Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter and Tesla, set a record for yearly asset worth loss last year. Nobody’s assets have ever lost more than $200 billion in value in a single year, and according to Bloomberg, they were worth $138 billion last year.
Born in South Africa, the son of a co-owner of an emerald mine in Zambia has long been known as a controversial businessman.
For one, a visionary who turns everything he touches into gold and technological marvels; for others, an unscrupulous entrepreneur who exploits workers and talks about economic liberalism while lavishly using state support for the development of his businesses. A man with morally suspect right-wing attitudes, a fanatical opponent of accountability in public communication, and a supporter of Donald Trump.
In sum, a man who is probably already (self-)convinced that he is the undeniable messiah worked hard last year to increase his unpopularity, and the year paid for it.
Elon Reeve Musk was born in 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa, into a mediocre family with an engineer father and a nutritionist and model mother.
Musk purchased his first computer, a Commodore VIC-20 when he was eleven years old. He learned to program on his own using it and sold the game for $500 just two years later.
“I don’t mind serving in the army itself, but serving in the South African army to repress black people didn’t seem like a decent way to spend my time,” he stated when he “escaped” to serve in the South African army at the age of seventeen.
His parents split, forcing him to move to Canada with his mother in June 1989. Musk desired to attend university and ultimately realized one of his greatest ambitions: to reside in the United States. In 1992, he was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Pennsylvania to pursue a degree in business administration. He committed himself to physics a year later.
One of his teachers was the director of Pinnacle Research, a Silicon Valley-based electric car startup. Musk would spend the entire summer working for him and his firm.
Musk founded Zip2 with his younger brother Kimball in 1997, allowing the media to produce newspapers in an internet manner. In 1999, the firm was sold to Compaq Computer, and Musk received $22 million at the age of 27.
Following that, Musk continued his forays into the economic sector by launching X.com. Later, X.com was renamed PayPal, and the firm was sold to eBay in 2002 for $1.4 billion, with Musk receiving more than $100 million.
Musk spent the majority of the proceeds from the sale of PayPal in SpaceX, a well-known firm created in 2002. The business, which has sent multiple satellites into orbit, was valued at more than $100 billion.
In addition to SpaceX, Elon Musk’s success may be traced back to his investment in Tesla in 2004.
The business unveiled its first automobile to the public in 2006, and the manufacture of the well-known Tesla Model X electric vehicle began in 2012. This model’s sports variation was unveiled to the public in 2015, and the best-selling Model 3 has been offered to electric vehicle enthusiasts since 2017.
Musk did not give up on new business ideas over time, and formed the firm Neuralink, which intends to create implants that would allow paralyzed individuals to stand on their own again.
One of his last ventures was the purchase of Twitter for $44 billion. What caused it all, we will find out below.
The important event in the financial slump, and the breakdown of the image of an eccentric visionary, which was swiftly replaced by the image of a guy who stepped over to the dark side of the Force, happened at the end of October last year when he paid $44 billion for Twitter.
Musk and Twitter’s issues began a few months earlier, when he revealed his intention to purchase a popular social network with significant, even political, impact but not quite as much commercial success. As soon as he took control, he fired key members of the company’s management and stated the next day that every other Twitter employee was no longer needed.
He also argued with people after announcing what, how, and how much he would charge on Twitter, as well as his choice to make Twitter a free platform where opinions may be expressed more or less openly (and completely free is completely irresponsible).
He also had issues as a result of the choice to renew Trump’s account, as well as disagreements with proponents of all sorts of equality. He had difficulties because of clashes with opponents of the propagation of disinformation, and the fact that the company’s personnel count dropped from 7,500 to two, thus he battled with advertisers, and several large ones (Audi, General Motors, Pfizer) temporarily discontinued advertising on Twitter.
Musk’s most recognized firm, Tesla, an internationally known producer of electric automobiles, paid the greatest amount. Initially, the issues had less to do with Musk’s self-destruction of his image and more to do with the diminishing demand for electric vehicles, notably in China, and his stock sale to raise the funds required to take over Twitter.
The multibillionaire then added onto that with his media campaign, primarily on Twitter, in which he revealed himself as a practitioner of all imaginable, particularly medical, conspiracy theories. On an annual basis, the stock has lost 69 percent of its value.
On the American political landscape, Musk actively supported Republicans, which was unwise given that the majority of his automobile consumers support Democrats.
Besides, Democratic voters aren’t particularly tolerant of the viewpoints that Musk continuously (and, obviously, persistently) advocates.
All of this turns people off, and because there are as many electric cars on the market for drivers to choose from, it is not difficult for them to choose another brand.
What it is all about is obvious from research conducted for Germany by Der Spiegel at the beginning of December.
Musk’s image is bad, which is reflected in the operations of his firms and purchases of their products. His image is toxic for up to 63 percent of respondents. It’s also worth noting how he’s seen by voters of other parliamentary parties: he’s overwhelmingly negative for all save the far-right Alternative for Germany, where he’s negative for 35% of them.
Tesla only constructed a gigafactory in Berlin nine months ago, and according to the report, Tesla automobiles in Germany now have a tarnished reputation. These automobiles are “extremely” or “very” attractive to only 9% of those polled, while they are “less desirable” or “totally unacceptable” to 69%.
Investors have already begun asking Musk hard questions, and it’s just a drop in the bucket of issues he’s dealing with.
Although the problems that Musk is dealing with are not easy, and such a loss of money in a short period of time has never been remembered, a man like him will most likely find a solution for everything. A man who succeeded from nothing – with only his genius and smarts to create an empire like Musk’s, certainly does not do anything reckless.
Is everything that is happening in Musk’s environment a project of his interests, did he himself cause what is happening on purpose for a greater goal, or is he on the verge of destroying his career because he could not think straight?
What will happen to Musk’s giant companies, Twitter, and his wealth, we don’t know yet. We just have to wait and see if these promising companies will rise from the ashes or burn in oblivion!
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