Sergey Brin and Elon Musk are Silicon Valley frenemies

I’m sorry for what I’m about to do right here, however let’s speak about some divorced males. I feel Sergey Brin is making an attempt to smear his ex-wife, and I feel he’s the usage of his historical past with Elon Musk to do it.

Musk allegedly had an affair with Brin’s spouse, resulting in their divorce. (ALLEGEDLY.) Then, at a birthday celebration, Musk fell to his knees, begging for Brin’s forgiveness, “according to people with knowledge of the incident,” The Wall Street Journal writes. What a tale!

Except: I to find this sourcing bizarre. How many of us? Two resources are other from 10 resources in this, or 30, ? And what sort of wisdom? Were they there? I perceive short of to offer protection to one’s resources, undoubtedly, however I would like extra context in this to know how severely to take it. Can I make certain Musk, who’s steadily past due to traits, used to be now not merely making an attempt to Ice Brin?

I’m asking those pointed questions as a result of I understand that Brin’s nonetheless duking it out together with his soon-to-be ex-wife Nicole Shanahan in courtroom. Brin’s legal professionals contend she is looking for an excessive amount of — a rumored $1 billion, in step with the WSJ. I don’t know the way the WSJ sourced this tale, however I do assume it’s much more likely to profit him than her. If he demonstrates she’s untrue, he will get to stay extra of his cash. And if she’s terrified of additional information about their marriage making it into the papers, she may well be much more likely to settle briefly.

Shanahan has denied an affair with Musk, and an nameless supply on the subject of her has informed the New York Post that she’s a “pawn” in “billionaire playboy games.” I’m a bit skeptical of single-source nameless reporting, however NYP infrequently misses in famous person protection, most likely on account of its extraordinarily robust relationships with publicists. (Page Six isn’t what it used to be, but it surely’s nonetheless bold.)

If Brin’s individuals are certainly at the back of the leak, that makes Musk’s response funnier. Musk says he’s observed Shanahan two times within the closing 3 years — and not on my own. “Haven’t even had sex in ages (sigh),” he provides. After all, he could have been denied access to a Berlin intercourse membership simply closing April.

To turn out that issues are copacetic between himself and Brin, Musk posted a photograph of them on the identical birthday celebration in respond to a Wall Street Journal editor who’d tweeted the tale. An atypical selection. I consider an previous image Musk have been requested about: one in every of him with Ghislaine Maxwell, the right-hand girl to Jeffrey Epstein who won a 20-year sentence for intercourse trafficking. Musk says she “photobombed” him.

It’s a bit bizarre to disclaim {that a} {photograph} is proof of a friendship, then submit {a photograph} as proof of a friendship. Musk had it appropriate with the Maxwell photograph denial: a photograph of 2 folks on the identical birthday celebration doesn’t imply a lot.

Look on the photograph with Brin: Musk within the foreground; Brin within the background, now not making eye touch with the digicam, most likely now not even mindful he used to be being photographed. The two are beneath a tent, and Brin is protecting a plastic cup — a birthday celebration of a few type. There are two people within the photograph who seem to be both kids or very quick adults. One is dressed in Overwatch cosplay. I’ve spent an excessive amount of time seeking to determine the bushes within the background to determine a location. (Yes, I emailed professionals. They mentioned the bushes have been too low-res to spot.)

It is undoubtedly evidence Musk and Brin have been on the identical birthday celebration, which Musk says used to be at the afternoon of Sunday, July twenty fourth. Whether it’s evidence of friendship is more difficult to mention.

As for the date and placement: in step with the Twitter account that tracks its actions, Musk’s jet flew into San Jose’s airport on July twenty third and left at the night time of July twenty fourth. In reaction to Musk’s tweet, a chef named Andrew Gruel (cool aptonym, very Dickens!) says that he may just attest to Musk and Brin’s attendance on the birthday celebration in combination, the place they have been served lobster deviled eggs. Gruel is based totally in Huntington Beach, California, the place he left the patio at one in every of his eating places open all over Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order, possibly some degree of commonality with Musk.

“Nicole and Sergey’s divorce has absolutely nothing to do with me,” Musk emailed the New York Post. (This could also be, for what it’s value, the second one famous person divorce through which Musk has been accused of homewrecking; Johnny Depp claimed that Musk started a dating together with his now-ex-wife, Amber Heard, a month after Depp and Heard have been married.)

Brin invested a minimum of $500,000 in Tesla, in step with Tim Higgins’ e book Power Play. Brin could have invested an unknown quantity in 2006, in step with Insider. According to the hot WSJ tale, Brin “has ordered his financial advisers to sell his personal investments in Mr. Musk’s companies,” even though the tale didn’t decide the dimensions of the investments or if any gross sales had took place.

I feel I do know why! Because all of the ones investments, if offered, would then be a part of the negotiations that Brin and Shanahan are enticing in round their divorce. The level of the WSJ tale is to smear Shanahan, now not inform her the place the entire cash is! Brin would possibly nonetheless birthday celebration with Musk, but it surely certain turns out like his legal professionals hung Musk out to dry simply to get to Shanahan.

Why that aggression towards Musk? They have historical past. There’s the chance Musk nicked the identify “Autopilot” from Google, initially. Apparently, Larry Page and Brin have been pondering of shopping for Tesla whilst letting Musk reside in fee, in step with Ashlee Vance’s biography of Musk. This didn’t come to cross, in large part on account of Musk’s P.T. Barnum-like self-promotional talents. “With the benefit of hindsight, it’s clear that Musk was⁠—at a minimum⁠—either inspired or scared” into self-driving vehicles, wrote Edward Niedermeyer, some other Musk biographer.

By 2018, earlier than Brin left Google, it used to be transparent that contention used to be brewing between Tesla and Google’s self-driving automotive department, Waymo. In January 2021, Waymo’s CEO John Krafcik mentioned, “For us, Tesla is not a competitor at all.” Waymo even ditched the time period “self-driving” to seek advice from its self sustaining cars in 2021, announcing, “It may seem like a small change, but it’s an important one, because precision in language matters and could save lives.” This does appear to be a dig at Tesla, which calls its driver-assistance program “full self-driving.”

Now, to be transparent, nearly all of the Waymo / Tesla red meat began after Brin left Google. And Brin and Musk undoubtedly do appear to be on the identical birthday celebration. But I gotta say — except Brin and Musk agreed on leaking the WSJ tale in combination to screw Shanahan as a part of a tech-bro conspiracy — they appear much more like frenemies, in particular since Brin hasn’t mentioned the rest publicly to transparent this up.

Tech-bro frenemies are a staple of Silicon Valley. Musk’s lengthy dating with Peter Thiel, who manufactured the coup at PayPal that shoved Musk out is a major instance. All of those guys want every different and possibly additionally more or less low-key hate every different. Seems worrying! But it more or less seems like everybody gets what they want right here aside from most likely Shanahan, which could also be very Silicon Valley.

As for Musk’s woeis-me tweets about consideration: lol, lmao. His complete sport with retail shareholders is ready taking pictures consideration. My man loves it! Remember the McLaren? Remember the track, “Don’t Doubt ur Vibe?” The pretend robotic? Musk turns out like an glaring scholar of NASA scientist (and Nazi) Wernher von Braun, and Twitter is the place he does his model of “Man Will Conquer Space Soon.” He wishes consideration. After all, isn’t that what he’s purchasing Twitter for?

Which might imply Brin and Musk are nonetheless buddies in spite of everything. I’m quite certain at this level that Musk can’t inform the variation between just right consideration and unhealthy consideration. As lengthy as he’s the focal point, he’s glad — as a result of consideration sells Teslas.

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