More on Entrepreneurship/Creators
11 months ago
If you don't crush these 3 metrics, skip the Series A.
I recently wrote about getting VCs excited about Marketplace start-ups. SaaS founders became envious!
Understanding how people wire tens of millions is the only Series A hack I recommend.
Few people understand the intellectual process behind investing.
VC is risk management.
Series A-focused VCs must cover two risks.
1. Market risk
You need a large market to cross a threshold beyond which you can build defensibilities. Series A VCs underwrite market risk.
They must see you have reached product-market fit (PMF) in a large total addressable market (TAM).
2. Execution risk
When evaluating your growth engine's blitzscaling ability, execution risk arises.
When investors remove operational uncertainty, they profit.
Series A VCs like businesses with derisked revenue streams. Don't raise unless you have a predictable model, pipeline, and growth.
Please beat these 3 metrics before Series A:
Achieve $1.5m ARR in 12-24 months (Market risk)
Above 100% Net Dollar Retention. (Market danger)
Lead Velocity Rate supporting $10m ARR in 2–4 years (Execution risk)
Hit the 3 and you'll raise $10M in 4 months. Discussing 2/3 may take 6–7 months.
If none, don't bother raising and focus on becoming a capital-efficient business (Topics for other posts).
Let's examine these 3 metrics for the brave ones.
1. Lead Velocity Rate supporting €$10m ARR in 2 to 4 years
Last because it's the least discussed. LVR is the most reliable data when evaluating a growth engine, in my opinion.
SaaS allows you to see the future.
Monthly Sales and Sales Pipelines, two predictive KPIs, have poor data quality. Both are lagging indicators, and minor changes can cause huge modeling differences.
Analysts and Associates will trash your forecasts if they're based only on Monthly Sales and Sales Pipeline.
LVR, defined as month-over-month growth in qualified leads, is rock-solid. There's no lag. You can See The Future if you use Qualified Leads and a consistent formula and process to qualify them.
With this metric in your hand, scaling your company turns into an execution play on which VCs are able to perform calculations risk.
2. Above-100% Net Dollar Retention.
Net Dollar Retention is a better-known SaaS health metric than LVR.
Net Dollar Retention measures a SaaS company's ability to retain and upsell customers. Ask what $1 of net new customer spend will be worth in years n+1, n+2, etc.
Depending on the business model, SaaS businesses can increase their share of customers' wallets by increasing users, selling them more products in SaaS-enabled marketplaces, other add-ons, and renewing them at higher price tiers.
If a SaaS company's annualized Net Dollar Retention is less than 75%, there's a problem with the business.
Slack's ARR chart (below) shows how powerful Net Retention is. Layer chart shows how existing customer revenue grows. Slack's S1 shows 171% Net Dollar Retention for 2017–2019.
3. $1.5m ARR in the last 12-24 months.
According to Point 9, $0.5m-4m in ARR is needed to raise a $5–12m Series A round.
Target at least what you raised in Pre-Seed/Seed. If you've raised $1.5m since launch, don't raise before $1.5m ARR.
Capital efficiency has returned since Covid19. After raising $2m since inception, it's harder to raise $1m in ARR.
P9's 2016-2021 SaaS Funding Napkin
In summary, less than 1% of companies VCs meet get funded. These metrics can help you win.
If there’s demand for it, I’ll do one on direct-to-consumer.
9 months ago
Looking for a Reliable Micro SaaS Niche
Niches are rich, as the adage goes.
Micro SaaS requires a great micro-niche; otherwise, it's merely plain old SaaS with a large audience.
Instead of targeting broad markets with few identifying qualities, specialise down to a micro-niche. How would you target these users?
Better go tiny. You'll locate and engage new consumers more readily and serve them better with a customized solution.
Imagine you're a real estate lawyer looking for a case management solution. Because it's so specific to you, you'd be lured to this link:
instead of below:
Next, locate mini SaaS niches that could work for you. You're not yet looking at the problems/solutions in these areas, merely shortlisting them.
The market should be growing, not shrinking
We shouldn't design apps for a declining niche. We intend to target stable or growing niches for the next 5 to 10 years.
If it's a developing market, you may be able to claim a stake early. You must balance this strategy with safer, longer-established niches (accountancy, law, health, etc).
First Micro SaaS apps I designed were for Merch By Amazon creators, a burgeoning niche. I found this niche when searching for passive income.
Graphic designers and entrepreneurs post their art to Amazon to sell on clothes. When Amazon sells their design, they get a royalty. Since 2015, this platform and specialty have grown dramatically.
Amazon doesn't publicize the amount of creators on the platform, but it's possible to approximate by looking at Facebook groups, Reddit channels, etc.
I could see the community growing week by week, with new members joining. Merch was an up-and-coming niche, and designers made money when their designs sold. All I had to do was create tools that let designers focus on making bestselling designs.
Look at the Google Trends graph below to see how this niche has evolved and when I released my apps and resigned my job.
Are the users able to afford the tools?
Who's your average user? Consumer or business? Is your solution budgeted?
If they're students, you'll struggle to convince them to subscribe to your study-system app (ahead of video games and beer).
Let's imagine you designed a Shopify plugin that emails customers when a product is restocked. If your plugin just needs 5 product sales a month to justify its cost, everyone wins (just be mindful that one day Shopify could potentially re-create your plugins functionality within its core offering making your app redundant ).
Do specialized users buy tools? If so, that's comforting. If not, you'd better have a compelling value proposition for your end customer if you're the first.
This should include how much time or money your program can save or make the user.
Are you able to understand the Micro SaaS market?
Ideally, you're already familiar about the industry/niche. Maybe you're fixing a challenge from your day job or freelance work.
If not, evaluate how long it would take to learn the niche's users. Health & Fitness is easier to relate to and understand than hedge fund derivatives trading.
Competing in these complex (and profitable) fields might offer you an edge.
B2C, B2M, or B2B?
Consider your user base's demographics. Will you target businesses, consumers, or both? Let's examine the different consumer types:
B2B refers to business-to-business transactions where customers are other businesses. UpVoty, Plutio, Slingshot, Salesforce, Atlassian, and Hubspot are a few examples of SaaS, ranging from Micro SaaS to SaaS.
Business to Consumer (B2C), in which your clients are people who buy things. For instance, Duolingo, Canva, and Nomad List.
For instance, my tool KDP Wizard has a mixed user base of publishing enterprises and also entrepreneurial consumers selling low-content books on Amazon. This is a case of business to many (B2M), where your users are a mixture of businesses and consumers. There is a large SaaS called Dropbox that offers both personal and business plans.
Targeting a B2B vs. B2C niche is very different. The sales cycle differs.
A B2B sales staff must make cold calls to potential clients' companies. Long sales, legal, and contractual conversations are typically required for each business to get the go-ahead. The cost of obtaining a new customer is substantially more than it is for B2C, despite the fact that the recurring fees are significantly higher.
Since there is typically only one individual making the purchasing decision, B2C signups are virtually always self-service with reduced recurring fees. Since there is typically no outbound sales staff in B2C, acquisition costs are significantly lower than in B2B.
User Characteristics for B2B vs. B2C
Consider where your niche's users congregate if you don't already have a presence there.
B2B users frequent LinkedIn and Twitter. B2C users are on Facebook/Instagram/Reddit/Twitter, etc.
Churn is higher in B2C because consumers haven't gone through all the hoops of a B2B sale. Consumers are more unpredictable than businesses since they let their bank cards exceed limitations or don't update them when they expire.
With a B2B solution, there's a contractual arrangement and the firm will pay the subscription as long as they need it.
Depending on how you feel about the above (sales team vs. income vs. churn vs. targeting), you'll know which niches to pursue.
You ought to respect potential customers.
Would you hang out with customers?
You'll connect with users at conferences (in-person or virtual), webinars, seminars, screenshares, Facebook groups, emails, support calls, support tickets, etc.
If talking to a niche's user base makes you shudder, you're in for a tough road. Whether they're demanding or dull, avoid them if possible.
Merch users are mostly graphic designers, side hustlers, and entrepreneurs. These laid-back users embrace technologies that assist develop their Merch business.
I discovered there was only one annual conference for this specialty, held in Seattle, USA. I decided to organize a conference for UK/European Merch designers, despite never having done so before.
Hosting a conference for over 80 people was stressful, and it turned out to be much bigger than expected, with attendees from the US, Europe, and the UK.
I met many specialized users, built relationships, gained trust, and picked their brains in person. Many of the attendees were already Merch Wizard users, so hearing their feedback and ideas for future features was invaluable.
focused and specific
Instead of building for a generic, hard-to-reach market, target a specific group.
I liken it to fishing in a little, hidden pond. This small pond has only one species of fish, so you learn what bait it likes. Contrast that with trawling for hours to catch as many fish as possible, even if some aren't what you want.
In the case management scenario, it's difficult to target leads because several niches could use the app. Where do your potential customers hang out? Your generic solution: No.
It's easier to join a community of Real Estate Lawyers and see if your software can answer their pain points.
My Success with Micro SaaS
In my case, my Micro SaaS apps have been my chrome extensions. Since I launched them, they've earned me an average $10k MRR, allowing me to quit my lousy full-time job years ago.
I sold my apps after scaling them for a life-changing lump amount. Since then, I've helped unfulfilled software developers escape the 9-5 through Micro SaaS.
Whether it's a profitable side hustle or a liferaft to quit their job and become their own Micro SaaS boss.
Having built my apps to the point where I could quit my job, then scaled and sold them, I feel I can share my skills with software developers worldwide.
Read my free guide on self-funded SaaS to discover more about Micro SaaS, or download your own copy. 12 chapters cover everything from Idea to Exit.
Watch my YouTube video to learn how to construct a Micro SaaS app in 10 steps.
8 months ago
In five years, starting a business won't be hip.
People are slowly recognizing entrepreneurship's downside.
Growing up, entrepreneurship wasn't common. High school class of 2012 had no entrepreneurs.
Businesses were different.
They had staff and a lengthy history of achievement.
I never wanted a business. It felt unattainable. My friends didn't care.
People desired degrees to attain good jobs at big companies.
When graduated high school:
9 out of 10 people attend college
Earn minimum wage (7%) working in a restaurant or retail establishment
Or join the military (3%)
Later, entrepreneurship became a thing.
I was in the military and most of my high school friends were in college, so I didn't hear anything.
Entrepreneurship soared in 2015, according to Google Trends.
Then more individuals were interested. Entrepreneurship went from unusual to cool.
In 2015, it was easier than ever to build a website, run Facebook advertisements, and achieve organic social media reach.
There were several online business tools.
You didn't need to spend years or money figuring it out. Most entry barriers were gone.
Everyone wanted a side gig to escape the 95.
Small company applications have increased during the previous 10 years.
2011-2014 trend continues.
2015 adds 150,000 applications. 2016 adds 200,000. Plus 300,000 in 2017.
The graph makes it look little, but that's a considerable annual spike with no indications of stopping.
By 2021, new business apps had doubled.
Entrepreneurship will return to its early 2010s level.
I think we'll go backward in 5 years.
Entrepreneurship is half as popular as it was in 2015.
In the late 2020s and 30s, entrepreneurship will again be obscure.
Entrepreneurship's decade-long splendor is fading. People will cease escaping 9-5 and launch fewer companies.
That’s not a bad thing.
I think people have a rose-colored vision of entrepreneurship. It's fashionable. People feel that they're missing out if they're not entrepreneurial.
Reality is showing up.
People say on social media, "I knew starting a business would be hard, but not this hard."
More negative posts on entrepreneurship:
Is being an entrepreneur ‘healthy’? I don’t really think so. Many like Gary V, are not role models for a well-balanced life. Despite what feel-good LinkedIn tells you the odds are against you as an entrepreneur. You have to work your face off. It’s a tough but rewarding lifestyle. So maybe let’s stop glorifying it because it takes a lot of (bleepin) work to survive a pandemic, mental health battles, and a competitive market.
Entrepreneurship is no longer a pipe dream.
I went full-time in March 2020. I was done by April 2021. I had a good-paying job with perks.
When that fell through (on my start date), I had to continue my entrepreneurial path. I needed money by May 1 to pay rent.
Entrepreneurship isn't as great as many think.
Entrepreneurship is a serious business.
If you have a 9-5, the grass isn't greener here. Most people aren't telling the whole story when they post on social media or quote successful entrepreneurs.
People prefer to communicate their victories than their defeats.
Is this a bad thing?
I don’t think so.
Over the previous decade, entrepreneurship went from impossible to the finest thing ever.
It peaked in 2020-21 and is returning to reality.
Startups aren't for everyone.
If you like your job, don't quit.
Entrepreneurship won't amaze people if you quit your job.
And you'll probably make less money.
If you hate your job, quit. Change jobs and bosses. Changing jobs could net you a greater pay or better perks.
When you go solo, your paycheck and perks vanish. Did I mention you'll fail, sleep less, and stress more?
Nobody will stop you from pursuing entrepreneurship. You'll face several challenges.
Entrepreneurship may be romanticized for years.
Based on what I see from entrepreneurs on social media and trends, entrepreneurship is challenging and few will succeed.
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1 year ago
Donor-Advised Fund Tax Benefits (DAF)
Giving through a donor-advised fund can be tax-efficient. Using a donor-advised fund can reduce your tax liability while increasing your charitable impact.
Grow Your Donations Tax-Free.
Your DAF's charitable dollars can be invested before being distributed. Your DAF balance can grow with the market. This increases grantmaking funds. The assets of the DAF belong to the charitable sponsor, so you will not be taxed on any growth.
Avoid a Windfall Tax Year.
DAFs can help reduce tax burdens after a windfall like an inheritance, business sale, or strong market returns. Contributions to your DAF are immediately tax deductible, lowering your taxable income. With DAFs, you can effectively pre-fund years of giving with assets from a single high-income event.
Make a contribution to reduce or eliminate capital gains.
One of the most common ways to fund a DAF is by gifting publicly traded securities. Securities held for more than a year can be donated at fair market value and are not subject to capital gains tax. If a donor liquidates assets and then donates the proceeds to their DAF, capital gains tax reduces the amount available for philanthropy. Gifts of appreciated securities, mutual funds, real estate, and other assets are immediately tax deductible up to 30% of Adjusted gross income (AGI), with a five-year carry-forward for gifts that exceed AGI limits.
Using Appreciated Stock as a Gift
Donating appreciated stock directly to a DAF rather than liquidating it and donating the proceeds reduces philanthropists' tax liability by eliminating capital gains tax and lowering marginal income tax.
In the example below, a donor has $100,000 in long-term appreciated stock with a cost basis of $10,000:
Using a DAF would allow this donor to give more to charity while paying less taxes. This strategy often allows donors to give more than 20% more to their favorite causes.
For illustration purposes, this hypothetical example assumes a 35% income tax rate. All realized gains are subject to the federal long-term capital gains tax of 20% and the 3.8% Medicare surtax. No other state taxes are considered.
The information provided here is general and educational in nature. It is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal or tax advice. NPT does not provide legal or tax advice. Furthermore, the content provided here is related to taxation at the federal level only. NPT strongly encourages you to consult with your tax advisor or attorney before making charitable contributions.
2 months ago
Why Are There So Few Startups in Japan?
Japan's startup challenge: 7 reasons
Every day, another Silicon Valley business is bought for a billion dollars, making its founders rich while growing the economy and improving consumers' lives.
Google, Amazon, Twitter, and Medium dominate our daily lives. Tesla automobiles and Moderna Covid vaccinations.
The startup movement started in Silicon Valley, California, but the rest of the world is catching up. Global startup buzz is rising. Except Japan.
644 of CB Insights' 1170 unicorns—successful firms valued at over $1 billion—are US-based. China follows with 302 and India third with 108.
1% of US startups succeed. The third-largest economy is tied with small Switzerland for startup success.
Mexico (8), Indonesia (12), and Brazil (12) have more successful startups than Japan (16). South Korea has 16. Yikes! Problem?
Why Don't Startups Exist in Japan More?
Not about money. Japanese firms invest in startups. To invest in startups, big Japanese firms create Silicon Valley offices instead of Tokyo.
Startups aren't the issue either. Local governments are competing to be Japan's Shirikon Tani, providing entrepreneurs financing, office space, and founder visas.
Startup accelerators like Plug and Play in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, the Startup Hub in Kobe, and Google for Startups are many.
Most of the companies I've encountered in Japan are either local offices of foreign firms aiming to expand into the Japanese market or small businesses offering local services rather than disrupting a staid industry with new ideas.
There must be a reason Japan can develop world-beating giant corporations like Toyota, Nintendo, Shiseido, and Suntory but not inventive startups.
Culture, obviously. Japanese culture excels in teamwork, craftsmanship, and quality, but it hates moving fast, making mistakes, and breaking things.
If you have a brilliant idea in Silicon Valley, quit your job, get money from friends and family, and build a prototype. To fund the business, you approach angel investors and VCs.
Most non-startup folks don't aware that venture capitalists don't want good, profitable enterprises. That's wonderful if you're developing a solid small business to consult, open shops, or make a specialty product. However, you must pay for it or borrow money. Venture capitalists want moon rockets. Silicon Valley is big or bust. Almost 90% will explode and crash. The few successes are remarkable enough to make up for the failures.
Silicon Valley's high-risk, high-reward attitude contrasts with Japan's incrementalism. Japan makes the best automobiles and cleanrooms, but it fails to produce new items that grow the economy.
Changeable? Absolutely. But, what makes huge manufacturing enterprises successful and what makes Japan a safe and comfortable place to live are inextricably connected with the lack of startups.
Barriers to Startup Development in Japan
These are the 7 biggest obstacles to Japanese startup success.
Unresponsive Employment Market
While the lifelong employment system in Japan is evolving, the average employee stays at their firm for 12 years (15 years for men at large organizations) compared to 4.3 years in the US. Seniority, not experience or aptitude, determines career routes, making it tough to quit a job to join a startup and then return to corporate work if it fails.
Even if your product is buggy and undocumented, US customers will migrate to a cheaper, superior one. Japanese corporations demand perfection from their trusted suppliers and keep with them forever. Startups need income fast, yet product evaluation takes forever.
Japanese business failures harm lives. Failed forever. It hinders risk-taking. Silicon Valley embraces failure. Build another startup if your first fails. Build a third if that fails. Every setback is viewed as a learning opportunity for success.
4. No Corporate Purchases
Silicon Valley industrial giants will buy fast-growing startups for a lot of money. Many huge firms have stopped developing new goods and instead buy startups after the product is validated.
Japanese companies prefer in-house product development over startup acquisitions. No acquisitions mean no startup investment and no investor reward.
Startup investments can also be monetized through stock market listings. Public stock listings in Japan are risky because the Nikkei was stagnant for 35 years while the S&P rose 14x.
5. Social Unity Above Wealth
In Silicon Valley, everyone wants to be rich. That creates a competitive environment where everyone wants to succeed, but it also promotes fraud and societal problems.
Japan values communal harmony above individual success. Wealthy folks and overachievers are avoided. In Japan, renegades are nearly impossible.
6. Rote Learning Education System
Japanese high school graduates outperform most Americans. Nonetheless, Japanese education is known for its rote memorization. The American system, which fails too many kids, emphasizes creativity to create new products.
Immigrants start 55% of successful Silicon Valley firms. Some come for university, some to escape poverty and war, and some are recruited by Silicon Valley startups and stay to start their own.
Japan is difficult for immigrants to start a business due to language barriers, visa restrictions, and social isolation.
How Japan Can Promote Innovation
Patchwork solutions to deep-rooted cultural issues will not work. If customers don't buy things, immigration visas won't aid startups. Startups must have a chance of being acquired for a huge sum to attract investors. If risky startups fail, employees won't join.
Will Japan never have a startup culture?
Once a consensus is reached, Japan changes rapidly. A dwindling population and standard of living may lead to such consensus.
Toyota and Sony were firms with renowned founders who used technology to transform the world. Repeatable.
Silicon Valley is flawed too. Many people struggle due to wealth disparities, job churn and layoffs, and the tremendous ups and downs of the economy caused by stock market fluctuations.
The founders of the 10% successful startups are heroes. The 90% that fail and return to good-paying jobs with benefits are never mentioned.
Silicon Valley startup culture and Japanese corporate culture are opposites. Each have pros and cons. Big Japanese corporations make the most reliable, dependable, high-quality products yet move too slowly. That's good for creating cars, not social networking apps.
Can innovation and success be encouraged without eroding social cohesion? That can motivate software firms to move fast and break things while recognizing the beauty and precision of expert craftsmen? A hybrid culture where Japan can make the world's best and most original items. Hopefully.
1 year 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.