Elon Musk’s Mindset: ‘It’s a Weakness to Want to Be Liked’

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By Ketrin Agustine

DealBook Summit includes conversations with business and policy leaders at the heart of today’s major stories, recorded live at the annual DealBook Summit event in New York City.


Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites connect every corner of the world to the internet. His electric car company, Tesla, has prodded the automotive industry toward a self-driving, battery-powered era. His 2022 purchase of Twitter promised a “common digital town square,” but a year later, the platform — now called X — has become a lightning rod for controversy.

Earlier this month, IBM and other big brands pulled their spending from the social media platform after Musk endorsed an antisemitic post. While he apologized for the post in this interview, he accused companies of “blackmail” for withdrawing their ads and said that if X became bankrupt, the public would blame the brands.

From brain implants to a future in the stars, Elon Musk’s vision has come to define innovation — and the thorny issues that come along with it. What makes him tick?

Elon Musk
The New York Times
  • Elon Musk used a crude insult to slam advertisers for pulling back from X.

  • Mr. Musk visited Israel amid the backlash against his endorsement of an antisemitic post.

  • The tech billionaire has become the dominant power in satellite internet technology.

Follow DealBook’s reporting at https://nytimes.com/dealbook

Hosted by Andrew Ross Sorkin, a columnist and editor of DealBook, a daily business and policy report from The New York Times, DealBook Summit features interviews with the leaders at the heart of today’s major stories, recorded live onstage at the annual DealBook Summit event in New York City.


The DealBook events team includes Julie Zann, Caroline Brunelle, Haley Duffy, Angela Austin, Hailey Hess, Dana Pruskowski, Matt Kaiser and Yen-Wei Liu.

Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Nina Lassam, Ravi Mattu, Beth Weinstein, Kate Carrington, Isabella Anderson and Jeffrey Miranda.

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