The Secret that Elon Musk and Twitter Share
Elon Musk reneging on a deal is hardly a shocker for me. I remember when he promised to only use US-based battery materials in his Teslas produced only in the States, and well – we told him that he couldn’t make this happen, but did it ever get him some attention. So, while it is incomprehensible to me what it must be like when you are the richest man on the planet, I have some insight into Elon’s autism spectrum disorder and how Twitter could still —- close their deal.
Elon has publicly described himself as having Asperger’s Disorder, which is defined as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) …or was. The Asperger’s diagnosis only started being used by the medical professional in the mid-nineties. Later they would pop back and forth between Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD) and Asperger’s and that of course, became quite confusing to parents and educational facilities attempting to create infrastructure for the diagnoses. Today, Asperger’s is rejected by many physicians and simply referred to as ASD. While Elon has popularized this dated diagnosis and added some sizzle to Asperger’s, it is my opinion that this can be an extraordinarily debilitating life challenge that can make functioning in our society nothing short of brutal.
So, what is my secret for Twitter to pull this deal out of the flames?
A person with ASD is driven by attention. Most people are, however, what makes ASD individuals different is that they get a kind of high* from it. And the part of this equation that is critical in understanding ASD is that the high an individual derives from attention is indifferent to positive or negative attention.
What does this mean? While most people would feel threatened by a litigation suit over a ‘tousled’ $44B deal falling into the crapper, Elon is getting – what? He is getting the high-octane drive that he thrives on – he is receiving endless cavalcades of attention.
My advice to Twitter? It is simple. Call me and put together some of the brightest media minds in the nation to collaborate on how to make buying Twitter have more appeal (aka, higher levels of media attention) than losing it. As we can all see by the headlines, Elon is getting his thrill with the impact of saying no, and the reasons he is presently proposing are currently shielded by the pleasure of the raging media rivers of attention from the ability to be free from the types of horror any of the rest of us would feel if Twitter decided to sue any of us over the loss of a $44B deal.
I am not a scientist, but I am a mother of an adult that has ASD, and the word ‘high’ is the only way I can describe what I have seen in endless interactions with professionally diagnosed ASD individuals. And with this experience, I can bet that Elon is not stressed about the potential tens of millions in legal fees and if anything – I can also bet that Elon will be seeking the most decadent magnetic legal team for drawing more attention to guess who? Ah yes, Elon Musk.
At this moment in time, Twitter is the most powerful media platform that the world has ever seen, and it runs similar to an ASD mindset as it’s powered by energy — driven by attention. The more tweets, the more the news is deemed relevant, and Elon understands this, which is why he needs to nuke the fake accounts that throw off the algorithms that monitor our society’s pulse on what we believe matters versus what we believe does not.
And if Twitter can hang tough on the wisdom of understanding the ASD model, which innately they do — Musk is the perfect man to lead Twitter.
Tracy Weslosky is the Founder, CEO, and Director of InvestorIntel Corp. (2001-Present), a leading online source of investor information that provides independent coverage of the ... <Read more about Tracy Weslosky>