I see Elon Musk has pivoted from pretending he’s going to bodily struggle Mark Zuckerberg to pretending he’s going to sue the Anti-Defamation League. Okay. There are individuals who nonetheless take Musk significantly, and I want them nicely on their journey. This weblog is for the remainder of us.
Clearly, there’s a degree of attention-seeking habits at play. A few of that is financially motivated: Musk is maybe a very powerful influencer on the planet. His tweets transfer markets. And he faces the identical downside as different influencers. The hazard of being too well-known is overexposure — folks get sick of you.
Why make this risk within the first place?
Musk’s public persona is a vital advertising and marketing instrument. Contemplate his look on Saturday Evening Reside: Tesla didn’t must run ads as a result of Musk is so intently related to the model that your entire episode features as a automotive business. In the meantime, each different EV maker purchased advert time. You possibly can consider Musk as the top state of being an influencer, wherein the human and promoting are fully inseparable. He’s Kim Kardashian’s ultimate kind.
So, the ADL factor: Musk has blamed the group for declining advert gross sales on Twitter and threatened to sue the group. In case you are questioning in regards to the deserves of such a swimsuit, Mike Masnick runs it down — however me, I’d like to speak in regards to the optics. Why make this risk within the first place?
Properly, for consideration. The risk generated headlines and put Musk within the information! Moreover that, blaming the ADL for Twitter’s advert woes lets Musk off the hook, which is the kind of factor he’s extremely motivated to choose. Musk is dancing with one thing we’ve seen already from Kanye West and former president Donald Trump: excessive language will get consideration. Individuals are extremely motivated to sentence antisemitism, which paradoxically implies that Musk’s message will get unfold additional. That is the bait for a quote-tweet dunk writ massive.
Musk’s media technique of no advertisements ever means Musk has to do what each lowly influencer does: seize consideration. It’s, after all, a lot simpler to seize consideration by summoning anger and outrage than it’s by sparking pleasure — not a brand new remark by any means. Neither is Musk the primary to faucet into the so-called Tradition Wars with a purpose to obtain energy, political or in any other case.
For an influencer like Musk, consideration features as golden handcuffs
I’ve coated Elon Musk for the higher a part of a decade now, and the a part of my mind that experiences feelings about him obtained fried someday round 2018. However what’s odd is that I now run into individuals who can’t cease telling me how sick they’re of Elon Musk. I don’t simply imply our commenters, after all (hello there!) — I imply precise people I meet in actual life. Folks used to ask me if I believed Musk was actually a genius. Now they simply groan.
That is known as overexposure. For an influencer like Musk, consideration features as golden handcuffs. If he had been to go full Howard Hughes and conceal away from the general public eye, Tesla must work out one other method to get consideration. Proper now, it’s obtained a brand new product to launch. No matter psychic injury Musk takes by staying in each dialog could very nicely additionally promote Cybertrucks. Moreover that, if he stops utilizing Twitter recurrently, that’s perhaps an issue for the platform he owns.
As for Musk’s forays into politics, there’s enterprise logic there, too. As a person with important enterprise pursuits in Texas, he’s obtained an necessary constituency to maintain joyful: Texas politicians. And whereas he would possibly inform his stenographer that his drift proper is the results of private animosity towards certainly one of his youngsters, I’m skeptical about that — the donations began a lot earlier.
Regardless, Musk’s makes an attempt at kingmaking have fallen flat. The launch of Ron DeSantis’ marketing campaign on Twitter was a nasty joke, the type that might drive away any future candidate from doing one thing comparable on the platform. Trump is trouncing DeSantis anyway.
Musk has to proceed doing extra excessive stuff with a purpose to get consideration
There may be quite a lot of causes for that, however there’s one huge one that’s usually famous in politics: Twitter isn’t actual life. The issues that seize consideration on social media, that drive dialog on on-line platforms — these issues aren’t essentially the issues folks really care about. And as extra folks give up posting, Musk’s social media movie star could also be at risk.
Musk has to proceed doing extra excessive stuff with a purpose to get consideration — that’s simply how the treadmill of social media works, even when you personal the platform. I’ve puzzled for a very long time whether or not being overexposed issues in any significant approach. With so many individuals complaining about Musk’s habits, this looks as if a second to seek out out.
Twitter itself isn’t essentially the most effective check case. A part of that’s that Twitter was already in bother earlier than Musk took over. His stewardship hasn’t helped, clearly: there are very actual considerations for advertisers about model security. Issues that used to work are actually busted; there are additionally some issues with the advert income sharing program. That is to say nothing of lighting Twitter’s model on hearth for X. I feel Musk is simply too hands-on in ruining Twitter to measure his oblique results.
SpaceX’s main prospects are authorities companies. It’s not a terrific check case, both.
Tesla, although, that’s attention-grabbing. Musk and Tesla are so intently related as to be interchangeable. And Tesla’s obtained actual competitors now — one thing that wasn’t true for a few years. It’s needed to slice its costs with a purpose to juice its revenues; that cuts into the revenue margin. The Cybertruck is scheduled to begin mass manufacturing subsequent yr. This isn’t an excellent time for Musk’s fame to take a beating.
The extra Musk seeks consideration with excessive habits, the much less reliable he seems to be. Musk’s fame was, for a really very long time, an intangible asset that benefitted his firms. I’m wondering what occurs to Tesla if extra folks resolve they’re sick of Musk. He’s the explanation the corporate survived the 2008 monetary disaster and went on promoting automobiles. Will he even be the explanation folks cease shopping for them?https://hactic.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/index.html