Crew Dragon's ability to safely transport crew to ISS and back.. SpaceX announced in 2011 that it was beginning a reusable launch system technology development program. In December 2015, the first Falcon 9 was flown back to a landing pad near the launch site, where it accomplished a propulsive vertical landing; this was the first such achievement by a rocket for orbital spaceflight. In April 2016, with the launch of CRS-8, SpaceX vertically landed the first stage on an ocean drone ship landing platform. In May 2016, in another first, SpaceX again landed the first stage, but during a more energetic geostationary transfer orbit mission. In March 2017, SpaceX became the first to re-launch and land the first stage of an orbital rocket.
In September 2016, CEO Elon Musk unveiled the mission architecture of the Interplanetary Transport System program, an ambitious funded initiative to develop spaceflight technology for use in crewed interplanetary spaceflight. In 2017, Musk unveiled an updated configuration of the system, now named Starship and Super Heavy, planned to be reusable and will be the largest rocket on its debut scheduled for the early 2020s. In 2001, Elon Musk conceptualized Mars Oasis, a project to land a miniature experimental greenhouse and grow plants on Mars. "This would be the furthest that life’s traveled" in an attempt to regain public interest in space exploration and increase the budget of NASA. Musk tried to buy cheap rockets from Russia but returned empty-handed after failing to find rockets for an affordable price. On the flight home, Musk realized that he could start a company that could build the affordable rockets he needed. According to early Tesla and SpaceX investor Steve Jurvetson, Musk calculated that the raw materials for building a rocket were only three percent of the sales price of a rocket at the time.
By applying vertical integration, producing around 85% of launch hardware in-house, the modular approach from software engineering, SpaceX could cut launch price by a factor of ten and still enjoy a 70% gross margin. In early 2002, Musk was seeking staff for his new space company, soon to be named SpaceX. Musk approached rocket engineer Tom Mueller and Mueller agreed to work for Musk, thus SpaceX was born. SpaceX was first headquartered in a warehouse in California; the company has grown since it was founded in 2002, growing from 160 employees in November 2005 to 1,100 in 2010, 3,800 employees and contractors by October 2013, nearly 5,000 by late 2015, about 6,000 in April 2017. As of November 2017, the company had grown to nearly 7,000. In 2016, Musk gave a speech at the International Astronautical Congress, where he explained that the US government regulates rocket technology as an "advanced weapon technology", making it difficult to hire non-Americans; as of March 2018, SpaceX had over 100 launches on its manifest representing about $12 billion in contract revenue.
The contracts included both commercial and government customers. In late 2013, space industry media quoted Musk's comments on SpaceX "forcing…increased competitiveness in the launch industry," its major competitors in the commercial comsat launch market being Arianespace, United Launch Alliance, International Launch Services. At the same time, Musk said that the increased competition would "be a good thing for the future of space." SpaceX is the leading global commercial launch provider measured by manifested launches. Musk has stated that one of his goals is to decrease the cost and improve the reliability of access to space by a factor of ten. CEO Elon Musk said: "I believe $500 per pound or less is achievable." A major goal of SpaceX has been to develop a reusable launch system. As of March 2013, the publicly announced aspects of this technology development effort include an active test campaign of the low-altitude, low-speed Grasshopper vertical takeoff, vertical landing technology demonstrator rocket, a high-altitude, high-speed Falcon 9 post-missi