Elon Musk’s debut on a new social chat app has been a wild ride, with talks ranging from wiring a monkey’s brain for the video game to the grilling of the Robinhood CEO’s entrepreneur, all of it. while many users could not join due to the surge in demand. hear the richest man in the world speak.
Many who tried to log into Clubhouse, the app backed by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, found themselves on hacked streams that appeared on YouTube and broadcast the CEO of Tesla Inc. responding questions from moderators for over an hour. The invitation-only platform founded last year is one of the most popular social media products and has the potential to become a must-see news platform for journalists, investors and the public. , as does Twitter Inc. – a popular service from Musk. .
As news of the billionaire’s impending appearance at 10 p.m. CA time on Sunday night spread across the internet, there was a flurry of tweets from people seeking invitations to hear him speak. Several “pre-game” rooms – where users can participate in conversations or just listen – have popped up ahead of time to discuss Musk’s next appearance.
So it’s no surprise that the moderators, who included tech industry veterans Marc Andreessen and Steven Sinofsky, also hosted a ‘post-game’ session, where they talked about how the Clubhouse’s platform had been “stretched to its limits” as people sought to join the room with Musk. They said three engineers were on hand to fix the issues. They also talked about bringing in other luminaries, including Bill Gates.
While Clubhouse’s limited user base – which debuted in March – gives it an air of exclusivity, it’s also starting to grow faster and attract more funding, pushing it further into the news arenas. and social media. It now has around 5 million users, up from 3 million ten days earlier. Last week, investors including Andreessen Horowitz valued it at $ 1 billion. Clubhouse raised $ 100 million in the round, according to Axios.
What Clubhouse offers is a certain club intimacy with others on the platform. Some of that is kept when luminaries like Oprah, Drake or Jared Leto show up. Sunday’s session with Musk was as close as one of his 44.7 million Twitter followers was going to have a conversation with him.
The session began with the founder of rocket company Space Exploration Technologies Corp. speaking about the colonization of Mars and whether he would feel comfortable letting one of his sons make the trip. to the planet. This was happening briefly to determine whether the Netflix Inc. series “The Expanse” was worth watching or not.
“The important thing is that we establish Mars as an autonomous civilization and ensure the long-term existence of consciousness,” Musk said. This naturally led to a back and forth on the aliens. “I haven’t seen any conclusive evidence,” he says. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t aliens; I just haven’t seen the evidence.
Then it was the memes. When asked how he “was so good” to them, Musk replied, “I love memes. They are very insightful and the symbolism has a powerful impact on people.”
Musk then revealed that he got his memes from two friends. “I am not them; I make them, ”he says. “I have memes vendors. you must have a good meme dealer. My friend Mike and Claire. I am the recipient of very interesting memes.
“People are like, you’re going crazy on Twitter,” Musk said. “I was like, I started out crazy.”
Then the conversation turned to Neuralink Corp., Musk’s startup that is developing a brain-computer interface. The company put a small, wireless implant in the skull of an ape that can “play video games with its mind,” he said.
Musk explained that the goal of brain bonding technology is to help people who have lost their brain capacity due to injury or other illnesses with implanted chips.
Videos of the hip simians will be released soon, maybe in about a month, Musk said.
Asked about Bitcoin, Musk first replied that he had to “watch what I say” and then gave a response that once again pushed the price of the cryptocurrency up. “Bitcoin is a good thing,” he said, adding that he was “late to the party” and should have bought eight years ago.
Musk added that he does not have a clear view of other cryptocurrencies and that his comments on Dogecoin – a digital currency named after, what else, a meme – are considered jokes, adding that ” the most ironic outcome would be for Dogecoin to become the currency of Earth in the future.
On Tesla, the electric car company that is the source of much of his wealth, Musk had a message for battery makers: do more.
“It’s important to stress to our suppliers that we are not trying to bankrupt them, we want them to increase their rate,” Musk said. He announced at Tesla’s “Battery Day” event in September that the company would start producing its own cells to complement more purchases from outside suppliers.
Achieving Tesla’s goal of selling 20 million electric vehicles per year is important because it will replace about 1% of the 2 billion cars that are expected to be on the road by 2030, Musk said, thereby “moving the needle With the fundamental objective of the company: to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy. This target is quite ambitious, since the world’s two largest automakers delivered less than 10 million vehicles last year.
“We’re trying to grow automobile production as fast as possible, but the main limiting factor is the production of battery cells,” Musk said.
Next is the global deployment of vaccines against the Covid-19 pathogen which has infected 103 million and killed 2.2 million.
There are “too many demands on who can get the vaccine,” Musk said. Although it is “important for the elderly”, he called for distributing it on a first come, first served basis, as the annual flu shot is given, because “it will get as many vaccines available as possible” .
Although he has predicted that because there is “an avalanche” of vaccines to come, some doses will be thrown out later this year, Musk has made false predictions about the virus in the past. He tweeted in March that there would be nearly zero new cases in the United States by the end of the following month.
When asked if he was ready to be vaccinated, Musk said he was “definitely pro-vaccine.”
The seemingly rambling conversation took a different turn when Musk called Vlad Tenev, CEO of trading app Robinhood Markets Inc., to talk about the restrictions the company put in place last week amid a trading frenzy. “Spill the beans, man,” Musk tells Tenev, introducing him as “Vlad the Stump Impaler.”
“What happened last week? Why couldn’t people buy GameStop shares? Musk asked. “People demand answers and want to know the truth.”
Tenev said rumors that Robinhood had been pressured by Citadel or other market makers to restrict trading on GameStop and other “meme stocks” were false, the CEO said the restrictions were related to the National Securities Clearing Corp. seeking $ 3 billion in deposits, which Robinhood traded at $ 700 million.
“We knew it was a bad result for the customers,” Tenev said. “But we had no choice because we had to comply with our requirements.”
Moderators said after the session that Musk told them he was planning to bring in Tenev, who was also a Clubhouse user, and that they had prepared in advance to ensure he could. speak.
Sometimes the topics got more personal. Musk has previously revealed that he is watching “Last Kingdom” on Netflix. “There’s ‘Cobra Kai’, which is such a sick burn,” Musk said. “They turned the knife. I have to watch him on the treadmill though because I don’t like to work out.
Perhaps the most poignant part of the conversation was when he was asked, “Why doesn’t the world have more Elon Musks?”
“Maybe I’m getting too much credit. There have been sections of life that have been difficult and painful and I’m not sure people would want to do that, ”Musk said. “If someone had to be me or do things that I did, you’d be wrong. You should have some kind of spectral demon in your skull.