I think I can finally understand why Elon Musk is such an enigma and someone we can’t stop talking about.
In a world where people have to choose between the powers of free speech, money, and prestige (recognition from peers), Elon Musk is the only one who has all 3.
Most CEOs, execs and VCs, no matter how rich and successful, have to think what they say publicly. They have to toe the company line. They don’t have freedom to say what they think. They can get canceled over a single tweet. Hence a lot of these powerful people have turned into railway station announcers on social media churning pithy quotes and congratulatory messages.
Marc Andreessen who invented the modern internet had to stop tweeting after his infamous tweet about India.
Trump had freedom of speech, money, and was the President of the most powerful nation, but he was driven off social media. He is also treated as a joke by his peers.
Joe Rogan softened up considerably after his Spotify deal.
Yes, you can get unhinged and say whatever you want. A lot of anonymous accounts do it. But if you do it with your own name you will quickly lose career opportunities and people would’t want to be associated with you.
I know of people from the Indian startup ecosystem who stopped tweeting after a few tweets were not received well. All of us are walking on egg shells, scared of making mistakes.
Elon Musk has none of these concerns. In a world turning increasingly woke, he calls senators senile old men, posts the most unhinged of memes, and moves the entire crypto market with a single tweet. SEC can’t do anything to him. He does not care what his stakeholders think. You can’t cancel someone like him.
The only worry for him is that he might think he is invincible, overshoot and do something that finally gets people riled up and the sentiment turns against him. But considering he has been testing the boundaries for quite sometime, it has to be something pretty big.