Elon's stale playbook At Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk was a jerk with a grand vision. At Twitter, he's just a jerk.
O come all ye faithful
At the core of every Musk company is a big, world-changing promise â they sell the idea that their products and services are saving humanity from some intractable problem, whether it's climate crisis or traffic. But Musk's promises track more with religion â he has been sent to save us from our earthly sins of waste and pollution â than with science. Think about it a bit and the idea that a luxury sports car can save us from global warming or that the answer for the Earth's toxification is to move everyone to Mars falls apart, but that isn't the point. The goal of all this mythmaking is to turn investors, employees, and customers into evangelists. (...)
For Musk, having a mission is key, because having a mission attracts money. It allows him to rope in governments, which are more than willing to outsource their intractable problems. Despite his complaints about government subsidies, Musk's companies are dependent on them. A Los Angeles Times review in 2015 revealed that he had taken over $4 billion in government funding at that point. And since then, Tesla has received billions in government-created regulatory credits from combustion-engine-car companies, over $1 billion in tax breaks and grants to build out more factories in Nevada and New York, billions in contracts for SpaceX, and even payroll benefits from the pandemic stimulus bill. Even his more far-flung ideas have soaked up government cash. According to a Wall Street Journal investigation, The Boring Company, Musk's tunnel-based solution to urban traffic, has been trying to collect government subsidies all over the country (and in Canada) despite only building a single tunnel in Las Vegas.
Liberal journalist Aaron Rupar, Ryan Mac of the Times, Drew Harwell of the Post and CNNâs Donie OâSullivan were booted off the social media platform Thursday night. The accounts for Keith Olbermann, Twitter competitor site Mastodon, and Mashableâs Matt Binder were also suspended. More followed, including The Interceptâs Micah Lee and the anarchist news site, Itâs Going Down. Flight tracker @absbexchange was also gone as well as reporter Steve Herman of Voice of America.
The falling shares have bumped Musk from his status as the world's wealthiest person, with his net worth falling to $174 billion, according to Forbes. He was passed last week by French fashion and cosmetics magnate Bernard Arnault.
The takeover of Twitter has not been smooth, and some big companies have halted advertising on the social media platform. Musk has said that Twitter had âa massive drop in revenue" due to the advertiser losses.
Investors have been punishing Tesla stock of late as Musk has spent much of his time running Twitter, raising fears that he's distracted from the car company.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said Musk is now a villain in the eyes of Tesla investors. He said Tesla's fundamentals remain healthy but his behavior with Twitter is hurting the company's brand. âThe Twitter overhang is a nightmare that is growing with no one but Musk to blame,â Ives wrote in an email.
Toxic Chubby 2.0 will reassure investors with a tweet saying he now works 420 hours a week.