Elon Musk may have lost his Midas touch

Elon Musk may have lost his Midas touch
Patrick Pleul/Getty Images; Twitter; Vicky Leta/Insider

Happy Friday Eve, readers. We've got a lot to cover today, so even though I have loads to say about the cultural cornerstone that is Fat Bear Week, we better get straight to the news.


Today, senior correspondent Linette Lopez has an analysis on Elon Musk, and why he may be woefully behind the curve.

I'm Jordan Parker Erb. Let's dive in.

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1. Has Elon Musk lost his Midas touch? Elon Musk built his fortune on being first, senior correspondent Linette Lopez writes. He was early to see the potential of mass-producing electric cars and reusable rockets. But his big bets with Twitter and Tesla are behind the curve — and they could blow up in his face.

  • The first of these poorly timed bets, Linette writes, is Twitter. During the pandemic, tech stocks — including social-media companies — were flying high. Since then, the stock market has gotten smashed, and social-media stocks have been some of the hardest hit.
  • Musk's second behind-the-times bet is the Chinese consumer. Musk needs a healthy Chinese market to validate Tesla's big investment in the country, but given a weak consumer sentiment and a slowing economy, it may not be there for him.
  • This will be his companies' first attempt at surviving a stock-market collapse and a global economic downturn. These kinds of economic conditions rock even the most stable companies, and neither Tesla — which just started making money last year — nor Twitter has ever been that.

Read Linette's full analysis here.

Plus, staying with Musk, a judge thinks it's possible that Twitter whistleblower Peiter "Mudge" Zatko emailed Musk's attorney to ask for a job, months before he came forward with his claims against the social media company. We've got the details here.

In other news:

Elon Musk may have lost his Midas touch
Apple CEO Tim Cook.Stephen Lam/Reuters

2. Analysis: Apple's innovation hasn't just slowed, it's plateaued. At the company's latest product launch event, Apple showed off a slate of products with just small changes that are basically just checklist items disguised as features. Why boring is what's new at Apple.

3. Insiders describe confusion and frustration about Hulu's future. With the CEOs of Disney and Comcast publicly sparring over Hulu, some industry insiders have begun wondering how soon Hulu's joint ownership could resolve, and what the streamer will become. A look at the fear over Hulu's future.

4. The percentage of electric-vehicle owners in the US who switch back to gas is shrinking. New data shows that between 2021 and 2022, the share of EV owners who went back to gas cars decreased by around 17%. Why people are sticking with EVs.

5. A leaked video shows ghost-kitchen startup Reef's CEO telling workers to report issues that might run afoul of city rules. Last week, the CEO urged workers to internally report conduct that might violate health and permitting rules. His remarks came after Insider reported new trailer shutdowns and violations at the SoftBank-backed startup. Read more of his comments.

6. Amazon employees refused to work after a fire broke out in a warehouse. The company suspended them. After a fire broke out in a Staten Island warehouse, Amazon suspended more than 50 employees who refused to work due to safety concerns. What we know so far.


7. Vista Equity Partners is exploring a deal to take Compass private. Real-estate brokerage Compass' market capitalization plunged more than 85% since its IPO in 2021. Now, the private-equity firm behind it is considering a deal to take it private. Read our exclusive report here.

8. This writer spent a year living and working without a phone — and says it radically improved his life. Like many of us, Javier Ortega-Araiza found himself addicted to his phone, so he tried a two-week experiment without it. After extending the experiment by another year, he found he'd become a better communicator, among other things. Here are five other lessons he learned without a phone.

Odds and ends:

Elon Musk may have lost his Midas touch

9. We rounded up the best deals on Amazon devices ahead of its Prime Early Access Sale. The members-only shopping event begins October 11, and we're expecting to see the lowest prices of the year on Echo devices and big discounts on Kindles and other Amazon products. See the biggest deals we've found so far.


10. A new iPhone feature can warn you when severe weather is about to hit. The iPhone's default weather app can now proactively warn you whenever severe weather events — hurricanes, floods, tornados, and more — are about to hit your area. Here's how to turn it on.

What we're watching today:

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Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.