Despite his current bluster about transforming Twitter into X, “the everything app,” Elon Musk was reportedly a mess during the acquisition process, which publicly saw him attempt to back out of the deal after rushing through an exorbitant purchase price that way overvalued the social media platform.
Obviously, the purchase went through and Twitter proceeded to lose advertisers as Musk maintained that he was going to turn the platform into a success after ridding the old regime. But according to Musk’s upcoming biography, Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO experienced wild mood swings from April to November 2022 when the deal was finalized. (Musk stopped fighting once his lawyers made it a clear a judge would hold him to the agreement.)
Here’s an excerpt of the book from biographer Walter Isaacson via Mediaite:
In the months between the deal agreement and the official closing, Musk’s moods fluctuated wildly. “I am very excited about finally implementing X.com as it should have been done, using Twitter as an accelerant!” he texted me at 3:30 one morning. “And, hopefully, helping democracy and civil discourse while doing so.”
A few days later, he was more somber. “I will need to live at Twitter HQ. This is a super tough situation. Really bumming me out :( Sleep is difficult.” He was having doubts about taking on such a messy challenge. “I’ve got a bad habit of biting off more than I can chew,” he admitted in a long talk with me one night. “I think I just need to think about Twitter less. Even this conversation right now is not time well spent.”
The biography also explained Musk’s decision process for buying Twitter, and it’s exactly what you’d imagine if you’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of reading his tweets.
“It is an addictive playground for him,” Isaacson wrote. “It has many of the attributes of a school yard, including taunting and bullying. But in the case of Twitter, the clever kids win followers; they don’t get pushed down the steps and beaten, like Musk was as a kid. Owning it would allow him to become king of the school yard.”