The AtlanticThe Atlantic

Of Course Elon Musk Wanted Twitter

By Marina Koren

05 Apr 2022 · 8 min read

Long before the rockets and the electric cars, before the high-speed trains and the brain implants and the flamethrowers, Elon Musk was in the content business.

In 1996, Zip2, the company he’d founded with his brother, started courting newspapers with a service that would allow them to build online directories of classified ads, real-estate listings, car deals, and entertainment events. The internet was still new and mysterious, and news organizations around the country were glad to have help getting online. Even The New York Times signed up. The business was so lucrative that the Musk brothers moved Zip2 into a bigger office to make room for all their new employees.

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