Technology

Success and insults, the two faces of Elon Musk on his arrival on Twitter

Elon Musk has done it. His bet on Twitter has ended in purchase. Another triumph that reflects the two faces of him. The business one, where he piles up successes, and the personal one, much more erratic. A double profile that has meant a trail of clashes and controversies that do not leave him. And all this has been shown on Twitter.

The purchase of the social network serves as a great summary. He made an offer that he was not going to budge from, determined as he is professionally. Shareholders take it or leave it. Unique opportunity.

Little is far from his reach with a fortune estimated by Forbes at 268.2 billion dollars -250 billion euros- which makes him the richest man in the world.

Elon Musk

In the social network he has shown his most erratic face

In the social network that he already owns, with more than 80 million followers, he has often been chaotic and irreverent, erratic. He called a submariner who rescued children trapped in a cave in Thailand a “pedophile.” He launched false takeover bids that have caused him more than one headache with regulators and cost him to give up the presidency of Tesla, creating enemies along the way. The main one is the SEC, the American stock market regulator, for tweeting without thinking that he could be giving false information to the market.

He has also clashed with politicians. To Bernie Sanders, after saying that we must increase taxes on the rich, he launched a “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive.” And it is that to get the most out of it he wants lax rules and an environment business-friendly. That is why he applauded the arrival and measures of Donald Trump. Now you can add Twitter, for which you say you want to unlock its full potential.

Born in Pretoria, South Africa, to an engineer father and a nutritionist mother, at 17 he immigrated to Canada in part to avoid military service. There he worked on his cousin’s farm, as a lumberjack or cleaning boilers, forging his ability to sacrifice. Today it continues to accompany him: he sleeps for a handful of hours, eats in minutes, divides the day between several companies… The search for maximum productivity.

After those jobs he studied Physics and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and entered Stanford, where he resigned after a few days “to dedicate himself to his three main areas of interest: the internet, clean energy and space,” summarizes Bloomberg.

the beginning

Musk worked cleaning boilers or cutting down trees, forging the capacity for sacrifice that accompanies him

In the following years came the first successes. He created the classifieds platform Zip2, which he sold while still in his twenties for 300 million. With that money he launched the X.com payment system, which he merged with Cofinity. He was the seed of PayPal, which ended up selling for 1,500 million to eBay in 2002. Two successes in history.

Tesla still had to wait. First came SpaceX, launched that same year. It was in 2003 when he co-founded the electrical company, today his great asset. It is the company with the largest capitalization in the world, despite having a much lower production than its big competitors and spending 16 years posting losses. The secret, in large part, is that it is the most profitable in the world.

The perseverance he has fostered he asks of others. He has a reputation for tough, demanding, perfectionist. To ask for impossible delivery times for thinking big. Something that for years delayed the full operation of Tesla factories due to bottlenecks. Today, however, the company’s production expects to grow at rates of 50% per year.


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The self-demanding and dubious social gift is something that comes from afar. He locked himself in his world since he was little. He devoured books and taught himself to program. Different, he suffered bullying, his mother confessed. Musk himself said it was a sad childhood. But from there also comes a great inventive capacity, to dream big. Like his admired Nikola Tesla or Thomas Edison.

In adult life there has also been eccentricity. Single, married several times and with seven children, he shows a taste for anime or meme culture. Also for marijuana, which has brought him some setback. Images of him smoking a joint during a podcast recording punished Tesla’s stock. Investors have not just received his ravings well. Yes, his capacity for leadership and sacrifice.

Robots, satellites…

Success in his companies helps him to finance the most futuristic ideas

Defender of the crypto world, with a special interest in memecoins and dogecoin, made Tesla buy 1.25 billion in bitcoin. In this aspect, however, he has fired and then he has repented, first proposing that payments with bitcoin would be accepted in the purchase of cars, an idea later withdrawn. Sometimes it also fails in business.

The eyes are on Tesla and Twitter, but on its back it also carries Space X (space travel), Boring Co. (underground tunnels for urban mobility), Hyperloop (high-speed transport) or Neuralink (neurotechnology). From conquering the sky to the underground, he fuels a continual comparison to Tony Stark (Iron Man).

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Musk opens a Boring Co. tunnel in California in 2018

Robyn Beck/Bloomberg

They are all million dollar businesses. He has 17% of Tesla, basis of his fortune. SpaceX is valued at 100,000 million after the last round of investment, at the end of last year. He owns 47% of the shares, according to Bloomberg calculations. Boring Co. is valued at 5.7 billion with the round a few weeks ago, where it raised 675 million.

Also on Twitter, he asked if he would have to sell 10% of his shares to pay more taxes. What was really hidden behind the maneuver were sales to achieve liquidity and buy new Tesla shares at a lower price, within its compensation program. And it is that Musk does not receive a salary: his compensation depends on goal plans that unlock access to discounted shares of the automaker.

Thanks to all the undertakings, his fortune has multiplied by 10 in just two years. While for some the pandemic was a dagger, Tesla shares have soared 1,000% since the end of March 2020, catapulting his wealth. With this mattress you can finance futuristic ideas like a humanoid robot or a network of satellites (Starlink) to provide internet to the entire planet.

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