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Brands Can Die, Even Tesla

In this post I want to talk about brands. They are everywhere from movie star brands to chicken soup brands. They are hard to create but also easy recognize. Some brands are willed into existence like A16Z, while some brands are pure consistent performance or quality or some other attribute that consumers like.

Great brands start as a cult and graduate to being a religion.

A while back I write about how Tesla graduated from cult to a religion. In which I claimed it is going to be the new Apple.

I am reconsidering that thought now.

The reason being Elon buying twitter, not that I am against it or for it. I love it, because what is the point of having f**k you money if you cant do wildly unimaginable & interesting things. Whether you like the fact that Elon might own Twitter or not, you cant say its an interesting situation to watch in real time.

But this makes me wonder how much impact is this going to have on the brand Tesla. Twitter is a political platform and that can easily make the owner of Twitter perceived as political. It doesn’t matter if he is political or not.

We have already seen these dynamics play out with Facebook. Mark is disliked by both sides of the spectrum alike and it definitely effected the brand Facebook.

So by associating himself with Twitter Elon might end up jeopardizing the brand Tesla. This will only reflect down the road say in 5years but not in near term. It might play out similarly how Facebook brand got tarnished with each new leak, security breach, and the continuous drip drip drip.

Having said this Elon is unique and can make it work, the general physics of business logic doesn’t apply to Elon.

P.S: Elon can walk away any time before the deal closes by paying a break up fee of $1B.


Past guests of Startup Project podcast include Ali Moiz (, Kirby Winfield (, Eric Bahn (Hustle Fund), and many more.

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If you like this episode, you might also enjoy the conversation with web3 critique Liron, long time business journalist Todd Bishop or Angel Investor Sajid Rahman.