If this leads to Spacex performing a series of mainly successful unmanned and then a manned mission to Mars around 2024 or 2026 then that manned mission would be like Columbus sending people to the new world.
By funding it Elon Musk would have the role of Isabella the first.
Spacex and whoever are in the mission would be Columbus.
The first permanent colony would be like Spanish colony Isabella.
Permanent colonization of a new planet would be a greater milestone and achievement for humanity.