More on Personal Growth
24 days ago
Digital Brainbuilding (Your Second Brain)
The human brain is amazing. As more scientists examine the brain, we learn how much it can store.
The human brain has 1 billion neurons, according to Scientific American. Each neuron creates 1,000 connections, totaling over a trillion. If each neuron could store one memory, we'd run out of room. 
What if you could store and access more info, freeing up brain space for problem-solving and creativity?
Build a second brain to keep up with rising knowledge (what I refer to as a Digital Brain). Effectively managing information entails realizing you can't recall everything.
Every action requires information. You need the correct information to learn a new skill, complete a project at work, or establish a business. You must manage information properly to advance your profession and improve your life.
How to construct a second brain to organize information and achieve goals.
What Is a Second Brain?
How often do you forget an article or book's key point? Have you ever wasted hours looking for a saved file?
If so, you're not alone. Information overload affects millions of individuals worldwide. Information overload drains mental resources and causes anxiety.
This is when the second brain comes in.
Building a second brain doesn't involve duplicating the human brain. Building a system that captures, organizes, retrieves, and archives ideas and thoughts. The second brain improves memory, organization, and recall.
Digital tools are preferable to analog for building a second brain.
Digital tools are portable and accessible. Due to these benefits, we'll focus on digital second-brain building.
Digital Brains are external hard drives. It stores, organizes, and retrieves. This means improving your memory won't be difficult.
Memory has three components in computing:
Recording — storing the information
Organization — archiving it in a logical manner
Recall — retrieving it again when you need it
Due to rigorous security settings, many websites need you to create complicated passwords with special characters.
You must now memorize (Record), organize (Organize), and input this new password the next time you check in (Recall).
Even in this simple example, there are many pieces to remember. We can't recognize this new password with our usual patterns. If we don't use the password every day, we'll forget it. You'll type the wrong password when you try to remember it.
It's common. Is it because the information is complicated? Nope. Passwords are basically letters, numbers, and symbols.
It happens because our brains aren't meant to memorize these. Digital Brains can do heavy lifting.
Why You Need a Digital Brain
Dual minds are best. Birth brain is limited.
The cerebral cortex has 125 trillion synapses, according to a Stanford Study. The human brain can hold 2.5 million terabytes of digital data. 
Building a second brain improves learning and memory.
Learn and store information effectively
Faster information recall
Organize information to see connections and patterns
Build a Digital Brain to learn more and reach your goals faster. Building a second brain requires time and work, but you'll have more time for vital undertakings.
Why you need a Digital Brain:
1. Use Brainpower Effectively
Your brain has boundaries, like any organ. This is true while solving a complex question or activity. If you can't focus on a work project, you won't finish it on time.
Second brain reduces distractions. A robust structure helps you handle complicated challenges quickly and stay on track. Without distractions, it's easy to focus on vital activities.
2. Staying Organized
Professional and personal duties must be balanced. With so much to do, it's easy to neglect crucial duties. This is especially true for skill-building. Digital Brain will keep you organized and stress-free.
Life success requires action. Organized people get things done. Organizing your information will give you time for crucial tasks.
You'll finish projects faster with good materials and methods. As you succeed, you'll gain creative confidence. You can then tackle greater jobs.
3. Creativity Process
Creativity drives today's world. Creativity is mysterious and surprising for millions worldwide. Immersing yourself in others' associations, triggers, thoughts, and ideas can generate inspiration and creativity.
Building a second brain is crucial to establishing your creative process and building habits that will help you reach your goals. Creativity doesn't require perfection or overthinking.
4. Transforming Your Knowledge Into Opportunities
This is the age of entrepreneurship. Today, you can publish online, build an audience, and make money.
Whether it's a business or hobby, you'll have several job alternatives. Knowledge can boost your economy with ideas and insights.
5. Improving Thinking and Uncovering Connections
Modern career success depends on how you think. Instead of overthinking or perfecting, collect the best images, stories, metaphors, anecdotes, and observations.
This will increase your creativity and reveal connections. Increasing your imagination can help you achieve your goals, according to research. 
Your ability to recognize trends will help you stay ahead of the pack.
6. Credibility for a New Job or Business
Your main asset is experience-based expertise. Others won't be able to learn without your help. Technology makes knowledge tangible.
This lets you use your time as you choose while helping others. Changing professions or establishing a new business become learning opportunities when you have a Digital Brain.
7. Using Learning Resources
Millions of people use internet learning materials to improve their lives. Online resources abound. These include books, forums, podcasts, articles, and webinars.
These resources are mostly free or inexpensive. Organizing your knowledge can save you time and money. Building a Digital Brain helps you learn faster. You'll make rapid progress by enjoying learning.
How does a second brain feel?
Digital Brain has helped me arrange my job and family life for years.
No need to remember 1001 passwords. I never forget anything on my wife's grocery lists. Never miss a meeting. I can access essential information and papers anytime, anywhere.
Delegating memory to a second brain reduces tension and anxiety because you'll know what to do with every piece of information.
No information will be forgotten, boosting your confidence. Better manage your fears and concerns by writing them down and establishing a strategy. You'll understand the plethora of daily information and have a clear head.
How to Develop Your Digital Brain (Your Second Brain)
It's cheap but requires work.
Digital Brain development requires:
Recording — storing the information
Organization — archiving it in a logical manner
Recall — retrieving it again when you need it
1. Decide what information matters before recording.
To succeed in today's environment, you must manage massive amounts of data. Articles, books, webinars, podcasts, emails, and texts provide value. Remembering everything is impossible and overwhelming.
What information do you need to achieve your goals?
You must consolidate ideas and create a strategy to reach your aims. Your biological brain can imagine and create with a Digital Brain.
2. Use the Right Tool
We usually record information without any preparation - we brainstorm in a word processor, email ourselves a message, or take notes while reading.
This information isn't used. You must store information in a central location.
Different information needs different instruments.
Evernote is a top note-taking program. Audio clips, Slack chats, PDFs, text notes, photos, scanned handwritten pages, emails, and webpages can be added.
Pocket is a great software for saving and organizing content. Images, videos, and text can be sorted. Web-optimized design
Calendar apps help you manage your time and enhance your productivity by reminding you of your most important tasks. Calendar apps flourish. The best calendar apps are easy to use, have many features, and work across devices. These calendars include Google, Apple, and Outlook.
To-do list/checklist apps are useful for managing tasks. Easy-to-use, versatility, budget, and cross-platform compatibility are important when picking to-do list apps. Google Keep, Google Tasks, and Apple Notes are good to-do apps.
3. Organize data for easy retrieval
How should you organize collected data?
When you collect and organize data, you'll see connections. An article about networking can assist you comprehend web marketing. Saved business cards can help you find new clients.
Choosing the correct tools helps organize data. Here are some tools selection criteria:
Can the tool sync across devices?
Personal or team?
Has a search function for easy information retrieval?
Does it provide easy data categorization?
Can users create lists or collections?
Does it offer easy idea-information connections?
Does it mind map and visually organize thoughts?
Building a Digital Brain (second brain) helps us save information, think creatively, and implement ideas. Your second brain is a biological extension. It prevents amnesia, allowing you to tackle bigger creative difficulties.
People who love learning often consume information without using it. Every day, they postpone life-improving experiences until they're forgotten. Useful information becomes strength.
 ^ Scientific American: What Is the Memory Capacity of the Human Brain?
 ^ Clinical Neurology Specialists: What is the Memory Capacity of a Human Brain?
 ^ National Library of Medicine: Imagining Success: Multiple Achievement Goals and the Effectiveness of Imagery
29 days ago
The Learning Habit
The Habit of Learning implies constantly learning something new. One daily habit will make you successful. Learning will help you succeed.
Most successful people continually learn. Success requires this behavior. Daily learning.
Success loves books. Books offer expert advice. Everything is online today. Most books are online, so you can skip the library. You must download it and study for 15-30 minutes daily. This habit changes your thinking.
Typical Successful People
Warren Buffett reads 500 pages of corporate reports and five newspapers for five to six hours each day.
Each year, Bill Gates reads 50 books.
Every two weeks, Mark Zuckerberg reads at least one book.
According to his brother, Elon Musk studied two books a day as a child and taught himself engineering and rocket design.
Learning & Making Money Online
No worries if you can't afford books. Everything is online. YouTube, free online courses, etc.
How can you create this behavior in yourself?
1) Consider what you want to know
Before learning, know what's most important. So, move together.
Set a goal and schedule learning.
After deciding what you want to study, create a goal and plan learning time.
3) GATHER RESOURCES
Get the most out of your learning resources. Online or offline.
3 months ago
The best financial advice I've ever received and how you can use it.
Taking great financial advice is key to financial success.
A wealthy man told me to INVEST MY MONEY when I was young.
As I entered Starbucks, an older man was leaving. I noticed his watch and expensive-looking shirt, not like the guy in the photo, but one made of fine fabric like vicuna wool, which can only be shorn every two to three years. His Bentley confirmed my suspicions about his wealth.
This guy looked like James Bond, so I asked him how to get rich like him.
"Drug dealer?" he laughed.
Whether he was telling the truth, I'll never know, and I didn't want to be an accessory, but he quickly added, "Kid, invest your money; it will do wonders." He left.
When he told me to invest, he didn't say what. Later, I realized the investment game has so many levels that even if he drew me a blueprint, I wouldn't understand it.
The best advice I received was to invest my earnings. I must decide where to invest.
I'll preface by saying I'm not a financial advisor or Your financial advisor, but I'll share what I've learned from books, links, and sources. The rest is up to you.
Invest your Money
Money is money, whether you call it cake, dough, moolah, benjamins, paper, bread, etc.
If you're lucky, you can buy one of the gold shirts in the photo.
Investing your money today means putting it towards anything that could be profitable.
According to the website Investopedia:
“Investing is allocating money to generate income or profit.”
You can invest in a business, real estate, or a skill that will pay off later.
Everyone has different goals and wants at different stages of life, so investing varies.
He was probably a sugar daddy with his Bentley, nice shirt, and Rolex.
In my twenties, I started making "good" money; now, in my forties, with a family and three kids, I'm building a legacy for my grandkids.
“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.” — Robert Kiyosaki.
Money isn't evil, but lack of it is.
Financial stress is a major source of problems, according to studies.
Being broke hurts, especially if you want to provide for your family or do things.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” — Benjamin Franklin.
Investing in knowledge is invaluable. Before investing, do your homework.
You probably didn't learn about investing when you were young, like I didn't. My parents were in survival mode, making investing difficult.
In my 20s, I worked in banking to better understand money.
So, why invest?
Growth requires investment.
Investing puts money to work and can build wealth. Your money may outpace inflation with smart investing. Compounding and the risk-return tradeoff boost investment growth.
Investing your money means you won't have to work forever — unless you want to.
Two common ways to make money are;
-interest or capital gains from investments.
Capital gains can help you invest.
“How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.” — Robert G. Allen
If you keep your money in a savings account, you'll earn less than 2% interest at best; the bank makes money by loaning it out.
Savings accounts are a safe bet, but the low-interest rates limit your gains.
Don't skip it. An emergency fund should be in a savings account, not the market.
Other reasons to invest:
Investing can generate regular income.
If you own rental properties, the tenant's rent will add to your cash flow.
Daily, weekly, or monthly rentals (think Airbnb) generate higher returns year-round.
Capital gains are taxed less than earned income if you own dividend-paying or appreciating stock.
Time is on your side
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t — pays it.” — Albert Einstein
Historical data shows that young investors outperform older investors. So you can use compound interest over decades instead of investing at 45 and having less time to earn.
If I had taken that man's advice and invested in my twenties, I would have made a decent return by my thirties. (Depending on my investments)
So for those who live a YOLO (you only live once) life, investing can't hurt.
Investing increases your knowledge.
Lessons are clearer when you're invested. Each win boosts confidence and draws attention to losses. Losing money prompts you to investigate.
Before investing, I read many financial books, but I didn't understand them until I invested.
What do you invest in? Equities, mutual funds, ETFs, retirement accounts, savings, business, real estate, cryptocurrencies, marijuana, insurance, etc.
The key is to start somewhere. Know you don't know everything. You must care.
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” — Lao Tzu.
Start simple because there's so much information. My first investment book was:
Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"
This easy-to-read book made me hungry for more. This book is about the money lessons rich parents teach their children, which poor and middle-class parents neglect. The poor and middle-class work for money, while the rich let their assets work for them, says Kiyosaki.
There is so much to learn, but you gotta start somewhere.
I hope I'm not suggesting that investing makes everything rosy. Remember three rules:
1. Losing money is possible.
2. Losing money is possible.
3. Losing money is possible.
You can lose money, so be careful.
Read, research, invest.
Golden rules for Investing your money
Never invest money you can't lose.
Financial freedom is possible regardless of income.
"Courage taught me that any sound investment will pay off, no matter how bad a crisis gets." Helu Carlos
"I'll tell you Wall Street's secret to wealth. When others are afraid, you're greedy. You're afraid when others are greedy. Buffett
Buy low, sell high, and have an exit strategy.
Ask experts or wealthy people for advice.
"With a good understanding of history, we can have a clear vision of the future." Helu Carlos
"It's not whether you're right or wrong, but how much money you make when you're right." Soros
"The individual investor should act as an investor, not a speculator." Graham
"It's different this time" is the most dangerous investment phrase. Templeton
Avoid quick-money schemes. Building wealth takes years, not months.
Start small and work your way up.
Thanks for reading!
This post is a summary. Read the full article here
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Dr. Linda Dahl
4 days ago
We eat corn in almost everything. Is It Important?
Corn Kid got viral on TikTok after being interviewed by Recess Therapy. Tariq, called the Corn Kid, ate a buttery ear of corn in the video. He's corn crazy. He thinks everyone just has to try it. It turns out, whether we know it or not, we already have.
Corn is a fruit, veggie, and grain. It's the second-most-grown crop. Corn makes up 36% of U.S. exports. In the U.S., it's easy to grow and provides high yields, as proven by the vast corn belt spanning the Midwest, Great Plains, and Texas panhandle. Since 1950, the corn crop has doubled to 10 billion bushels.
You say, "Fine." We shouldn't just grow because we can. Why so much corn? What's this corn for?
Why is practical and political. Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma has the full narrative. Early 1970s food costs increased. Nixon subsidized maize to feed the public. Monsanto genetically engineered corn seeds to make them hardier, and soon there was plenty of corn. Everyone ate. Woot! Too much corn followed. The powers-that-be had to decide what to do with leftover corn-on-the-cob.
They are fortunate that corn has a wide range of uses.
First, the edible variants. I divide corn into obvious and stealth.
Obvious corn includes popcorn, canned corn, and corn on the cob. This form isn't always digested and often comes out as entire, polka-dotting poop. Cornmeal can be ground to make cornbread, polenta, and corn tortillas. Corn provides antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins in moderation. Most synthetic Vitamin C comes from GMO maize.
Corn oil, corn starch, dextrose (a sugar), and high-fructose corn syrup are often overlooked. They're stealth corn because they sneak into practically everything. Corn oil is used for frying, baking, and in potato chips, mayonnaise, margarine, and salad dressing. Baby food, bread, cakes, antibiotics, canned vegetables, beverages, and even dairy and animal products include corn starch. Dextrose appears in almost all prepared foods, excluding those with high-fructose corn syrup. HFCS isn't as easily digested as sucrose (from cane sugar). It can also cause other ailments, which we'll discuss later.
Most foods contain corn. It's fed to almost all food animals. 96% of U.S. animal feed is corn. 39% of U.S. corn is fed to livestock. But animals prefer other foods. Omnivore chickens prefer insects, worms, grains, and grasses. Captive cows are fed a total mixed ration, which contains corn. These animals' products, like eggs and milk, are also corn-fed.
There are numerous non-edible by-products of corn that are employed in the production of items like:
How does corn influence you? Consider quick food for dinner. You order a cheeseburger, fries, and big Coke at the counter (or drive-through in the suburbs). You tell yourself, "No corn." All that contains corn. Deconstruct:
Cows fed corn produce meat and cheese. Meat and cheese were bonded with corn syrup and starch (same). The bun (corn flour and dextrose) and fries were fried in maize oil. High fructose corn syrup sweetens the drink and helps make the cup and straw.
Just about everything contains corn. Then what? A cornspiracy, perhaps? Is eating too much maize an issue, or should we strive to stay away from it whenever possible?
As I've said, eating some maize can be healthy. 92% of U.S. corn is genetically modified, according to the Center for Food Safety. The adjustments are expected to boost corn yields. Some sweet corn is genetically modified to produce its own insecticide, a protein deadly to insects made by Bacillus thuringiensis. It's safe to eat in sweet corn. Concerns exist about feeding agricultural animals so much maize, modified or not.
High fructose corn syrup should be consumed in moderation. Fructose, a sugar, isn't easily metabolized. Fructose causes diabetes, fatty liver, obesity, and heart disease. It causes inflammation, which might aggravate gout. Candy, packaged sweets, soda, fast food, juice drinks, ice cream, ice cream topping syrups, sauces & condiments, jams, bread, crackers, and pancake syrup contain the most high fructose corn syrup. Everyday foods with little nutrients. Check labels and choose cane sugar or sucrose-sweetened goods. Or, eat corn like the Corn Kid.
12 days ago
Bills are paid by your 9 to 5. 6 through 12 help you build money.
40 years pass. After 14 years of retirement, you die. Am I the only one who sees the problem?
I’m the Jedi master of escaping the rat race.
Not to impress. I know this works since I've tried it. Quitting a job to make money online is worse than Kim Kardashian's internet-burning advice.
Let me help you rethink the move from a career to online income to f*ck you money.
To understand why a job is a joke, do some life math.
Without a solid why, nothing makes sense.
The retirement age is 65. Our processed food consumption could shorten our 79-year average lifespan.
You spend 40 years working.
After 14 years of retirement, you die.
Am I alone in seeing the problem?
Life is too short to work a job forever, especially since most people hate theirs. After-hours skills are vital.
Money equals unrestricted power, f*ck you.
F*ck you money is the answer.
Jack Raines said it first. He says we can do anything with the money. Jack, a young rebel straight out of college, can travel and try new foods.
F*ck you money signifies not checking your bank account before buying.
F*ck you” money is pure, unadulterated freedom with no strings attached.
Jack claims you're rich when you rarely think about money.
This doesn't imply you can buy a Lamborghini. It indicates your costs, income, lifestyle, and bank account are balanced.
Jack established an online portfolio while working for UPS in Atlanta, Georgia. So he gained boundless power.
The portion that many erroneously believe
Yes, you need internet abilities to make money, but they're not different from 9-5 talents.
Sahil Lavingia, Gumroad's creator, explains.
A job is a way to get paid to learn.
Mistreat your boss 9-5. Drain his skills. Defuse him. Love and leave him (eventually).
Find another employment if yours is hazardous. Pick an easy job. Make sure nothing sneaks into your 6-12 time slot.
The dumb game that makes you a sheep
A 9-5 job requires many job interviews throughout life.
You email your résumé to employers and apply for jobs through advertisements. This game makes you a sheep.
You're competing globally. Work-from-home makes the competition tougher. If you're not the cheapest, employers won't hire you.
After-hours online talents (say, 6 pm-12 pm) change the game. This graphic explains it better:
Online talents boost after-hours opportunities.
You go from wanting to be picked to picking yourself. More chances equal more money. Your f*ck you fund gets the extra cash.
A novel method of learning is essential.
College costs six figures and takes a lifetime to repay.
Informal learning is distinct. 6-12pm:
Observe the carefully controlled Twitter newsfeed.
Make use of Teachable and Gumroad's online courses.
Watch instructional YouTube videos
Look through the top Substack newsletters.
Informal learning is more effective because it's not obvious. It's fun to follow your curiosity and hobbies.
The majority of people lack one attitude. It's simple to learn.
One big impediment stands in the way of f*ck you money and time independence. So often.
Too many people plan after 6-12 hours. Dreaming. Big-thinkers. Strategically. They fill their calendar with meetings.
This is after-hours masturb*tion.
Sahil Bloom reminded me that a bias towards action will determine if this approach works for you.
The key isn't knowing what to do from 6-12 a.m. Trust yourself and develop abilities as you go. It's for building the parachute after you jump.
Sounds risky. We've eliminated the risk by finishing this process after hours while you work 9-5.
With no risk, you can have an I-don't-care attitude and still be successful.
When you choose to move forward, this occurs.
Once you try 9-5/6-12, you'll tell someone.
Few of us hang out with problem-solvers.
It's how much of society operates. So they make reasons so they can feel better about not giving you money.
Matthew Kobach told me chasing f*ck you money is easier with like-minded folks.
Without f*ck you money friends, loneliness will take over and you'll think you've messed up when you just need to keep going.
Steal this easy guideline
Let's act. No more fluffing and caressing.
If you detest your 9-5 talents or don't think they'll work online, get new ones. If you're skilled enough, continue.
Easlo recommends these skills:
Designer for Figma
editor in Photoshop
Automation consultant for Zapier
Designer of Webflow
video editor Adobe
Ghostwriter for Twitter
Artist in Blender Studio
2. Develop the ability
Every night from 6-12, apply the skill.
Practicing ghostwriting? Write someone's tweets for free. Do someone's website copy to learn copywriting. Get a website to the top of Google for a keyword to understand SEO.
Free practice is crucial. Your 9-5 pays the money, so work for free.
3. Take off stealthily like a badass
Another mistake. Sell to few. Don't be the best. Don't claim expertise.
Sell your new expertise to others behind you.
Using a digital good
By providing a service,
Point 1 also includes digital service examples. Digital products include eBooks, communities, courses, ad-supported podcasts, and templates. It's easy. Your 9-5 job involves one of these.
Take ideas from work.
Why? They'll steal your time for profit.
4. Iterate while feeling awful
First-time launches always fail. You'll feel terrible. Okay. Remember your 9-5?
Find improvements. Ask free and paying consumers what worked.
Multiple relaunches, each 1% better.
5. Discover more
Never stop learning. Improve your skill. Add a relevant skill. Learn copywriting if you write online.
After-hours students earn the most.
Repetition is key.
7. Make this one small change.
Consistently. The 6-12 momentum won't make you rich in 30 days; that's success p*rn.
Consistency helps wage slaves become f*ck you money. Most people can't switch between the two.
Putting everything together
It's easy. You're probably already doing some.
This formula explains why, how, and what to do. It's a 5th-grade-friendly blueprint. Good.
Reduce financial risk with your 9-to-5. Replace Netflix with 6-12 money-making talents.
Life is short; do whatever you want. Today.
5 months ago
Elon Musk Bets $44 Billion on Free Speech's Future
Musk’s purchase of Twitter has sealed his bond with the American right—whether the platform’s left-leaning employees and users like it or not.
Elon Musk's pursuit of Twitter Inc. began earlier this month as a joke. It started slowly, then spiraled out of control, culminating on April 25 with the world's richest man agreeing to spend $44 billion on one of the most politically significant technology companies ever. There have been bigger financial acquisitions, but Twitter's significance has always outpaced its balance sheet. This is a unique Silicon Valley deal.
To recap: Musk announced in early April that he had bought a stake in Twitter, citing the company's alleged suppression of free speech. His complaints were vague, relying heavily on the dog whistles of the ultra-right. A week later, he announced he'd buy the company for $54.20 per share, four days after initially pledging to join Twitter's board. Twitter's directors noticed the 420 reference as well, and responded with a “shareholder rights” plan (i.e., a poison pill) that included a 420 joke.
Musk - Patrick Pleul/Getty Images
No one knew if the bid was genuine. Musk's Twitter plans seemed implausible or insincere. In a tweet, he referred to automated accounts that use his name to promote cryptocurrency. He enraged his prospective employees by suggesting that Twitter's San Francisco headquarters be turned into a homeless shelter, renaming the company Titter, and expressing solidarity with his growing conservative fan base. “The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable,” he tweeted on April 19.
But Musk got funding, and after a frantic weekend of negotiations, Twitter said yes. Unlike most buyouts, Musk will personally fund the deal, putting up up to $21 billion in cash and borrowing another $12.5 billion against his Tesla stock.
Free Speech and Partisanship
Percentage of respondents who agree with the following
The deal is expected to replatform accounts that were banned by Twitter for harassing others, spreading misinformation, or inciting violence, such as former President Donald Trump's account. As a result, Musk is at odds with his own left-leaning employees, users, and advertisers, who would prefer more content moderation rather than less.
Dorsey - Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Previously, the company's leadership had similar issues. Founder Jack Dorsey stepped down last year amid concerns about slowing growth and product development, as well as his dual role as CEO of payments processor Block Inc. Compared to Musk, a father of seven who already runs four companies (besides Tesla and SpaceX), Dorsey is laser-focused.
Musk's motivation to buy Twitter may be political. Affirming the American far right with $44 billion spent on “free speech” Right-wing activists have promoted a series of competing upstart Twitter competitors—Parler, Gettr, and Trump's own effort, Truth Social—since Trump was banned from major social media platforms for encouraging rioters at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. But Musk can give them a social network with lax content moderation and a real user base. Trump said he wouldn't return to Twitter after the deal was announced, but he wouldn't be the first to do so.
Trump - Eli Hiller/Bloomberg
Conservative activists and lawmakers are already ecstatic. “A great day for free speech in America,” said Missouri Republican Josh Hawley. The day the deal was announced, Tucker Carlson opened his nightly Fox show with a 10-minute laudatory monologue. “The single biggest political development since Donald Trump's election in 2016,” he gushed over Musk.
But Musk's supporters and detractors misunderstand how much his business interests influence his political ideology. He marketed Tesla's cars as carbon-saving machines that were faster and cooler than gas-powered luxury cars during George W. Bush's presidency. Musk gained a huge following among wealthy environmentalists who reserved hundreds of thousands of Tesla sedans years before they were made during Barack Obama's presidency. Musk in the Trump era advocated for a carbon tax, but he also fought local officials (and his own workers) over Covid rules that slowed the reopening of his Bay Area factory.
Teslas at the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop Central Station in April 2021. The Las Vegas Convention Center Loop was Musk's first commercial project. Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Musk's rightward shift matched the rise of the nationalist-populist right and the desire to serve a growing EV market. In 2019, he unveiled the Cybertruck, a Tesla pickup, and in 2018, he announced plans to manufacture it at a new plant outside Austin. In 2021, he decided to move Tesla's headquarters there, citing California's "land of over-regulation." After Ford and General Motors beat him to the electric truck market, Musk reframed Tesla as a company for pickup-driving dudes.
Similarly, his purchase of Twitter will be entwined with his other business interests. Tesla has a factory in China and is friendly with Beijing. This could be seen as a conflict of interest when Musk's Twitter decides how to treat Chinese-backed disinformation, as Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos noted.
Musk has focused on Twitter's product and social impact, but the company's biggest challenges are financial: Either increase cash flow or cut costs to comfortably service his new debt. Even if Musk can't do that, he can still benefit from the deal. He has recently used the increased attention to promote other business interests: Boring has hyperloops and Neuralink brain implants on the way, Musk tweeted. Remember Tesla's long-promised robotaxis!
Musk may be comfortable saying he has no expectation of profit because it benefits his other businesses. At the TED conference on April 14, Musk insisted that his interest in Twitter was solely charitable. “I don't care about money.”
The rockets and weed jokes make it easy to see Musk as unique—and his crazy buyout will undoubtedly add to that narrative. However, he is a megabillionaire who is risking a small amount of money (approximately 13% of his net worth) to gain potentially enormous influence. Musk makes everything seem new, but this is a rehash of an old media story.