Elon Musk knows a lot about rocket science and a tremendous amount about advanced manufacturing. He’s done much to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and to remake the American space industry. Not only does Musk serve as chief executive officer of two companies, Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., but he also personally designs their products. The creation of those two businesses makes him, as so many of his fans have observed, something of a 21st century superhero.
But, as has also been well documented, Musk is human and, as such, has a very human relationship with how social media fits into his life: “I’m like literally on the toilet or something,” he said at the TED conference Thursday afternoon. “I’m like ‘Oh this is funny’ and then tweet that out.” This would be kind of endearing if Musk hadn’t just submitted a bid to acquire the distributor of his toilet tweets for $54.20 a share—a figure that allows Musk to keep his favorite pot gag going and that would maybe give him control of one of the top social media companies. Musk has promised to use that shake-up as a vehicle to, as he put it at TED, “help freedom in the world.”