For billionaire Elon Musk, the letter X seems to represent something far beyond just a letter of the alphabet.
Not sure what subtle clues gave it way, but I like the letter X pic.twitter.com/nwB2tEfLr8
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 23, 2023
It embodies innovation, creativity, and the relentless pursuit of something greater. It has to be considering how the man has obsessed over ‘X’ for just about 25 years. Here are some offerings from ChatGPT.
- Unique and Futuristic: Musk is known for his ventures in cutting-edge technology and futuristic concepts. The letter ‘X’ has often been associated with innovation, the unknown, and the future. Naming some of his projects with ‘X’ might be a way to signify the groundbreaking and revolutionary nature of his work.
- Tribute to Space Exploration: SpaceX is at the forefront of space exploration and developing advanced space technologies. The letter ‘X’ is often used to represent the unknown and is a common symbol for variables in scientific equations. Naming his space-related ventures with ‘X’ might reflect his passion for exploring the unknown frontier of space.
- Family Significance: Some speculate that the ‘X’ in the names of Musk’s children might have personal or familial significance. It is possible that ‘X’ holds special meaning or symbolism for him and his family.
- Branding and Uniqueness: Known for his bold and unconventional approach to business and branding, the letter ‘X’ in the names of his ventures possibly sets them apart, making them recognisable in the market.
ChatGPT shows the same kind of bafflement and speculation the rest of the world has about Musk and his beloved ‘X.’ “It’s important to note that these are just speculations, and the actual reason for Musk’s preference for the letter ‘X’ might be known only to him. As a highly creative and innovative individual, his choices in branding and naming are often reflective of his unique vision and mindset.”
In 1999, he founded X.com, an online banking and financial services platform. It later merged with another company three years down the line, becoming PayPal. “Everyone tried to talk him out of naming the company that (X) back then because of the sexual innuendos, but he really liked it and stuck with it,’ said Ashlee Vance, the author of 2015’s Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future about the X.com domain.
Musk likes to mess with people and has yet to say what ‘X’ means to him. But there are clues in his retweets thanks to the newest CEO in Silicon Valley,
Twitter’s X’s Linda Yaccarino.
X is the future state of unlimited interactivity – centered in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking – creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities. Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine.
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) July 23, 2023
According to NPR, “The platform’s owner has talked about turning it into “X” for months while being a bit vague about what that exactly means. Does X represent a major business experiment? A radical new concept for online living? Or is it simply one man’s obsession with the 24th letter of the alphabet?” adding “Probably it’s all of the above.”
Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 4, 2022
Naturally, Musk would later buy the domain X.com back from PayPal in 2017. That site now directs people to Twitter.
You’ve no doubt seen the letter X appearing across his other business ventures: SpaceX, Tesla’s Model X car, X Corp., (subsidiary) X Holdings, (parent), and Project X – which is now, well, X. After successfully acquiring Twitter in October 2022, Musk revealed this purchase would “accelerate” the creation of an “everything app,” which would bear the name X, of course. Think America’s answer to China’s WeChat.
And just this month, On July 12, 2023, Musk announced via Twitter the launch of a new artificial intelligence (AI) company, xAI whose sole purpose is “To understand the true nature of the universe,” a phrase that means everything and nothing.
Of course, there are his other legacies, X Æ A-Xii (pronounced Ex Ash A-Twelve) who is simply called X; and his daughter Exa Dark Sideræl (pronounced sigh-deer-ee-el), later changed to ‘Y.’
Of course, I am no closer to solving ‘X’ than when I started. NPR aptly and in a most open-ended manner, cite that Musk’s obsession with the letter X remains a mystery even to his biographers. “Whether it’s kind of mysterious, like something pulled from a comic book, or ‘X marks the spot,’ it’s hard to know with him,” Wall Street Journalist and author of Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, And The Bet of The Century, Tim Higgins said. “It also just kind of sounds cool.”