Update 28th Apr 2022: Balaji also sees this angle and here’s his suggestion to Elon to do a coin drop to all users
Musk is one of the smartest people alive. His ability to see long term and execute towards it is inspiring.
Which is why I have been baffled by his interest in Twitter for “protecting free speech.” Watching him speak at Ted last week, it became quite obvious he actually hasn’t put a lot of thought into that aspect of his interest. “Bring the edit button” and “make the algorithm more transparent” etc are just not the kind of game changing, bold things Musk usually spends time on. Anyone watching would notice his brilliance and passion for what he is doing at Tesla and SpaceX, and relative cluelessness of the problems & opportunities at Twitter.
So I have a theory now on what this might be about: Musk has been focusing a lot more on influence building. His appearance on SNL was part of that strategy. He probably realizes that we live in a post-factual world and that any reality we want can be created by consensus. Memes and social media are the infrastructure on which reality is now built. He has had mixed results on this. He has added volatility to Tesla’s stock price using Twitter and it worked out though he has gotten into trouble due to it. He tried to pump up Dogecoin using Twitter and SNL but failed.
For crypto to take off, the core ingredient is community. That’s why every crypto project invests so much in their communities on Discord etc. If you don’t have critical mass your project won’t go anywhere. Former Twitter CEO and current Block overseer Jack Dorsey and Musk have a new joint venture: constructing a Bitcoin mine in Texas powered entirely by renewable energy.
Jack left Twitter not in the best way. His vision was to be all in on crypto. And right now Jack is supportive of Musks bid. Putting this all together, what Musk is likely really after is the social graph. Owning unfettered access to a large social graph where new realities can be fabricated is the ultimate power play. We may recall that Facebook already tried that and failed (Libra/Diem) due to regulatory concerns getting in the way. Twitter as a private company may be able to get away with it.
What do folks think?