Nov 24, 2020

Tesla shares make Elon Musk world’s second richest person

William Smith
2 min
The continuing rise in Tesla’s share price has elevated CEO Elon Musk to the position of world’s second richest person, leapfrogging Microsoft’s Bill Gates
The continuing rise in Tesla’s share price has elevated CEO Elon Musk to the position of world’s second richest person, leapfrogging Microsoft’s B...

The continuing rise in Tesla’s share price has elevated CEO Elon Musk to the position of world’s second richest person, leapfrogging Microsoft’s Bill Gates.

The development places him behind only Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who is some distance ahead thanks to a net worth of $182bn, more than the GDP of Iraq. Elon Musk’s wealth, in comparison, is somewhere between the GDP of Morocco and Ukraine.

Bill Gates’ name has long been synonymous with ultra wealth, owing to him having founded and led Microsoft through the personal computing revolution. He stepped down from the company in 2008, however, and now dedicates his time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is reportedly the world’s largest private charity.

Musk’s wealth has risen precipitously. Having started the year in 35th place, his net worth has since soared by $100bn. Compounding that is the fact that his pay is tied to Tesla’s continuing success, with every $50bn the company gains in value over the next ten years resulting in payouts - topping out at $55.8bn if the company is worth $650bn by 2028.

Tesla is well on its way to that figure, thanks to further good news such as its recent inclusion in the S&P 500 index sending its valuation to around $500bn and making it easily the world’s most valuable car company. Tesla has, of course, also been one of the greatest beneficiaries of rising stock market prices undaunted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Its rise has led some to ask whether it is more of a tech company than an automotive manufacturer. The company takes a technological approach, with over-the-air software updates and autonomous driving setting it apart from its peers. It’s approach is driving change in the automotive industry, with established competitors such as Toyota adapting to trends and investing in autonomous vehicle technology. 

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May 14, 2021

Dark Wolf: accelerating security for USAF

U.S Air Force
Dark Wolf Solutions
2 min
Dark Wolf Solutions is small and agile, its partnership with the US Air Force is helping to deliver critical security faster and better than ever before

As a small company whose biggest customers are the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, Dark Wolf Solutions (Dark Wolf) is a triple-threat, specializing in Cybersecurity, Software and DevOps, and Management Solutions. Dark Wolf secures and tests cloud platforms, develops and deploys applications, and offers consultancy services performing system engineering, system integration, and mission support.

The break for Dark Wolf came when the Department of Defense decided to explore software factories. Rick Tossavainen, Dark Wolf’s CEO, thinks it was an inspired path for the DoD to take. “It was a really great decision,” he says, “Let’s pull our people together as part of this digital transformation and recreate what Silicon Valley startup firms typically have. Let’s get into commercial facilities where we have open windows and big whiteboards and just promote ideation and collaboration. And it creates this collaborative environment where people start creating things much more rapidly than before.”

It has been, Tossavainen says, “amazing to watch” and has energized the Federal Contracting Sector with an influx of new talent and improved working environments that foster creativity and innovative ways of approaching traditional problems.

“We originally started working with the US Air Force about three years ago. The problem was at the time you could develop all the software you wanted but you couldn’t get it into production – you had to go through the traditional assessment and authorization process. I talked to Lauren Knausenberger and she told me about Kessel Run and what eventually came out of this was the DoD’s first continuous ATO [Authority To Operate].”

The secret to Dark Wolf’s success – and its partnerships with USAF and Space Force – lies in a client-first attitude. “We’re not looking to maximise revenue,” Tossavainen explains. “We tell all of our employees, if you’re ever faced with an issue and you don’t know how to resolve it, and one solution is better for the customer and the second is better for Dark Wolf, you always do number one. We’ve just got to take care of our customers, and I look for other partners that want to do that. And let’s work together so that we can bring them the best answer we can.”

Rapid releases and constant evolution of software are common themes among USAF’s partners. Like many firms operating in the commercial and public sector spaces, Dark Wolf leads with a DevSecOps approach.

“Failure is tolerated,” says Tossavainen. “If it’s not going the right way in three months, let’s adjust. Let’s rapidly change course. And you can tell really quickly if something’s going to be successful or not, because they’re doing deployments multiple times a day – to the customer.”

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