Monday, July 03, 2023

Dear Mark, Just Say No

A ‘Cage Match’ Between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg May Be No Joke Talks over a matchup between the two tech billionaires have progressed and the parameters of an event are taking shape......... In response, Mr. Zuckerberg posted on Instagram: “Send Me Location,” a reference to the catchphrase of Khabib Nurmagomedov, one of the U.F.C.’s most decorated athletes. ........... On Tuesday, he said, he was “on the phone with those two until 12:45 in the morning.” He added, “They both want to do it.” .......... The fight would be an exhibition match, Mr. White said, and outside official U.F.C. jurisdiction and rights deals, though he would help produce the event. The tech leaders have agreed there should be a charity component ........... One person close to Mr. Musk said that while he hated sports and didn’t appear to have the discipline to train regularly, no one could rule anything out with him. ........ If the matchup between Mr. Musk, 52, and Mr. Zuckerberg, 39, goes ahead, it would be a rare spectacle, even in the braggadocio-filled universe of the tech industry. While Steve Jobs and Bill Gates used to snipe at each other, the closest the tech world had before this to real sporting feuds was among billionaire yachtsmen like Larry Ellison of Oracle and Hasso Plattner of SAP. ........ But two wildly wealthy tech titans grappling, punching and kicking in a Las Vegas or Roman arena? No one would have dreamed it. ......... recently, Mr. Zuckerberg dispatched a team at Meta to build a competitor to Mr. Musk’s Twitter, code-named Project 92 ....... Apart from their 13-year age difference, Mr. Musk is said to be at least 70 pounds heavier than Mr. Zuckerberg. In official mixed martial arts bouts, athletes are generally matched up by weight. .........

“it will be the biggest fight in the history of combat sports.”

.......... Mr. Zuckerberg is especially familiar with the U.F.C. world. Over the past 18 months, he has embarked on a personal journey to bulk up and dove deep into Brazilian jujitsu, a grappling martial art in which competitors try to submit their opponent and which is used in U.F.C. fighting. ............. Mr. Zuckerberg started training on a lark mostly in his garage in 2021, where he built what he called a “mini academy” with a circle of friends who spar with him. He has said he appreciated that Brazilian jujitsu required “100 percent focus” and strategic thinking to defeat an opponent, rather than brute strength. .......... Mr. Zuckerberg has sought out martial arts experts, including Dave Camarillo, James Terry and Khai Wu. In May, he competed in his first public martial arts tournament in Redwood City, Calif., which he attended undercover — up until the moment he took off his hat and sunglasses to fight. He won gold and silver medals in the challenge. ......... Mr. Zuckerberg is likely in fighting shape. He has been on a strict workout regimen, going for runs and challenging friends and colleagues to beat his times ......... Last month, he posted a personal record for completing the “Murph” challenge, which requires completing a series of pull-ups, push-ups, running multiple miles and doing hundreds of squats, all while wearing weighted, military-grade body armor. ........ “Doing sports that basically require your full attention, I think, is really important to my mental health and the way to stay focused on everything I’m doing,” he said in a recent podcast episode. ......... Mr. Musk, on the other hand, has tweeted that he “almost never” works out and once suffered a back injury that required surgery after participating in an exhibition with a sumo wrestler. Last month, he said he had trained in “judo, Kyokushin (full contact)” — two Japanese martial arts — and “no rules streetfighting.” ......... “He made that very clear: ‘I’m not going to lose any weight,’” Mr. White said of Mr. Musk’s approach to the potential matchup. “‘Are we going to fight or are we not going to fight?’” Mr. White said Mr. Musk told him. ........ This week, Lex Fridman, a podcaster, posted photos of himself training judo with Mr. Musk. Mr. Fridman, who has also trained jujitsu with Mr. Zuckerberg

Last month, he posted a personal record for completing the “Murph” challenge, which requires completing a series of pull-ups, push-ups, running multiple miles and doing hundreds of squats, all while wearing weighted, military-grade body armor.

‘I Don’t Really Have a Business Plan’: How Elon Musk Wings It To a degree unseen in any other mogul, the world’s richest man acts on impulse and the belief that he is absolutely right......... He had no plan for how to finance or manage Twitter, Mr. Musk told a close associate. To push the $44 billion deal through, he turned to a small inner circle, including Jared Birchall, the head of his family office, and Alex Spiro, his personal lawyer. And when Twitter resisted his overtures, Mr. Musk pressured the company with a string of tweets — some mischievous, some barbed and all impulsive. ...... Tech billionaires such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Larry Page often make long-term plans and manage their affairs through a corporate machinery of lawyers, communications professionals and different advisers. Mr. Musk, 50, operates unlike any of them........... While Mr. Musk has successfully bet on electric cars, space travel and artificial intelligence, he often wings it in the biggest moments, eschews experts and relies almost solely on his own counsel ......... To operate this way, Mr. Musk has constructed an insular world of about 10 confidants who mostly agree with him and carry out his bidding. They include his younger brother, Kimbal Musk; Mr. Birchall; Mr. Spiro; and various chiefs of staff. To manage his many ideas, Mr. Musk continuously creates new companies, most of which are structured so that he remains in charge. His trusted lieutenants often work across his far-flung empire of businesses. .......... Relying on his small crew and hewing to his own thinking have enabled Mr. Musk to call the shots and conduct himself with few restraints, turning him into a Howard Hughes-like figure of the modern age — even as his seat-of-the-pants methods often create bedlam. ........... Mr. Musk works in a way that only the “most confident leaders do,” said Tim Draper, a venture capitalist who backed Mr. Musk’s electric automaker, Tesla, and his rocket company, SpaceX. “Think J.F.K., George Washington and Ronald Reagan.” ............ “I don’t really have a business plan,” he said. “I had a business plan way back in the Zip2 days. But these things are always wrong, so I just didn’t bother with business plans after that.” ........ In a live television appearance that year, Mr. Musk said the company would guarantee transactions on all auctions on eBay, the e-commerce site. It was the first time his engineers had heard about the feature, said a person who worked with him at the time. They had to race to make the feature a reality .......... In 2000,’s board and the executive Peter Thiel ousted Mr. Musk over disagreements about the company’s direction. It was a painful exit for Mr. Musk, who soon embraced the idea that he — and he alone — should be in charge of future ventures. .......... “It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket,” he told Inc. Magazine in 2007. ......... As Mr. Musk established more companies, he collected associates he could deploy across many of the endeavors. .......... “When Elon says something, you have to pause and not immediately blurt out, ‘Well, that’s impossible,’ or, ‘There’s no way we’re going to do that. I don’t know how,’” she said. “So you zip it, and you think about it. And you find ways to get that done.” .............. Mr. Musk also began treating his portfolio of companies as a single organization. .......... In 2015, he and Sam Altman, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and a group of researchers founded OpenAI, a lab developing artificial intelligence to benefit humanity. Within months, Mr. Musk enlisted several OpenAI researchers to help with Tesla’s assisted driving system, Autopilot, two people with knowledge of the work said. He later appointed an OpenAI researcher, Andrej Karpathy, as Tesla’s senior director of artificial intelligence. ............. By 2016, Mr. Musk’s business empire was sprawling. In pressure-filled situations, the billionaire sometimes showed an ugly side of his management style........ Mr. Musk erupted, four people with knowledge of the incident said. Screaming into the phone, he threatened to sue the regulator if the investigation went forward, they said. (Mr. Musk backed down the next day, and the agency proceeded with the investigation.) ........... At Tesla, Mr. Musk pushed to ramp up manufacturing of the company’s Model 3 sedan. Believing only he could get the task done, he fired the executive in charge of manufacturing and decided to revamp the entire assembly line of the company’s factory in Fremont, Calif., himself. Often, he slept in a conference room at the factory. .......... On Aug. 2, 2018, he drafted an email to the company’s board with the subject line: “Offer to Take Tesla Private at $420.” It contained few details about how the offer would be funded. .......... Despite the cheerleading from insiders, Mr. Musk’s effort failed. The funding he had counted on to take Tesla private didn’t materialize. Tesla shareholders sued him for securities fraud in August 2018. A month later, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Mr. Musk with securities fraud. ............. “Elon’s approach of doing business is minimum level of documentation,” Deepak Ahuja, Tesla’s then-chief financial officer, said in a 2018 deposition. “He really does do business based on a verbal commitment and a handshake.” ............

Throughout many ups and downs, Mr. Musk had one constant: Twitter.

........... He typically tweets a dozen times or more in a day .......... In 2020, he eliminated Tesla’s communications department, partly because he felt he could go directly to fans and customers through Twitter

Mark Zuckerberg Would Like You to Know About His Workouts It’s been a tough run for Meta, and the boss seems to be getting out some aggression with military-style endurance routines and Brazilian jujitsu. ........... He looks — to use a scientific term — completely shredded. He also looks completely focused, like a guy in a Michael Bay movie who just finished a dangerous mission, or at least the Raya profile picture of the actor who plays that guy. .............. The challenge consists of a mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, followed by 200 push-ups, followed by 300 squats, capped off with another mile run, all while wearing a 20-pound vest. ........... Just as eye popping as Mr. Zuckerberg’s arms was the time he said the brutal routine took him: under 40 minutes. That’s an elite time .......... That would be Brazilian jujitsu, the grueling grappling-based combat sport that is a fundamental part of mixed martial arts. In an August 2022 appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience,” Mr. Zuckerberg said that he had taken up martial arts during the pandemic, training with Dave Camarillo, a well-known coach in the Bay Area........... “The crazy thing is it really is the best sport,” Mr. Zuckerberg told Mr. Rogan at the time. “There’s something that’s just so primal about it.” (Mr. Rogan is a martial arts enthusiast and Ultimate Fighting Championship commentator.) ............ sports like Brazilian jujitsu appeal to a desire among Silicon Valley types to reconnect with a primitive fighting spirit ........... “It’s like being on a playground with a bully but in this new framework,” she said. “It’s not quite choreographed but the stakes and the rules are unambiguous.” ......... On May 6, Mr. Zuckerberg competed in his first Brazilian jujitsu event, in Woodside, Calif., where he defeated an Uber engineer and won two medals, and lost consciousness. ............

a veteran Brazilian jujitsu fighter who refereed one of Mr. Zuckerberg’s matches, said that he halted the bout after he heard Mr. Zuckerberg start to snore, a sign of someone who has passed out in a choke hold.

........ For Mr. Zuckerberg, who has absorbed a number of metaphorical body blows over the past several years — including an election meddling scandal, a ghost town metaverse and widespread layoffs — it is perhaps a revealing time to start fighting back. ........... Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder and chairman, has, in his 50s, developed remarkable biceps, linebacker shoulders and impressive vascularity.

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