Elon Musk as the intersection between influencer culture and the stock market

There’s a fascinating point in yesterday’s Protocol (seriously, sign up to this if you haven’t already) about the vested interests which Elon Mask has in building his own profile. With his Tesla compensation pegged to the firm’s stock price, his online contrarianism (and its evident popularity with a committed cohort of fans, increasing numbers of whom seem to be amateur investors) comes to look deeply strategic:

I have no idea what to make of this stock price anymore. Here’s the best I can tell:

  • With Tesla about to report earnings, and potentially about to be included in the S&P 500, a lot of people are very excited about Tesla’s short-term outlook.
  • Or maybe it’s none of that, it’s just a bunch of kids on Robinhood betting on their favorite Joe Rogan guest: The platform was apparently signing up 10,000 new Tesla stock owners every hour yesterday. Tesla is the 10th most popular stock on Robinhood, per Robintrack.

Whatever the reason, two things are definitely happening: Wall Street is waiting for a huge correction in the price, and Elon Musk is getting richer. Like, another $2.4 billion richer. Turns out this whole “peg your comp to your stock price, then hype the ever-living crap out of your company and be friends with Kanye West” thing is a pretty winning strategy.