Text / Chen Wenqi
The plaintiff, a Dogecoin investor, accused Musk and his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, of a “pyramid scam”: first peddling Dogecoin, pushing up its price, and then letting it plummet, He is seeking $258 billion in damages.
Musk’s own company is on fire in the backyard. Recently, SpaceX employees jointly issued an open letter suing their bosses, saying that Musk’s words and deeds in public often distracted and embarrassed them. Internal conflicts are intensifying.
A series of incidents have made people have a different perception of Musk.
This young man from South Africa has revolutionized the industry, created wealth myths, and has a valuable spirit of entertainment. He was once the spokesperson of the contemporary “American Dream” and put the label of “Silicon Valley Iron Man” on his body. Last year, he also became “Times”. Weekly’s Person of the Year. However, after the rapid expansion of his wealth, Musk has been plagued by negativity. His once “adventurous spirit” and “unruly” have now become “capricious” and “returning on his promises.”
Musk’s character is broken a little bit.
fire in the backyard,Demon or Angel?
From personal life, company management, to words and deeds in the public sphere, it is difficult to count Musk’s “crimes”.
Regarding his daughter’s severing of relations with him, the outside world speculates that it is related to Musk’s previous remarks on the transgender group.
Musk’s son Xavier Alexander Musk, who turned 18 in April, has asked to change his identified gender and to change his name to Vivi, according to court documents obtained from PlainSite.org Vivian Jenna Wilson, said, “I no longer live with my biological father and do not wish to be associated with him in any way.”
As soon as this matter came out, the contradiction between Musk and the transgender group was once again turned out. In 2020, he tweeted about “gender pronoun terms” (referring to a series of titles based on gender non-binaryism, such as They, Zie, Hir, etc.).
He is also a supporter of Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Ron DeSantis signed the Don’t Say Homosexual Act in March, controversial legislation restricting schools from teaching students about sexual orientation and gender in what many see as a crackdown on the LGBTQ community.
On the tug of war between conservatives and liberals, complex and sensitive gender issues, Musk has chosen his position.
In the context of supporting gender diversity as a kind of “political correctness”, many celebrities were almost “cancelled” because of their remarks, including British writer J.K. Rowling, famous American stand-up comedian Dave Sharp ( Dave Chappell).
Musk’s private life has also been thrust into the spotlight again.
Xavier, now known as Vivian, is one of five children Musk has with his ex-wife, Canadian author Justine Wilson. After the birth of their first son, Nevada Alexander Musk, in 2002, they gave birth to twins and triplets in 2004 and 2006 through IVF. Xavier is one of the twins.
Musk’s marriage to Justin Wilson came to an end in 2008. In a 2010 magazine article, she revealed that Musk had sternly told her “I’m the alpha in this relationship” to assert dominance.
“I’m your wife, not your employee,” she said repeatedly.
To this, Musk’s response was: “If you were my employee, I would fire you.”
Musk’s relationship with his ex-girlfriend Canadian musician Grimes has also attracted much attention. The two mavericks have a son and a daughter named XÆA-12 and Exa Dark Sideral.
Musk and ex-girlfriend Grimes Source: Musk Twitter
There is a lot of lace news about Musk, and he also showed his face in the “meal-eating drama” in which Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard not long ago. He had briefly dated Heard after the latter’s divorce.
Some rumors are more serious. According to a report by the US media Business Insider in March this year, a former SpaceX flight attendant was sexually harassed by Musk in 2016, and was subsequently silenced by SpaceX for $250,000. Musk publicly denied the matter on Twitter, saying the report was aimed at the Twitter acquisition.
Musk replied: “Obviously, their only goal is to interfere with the Twitter acquisition, and I didn’t communicate with me before this article was written.” Source: Musk Twitter
Internal and external difficulties
Aside from personal life, the internal contradictions of Musk’s companies are the “Sword of Damocles” hanging over his head.
Needless to say, Musk, who founded Tesla, SpaceX, Starlink, Neuralink, Boring Company and other high-tech companies, is a successful entrepreneur and a great innovator, but he may not be a good boss.
His biggest critics are his employees.
In an open letter to SpaceX employees, they advised Musk to separate his personal remarks from the company and called for a work environment that places greater emphasis on diversity, fairness and inclusion. However, at least five participants were reportedly fired after the open letter sparked discussions.
Musk has contradicted himself by firing employees who suggested “free speech” on Twitter.
Elsewhere, the Musk-run company faces allegations that Tesla “created a toxic workplace culture full of racism, sexism and contempt for employees,” sexual harassment at SpaceX, and more.
In Game of Thrones: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Stake of the Century, the author exposes several cases in which Musk fired employees in a fit of anger.
His stern attitude towards employees is evident in the internal email asking Tesla to end telecommuting and return to the office, “You must come back, or you will leave.”
One-of-a-kind, strong personal style, zero tolerance for dissidents, and big company illnesses all make the labor-management conflicts in these companies under Musk’s management snowball, and may become the guide of the crisis. fuse. How much of an impact this has on the company’s products is difficult to quantify.
Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) escalated its investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot feature due to frequent accidents, involving about 830,000 vehicles produced between 2014 and 2021. Tesla car.
Outside of the company, Musk’s “personal brand” has also suffered.
As we all know, Musk is a staunch cryptocurrency supporter. As a “currency leader”, his words can make the already ups and downs of the currency price ride on a roller coaster. He’s so proficient at stirring up market sentiment and attention, and now, here’s the problem.
Since the end of last year, the upward momentum of a number of cryptocurrencies represented by Bitcoin came to an abrupt end. Last weekend, it was even more “bloodbathed”. According to CNBC statistics, from the weekend to Monday afternoon, the entire currency circle evaporated by 200 billion US dollars.
Of course, this is not Musk’s fault alone. The U.S. inflation data in May exceeded expectations, and the Federal Reserve is expected to adhere to the monetary tightening policy and aggressively raise interest rates, which will also affect the U.S. stock market.
However, Musk’s ability to “call for wind and rain” when things are going well doesn’t work. Investors who followed him to buy and hold, but their wealth shrank, were naturally unhappy.
As for the drama of the acquisition of Twitter, his own unpredictability, Twitter employees’ disgust, regulatory concerns and other factors have made the transaction more uncertain.
There are frequent negatives in various fields, and Musk’s public image has quietly changed.
Musk’s experiences and traits are reminiscent of another entrepreneur, Howard Hughes, the most prominent American billionaire of the 20th century.
Hughes’ parents passed away when he was a teenager. After inheriting his father’s oil drilling company, he entered the film industry and achieved great success. At the same time, he was a flight and aviation enthusiast throughout his life, creating multiple flight records. , a huge business empire spanning oil, film and television, medical, aerospace and other industries.
They are similar in that they have unattainable genius, legendary wealth stories, crazy and adventurous personalities, and even morebeautifulFamily of origin and scandals with female stars.
This brings them loyal fans and irresistible controversy. People love Musk, not just for real money, but for the fantasy of personal success he brings. The psychology of “Mu Qiang” has already taken root, but now, the public is beginning to fear his wealth and the power of voice.
This “Silicon Valley Iron Man” has proven his ability to make “big words come true”, new energy vehicles, commercial rockets, brain-computer interfaces, underground tunnels… Musk thinks, he does it.
And that might be the problem, he’s an outspoken person, in other words, a bullshit. Master opened his mouth, lawyers, public relations, and investors were going to break their legs. Some of his remarks are true and some are false, and people have been unable to distinguish them.
As an example, in 2021, on the variety show Saturday Night Live, Musk mentioned that Dogecoin is as real as the dollar bill, “is an unstoppable financial tool that will take over the world.” And when the host pressed ” Is this a hype?”, he said “yes” again. Because of this remark, the price of Dogecoin has fallen all the way since the show started, dropping by nearly 40% at most.
In addition, the status of the “richest man” has an immeasurable impact on his personal character and public responsibility.
According to the Forbes real-time rich list, Musk ranks first with a worth of $227.7 billion. Even if Tesla’s stock price and currency prices have shrunk recently, it is still more than $80 billion higher than the second LVMH head Arnold. , almost as much as Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates combined.
Forbes real-time rich list
Did the surge in wealth magnify his character flaws? Confidence became a cult of personality, firmness became headstrong, humor became bluntness.
The “evil capitalist” character inevitably descends on every top rich man. For example, Mark Zuckerberg of “The Dragon Slayer Becomes a Dragon”, with the various negative news on Facebook, his image has changed from a sought-after tech geek and Silicon Valley elite to an evil robot. The emoji package is all over Netflix.
The public has higher expectations for wealth owners, and they have to think about how to use wealth to give back to the society. With the improvement of Musk’s social status, actual voice, and political participation, he should pay more attention to words and deeds, but he still goes his own way.
At the same time, his political stance has become increasingly clear: frequent interactions with right-wing politicians, dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party’s “rich tax”. This is bound to make him more enemies.
“Love Dead” teases Musk in season 3
The huge wealth and idealism owned by Musk are the capital for him to continue to march to Mars, benefit mankind and pursue his dreams. Maybe he doesn’t need the perception of the outside world at all. But the market is changing rapidly, and no one can stand at the top forever.
Musk, who is about to turn 50, has reached his destiny, but obviously, he will be accompanied by more critical voices, more loneliness and pain in the coming days.