Elon Musk proves he’s the wrong man to save the world


It’s on. Elon Musk has formally filed to kill his personal Twitter acquisition, and Twitter is asking his bluff. They’ll see Musk in courtroom. And whereas it’s solely going to get messier from right here, one essential verdict has already been rendered by Elon Musk himself: he doesn’t have what it takes to run Twitter. And that’s a damning blow to his personal central mythology.

We’ll take a look at the specifics of Musk’s formal SEC submitting in a minute, however first it’s essential to recollect what he’s stated concerning the deal and why he needed to do it within the first place. It’s not just like the world pressured the acquisition of a comparatively small social community on the world’s richest man. And Musk’s conduct surrounding the deal has been marked by a whole lot of apparent troll habits. An affordable particular person would conclude he was by no means severe about it to start with, which is already resulting in a whole lot of Musk stans and Twitter haters divining a 4D-chess narrative that makes his blunder appear intentional. However.

There are some issues Musk stated within the frenzy of the Twitter takeover that may’t be ignored. That’s as a result of they strike on the coronary heart of what constructed his authentic fame: as a visionary, a daring industrialist, a futurist, and perhaps even the man who would remedy local weather change and multi-planetary civilization. Positive, recently he works tirelessly to draw an enormous base of social reactionaries and numerous right-wingers who care extra about his trolling than the missions of SpaceX or Tesla. However Musk’s actual credibility — if he ever had any — was being the face of genuinely large and bold efforts to alter the world and make it higher.

He in all probability didn’t must, however he introduced that very same world-saving vitality to the Twitter deal:

  • Musk stated he was motivated by the truth that Twitter had grow to be a “de facto city sq.” and that it’s “actually essential that folks have each the fact and the notion that they’re in a position to converse freely.” (He talked about “free speech” loads throughout this time.)
  • Talking at a TED convention, Musk stated the deal isn’t a option to generate income. A few of his actual phrases: “it’s about the way forward for civilization, however you don’t care concerning the economics in any respect.”
  • Later, talking internally to workers of Twitter, Musk stated “I need Twitter to contribute to a greater, long-lasting civilization the place we higher perceive the character of actuality.”
  • Musk: “Twitter has extraordinary potential. I’ll unlock it.”

These statements stand out above every part else as a result of (a) issues which might be essential to the way forward for human life aren’t belongings you usually troll folks about, and (b) that needs to be very true if you’re Elon Musk, who has spent his total fashionable profession since Tesla cultivating the concept that he’s on a mission to avoid wasting the way forward for humanity and unfold civilization throughout the celebs. Does he tweet dumb memes loads? Sure. Did he ship a automotive into house as a joke? Positive. However the missions of his corporations are useless severe. Tesla’s mission is “to speed up the world’s transition to sustainable vitality.” Neuralink needs to construct units that assist folks with paralysis to “regain independence.” And SpaceX? That’s about nothing lower than “enabling folks to stay on different planets.”

So: Musk has deliberately spent his profession leaning into a number of the world’s most difficult-to-solve issues. He offers numerous keynotes, throws large concepts on the board, and makes numerous guarantees. By the way, this marketing campaign to avoid wasting the world earned him one of many greatest and most energetic fanbases on Twitter. And let’s be actual: the person likes to tweet. The one particular person on the earth who may love tweeting greater than Elon Musk has been banned from the platform and impeached twice by the USA Congress.

However keep in mind: Musk didn’t say “I need to purchase Twitter as a result of I like tweeting and I command a military of customers right here.” He stated Twitter was essential to the way forward for human civilization. And so, spiritually, the deal joined the ranks of the Teslas and the SpaceXs of the world.

What sort of issues would stop this man from unlocking Twitter’s true potential? To assist steer it and, alongside along with his different corporations, assist humanity flourish sooner or later? He solely actually makes two assertions in his SEC submitting:

  1. Twitter gained’t give him information needed for him to determine what number of spam bots are on the platform.
  2. Twitter fired some folks and misplaced some executives.

That is weak crybaby stuff.

Musk has been occurring concerning the alleged bot challenge for some time, even entering into public beefs with the CEO of Twitter about it. I’m not going to unpack this complete spat — the Delaware Court of Chancery is about to look at that in some element — however the TL;DR is that Musk needs to tank an enormous deal over an issue identified to each social media firm on the planet, who’ve all devoted huge quantities of sources towards fixing over a number of a long time. It’s only a essentially unserious place from a man who’s prepared to resolve world-shaking issues like local weather change

However let’s assume only for enjoyable that Musk is true. After he began the deal and regarded underneath the hood and laid out his plans for Twitter’s employees, he found Twitter’s bot inhabitants is extra like 20% than 5%. So what? What’s a ramification of 90 million customers when TikTok and Fb are forward of you by billions? In case your place is that Mark Zuckerberg is an unelected tyrant of speech, how is abandoning Twitter going that can assist you take him on? And why would you argue in your SEC submitting that income from energetic customers is at stake? That doesn’t sound like “not caring concerning the economics in any respect.” That seems like solely caring concerning the economics.

And as for blowing the deal as a result of a number of Twitter execs fired employees whereas persevering with to function usually and roll out new options (hello, co-tweeting!) — get actual. You’re shopping for Twitter for $44 billion. It’s yours now. You’ll be able to clear home if you wish to and proper or reverse all the ill-advised choices that introduced the platform inside your sights initially. No one will cease you! The SEC couldn’t even get you to cease tweeting!

There are lots of attainable theories for why Musk put himself, Twitter, and the world by means of this charade. However ultimately, Musk wrote a examine his fantasy couldn’t money.

We’re left with two prospects. Both Musk doesn’t suppose he can do the job he promised at Twitter, and he’s not the world-changing pressure he’s been made out to be. Or, he was mendacity concerning the sorts of lofty beliefs and visions that constructed his corporations and his picture.

What sort of man trolls the world about a greater future?

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