Elon Musk is a CEO unlike any other, atypical and iconoclastic. Some deride him as whimsical. Others hail his unconventional side.
No matter. Musk leaves almost no one indifferent.
When you browse his activity on the microblogging website Twitter, his main communication channel, you realize that Musk is paying attention there almost 24 hours a day.
Which prompts the question: How does he manage to both be on Twitter and run such prominent companies as electric-vehicle maker Tesla, space-tech company SpaceX, medical-device developer Neuralink, infrastructure provider Boring Co. and -- if his deal proposal goes through -- Twitter (TWTR) - Get Twitter Inc. Report ?
His 95.3 million Twitter followers sometimes are also surprised when he says he's in another country when they still thought he was in Texas. (Musk lives in the state and Tesla is based in Austin.) This recently was the case when he tweeted that he was in Brazil for a partnership involving Starlink.
The man is definitely a very active boss.
'How Do You Feel, Elon?'
Musk is that rare mogul who does not hesitate to let everyone in on his ideas and activities. He is one of the few influential CEOs to have smoked marijuana in public (back in 2018 during a podcast with the controversial personality Joe Rogan).
Musk is also not ashamed to share his moods. When some would see this as a mark of weakness, he may well see it as the best way for his fans to identify with him. It's a bit like "I'm like you."
He has just shown it again during a recent exchange on Twitter.
"We all have been asking @elonmusk on Tesla, SpaceX, Starlink, Dogecoin... But we mostly miss that he is a human being," a Twitter user posted on May 26. "And we have to ask him about his personal feelings as well."
"How do you feel, Elon? Do you feel lonely, happy, sad, regretful, disappointed, or anything?"
The tech tycoon answered without missing a beat.
"A bit sad tbh," Musk, 50, responded. ("TBH" stands for "to be honest.")
The response from Tesla's chief executive officer was posted at around 4 a.m.
He didn't elaborate, leaving social-media users to wonder why the world's richest man and arguably the world's most influential CEO, a father of seven and hero to millions, was sad.
"why Elon?" the same Twitter user asked again.
The why at least for now will go unanswered.
People can speculate. One possibility: Is Musk's sadness linked to the May 24 killing of 19 children and two teachers by a gunman at a South Texas elementary school?
Does Instagram Amplify Fake Happiness?
A few hours later, the serial entrepreneur was back on Twitter to defend billionaires, with inflation at its highest in 40 years and the specter of a recession looming.
"Use of the word “billionaire” as a pejorative is morally wrong & dumb 😛," Musk said.
But he elaborates in a second post, which makes clear that Musk does not see himself in the same circle as his peer billionaires.
"If the reason for it is building products that make millions of people happy."
He does not end there.
Musk launched a poll to find out whether the general public trusts billionaires or politicians less. And as often happens, the billionaire seemed to get a certain satisfaction from provoking his detractors.
He directly challenged Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) to poll her Twitter followers on whether they distrusted billionaires or politicians more.
".@aoc I dare you to run the same poll with your followers," Musk said.
A few days earlier, the congresswoman had indicated that she would exchange her Tesla for an electric vehicle manufactured by unionized workers.
"I would love to switch," she told Bloomberg.
The poll closed on May 27. It received almost 3.4 million votes. A large majority of voters said they trust politicians less than billionaires.
On May 24, Musk sharply criticized Instagram. He accused the social network owned by Meta Platforms (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Report, formerly known as Facebook, of encouraging its users toward a quest for perpetual happiness.
"If you only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier than other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are," a Twitter user posted. "Montesquieu said this 300 years ago. We’re still working on this one."
"Instagram amplifies this," the billionaire commented.