Elon Musk knows what he’s doing at Twitter, and it’s making activist journalists panic.
In the early days of the social networking site, Musk and the co-founders of PayPal, Elon Karp and Jed McCaleb, noticed that they could use the site as an attack tool. If others did something on Twitter, they could easily write an angry response, and they’d be able to share the tweet with all their followers. At the time, Musk was best known as the inventor of PayPal, and PayPal was a relatively small company with a comparatively small amount of money to invest in building Twitter.
But in the early days of Twitter, they realized there was a business opportunity, and that PayPal was a good business to use as a front for their attacks. Twitter became a platform that allowed people to attack other people. And so PayPal became the perfect vehicle to attack companies.
And then PayPal got hit with a huge lawsuit from eBay, and this was just the beginning of the attacks Musk used to undermine his target. But it was only the beginning.
What follows is an examination of Musk’s attacks on major companies for the past couple of years, and the attacks that PayPal has continued to put on Musk’s Twitter. I think there are some lessons to be learned from this, and I’ll share some in the next post on this series.
This is an edited version of part one in the series. Read part two, and part three, in the series.
And then PayPal got hit with a huge lawsuit from eBay. This was only a couple of months before we went public, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to attack PayPal. PayPal was already a large company. They had a million dollars in the bank, they’d been profitable for a while, and they were a well-known brand.
The first attack was an article written by PayPal’s attorney, and he went on to attack Musk personally, saying that PayPal had been the victim of a “deception.” The attack was a total flop. But it was a good opportunity to attack a corporate rival that was bigger and richer than them.
A few weeks later was a particularly nasty attack on Tesla Motors.