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Elon Musk’s rants could signal a bigger problem

Hi! Welcome back to Insider Weekly. This is Lisa Ryan, the editorial head of newsletters here at Insider, subbing in for Matt Turner again this week. We’ve got a roundup of some of our best reads for you.

On the agenda today:

  • Elon Musk’s outbursts could mean Tesla is facing serious problems.
  • Roku employees are starting to wonder: Is an acquisition by Netflix in the cards? 
  • Own a share of a vacation or single-family home through these co-ownership startups.
  • SoftBank’s View went from investor darling to one of the worst SPAC deals ever.

But first: Let’s hear what Insider’s Eric Bates has been up to. He joined us last year after a storied career at magazines such as Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, and his work as an editor has won many of journalism’s top honors, including seven National Magazine Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Features. Now, he heads our Discourse team. So without further ado … 

New to the newsletter? Sign up here.  Download our app here.

A note from the Discourse desk

Rebecca Zisser/Insider

I’m Eric Bates, the editor of Insider’s new Discourse team. Our stories usually blend a lot of elements: big ideas, personal observations, data analyses, and good old-fashioned reporting. Some are essays or explainers; others are profiles or features. But whatever the subject or style, we aim to make them all smart, incisive, fair, and compelling. When they work best, they make you think about something in a whole new way.

If you read this newsletter regularly, you’ve probably seen a lot of our work. We’ve done some deep dives into fascinating issues and trends, including the history of hustle culture and the twilight of the tech gods. We’ve exposed a wide range of scams, including higher education, title insurance, and flying cars. We’ve delved into true-crime tales, such as the rise of “virtual kidnapping.” And one of our stories — Jack Hitt’s essay on the roots of denialism — just received the New York Press Circle Award for Best Commentary.

We’ve assembled a team of top-notch editors and writers who bring a wealth of experience to our stories. So keep an eye out for us over the summer — we’ve got a lot of incredible stories in the works that I think you’ll enjoy.

And on that note: The first featured story in today’s newsletter comes from the Discourse team’s Linette Lopez. 

Elon Musk’s rants could signal a bigger problem

Collage of Elon Musk

Peter Parks/Getty Images; Jenny Chang-Rodriguez/Insider

Musk has been talking about a lot of stuff lately: Twitter bots (an issue the company said it’d try to work on with him), President Joe Biden, a looming recession, and the supposed evils of working from home. 

But Linette Lopez, a senior correspondent at Insider, says all of Musk’s recent outbursts are simply misdirections that point the public away from underlying problems with Tesla.

Read the full story here:

  • Wonder why Elon Musk is lashing out about recession risks and work from home? Just look under the hood at Tesla.

Could Netflix buy Roku?

Roku CEO Anthony Wood speaks during Tribeca X - 2021 Tribeca Festival on June 18, 2021 in New York City.Anthony Wood, Roku’s CEO, speaking at Tribeca X on June 18, 2021, in New York City.

Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Inside Roku, a video-streaming platform operator that’s suffered a punishing stock plunge in recent months, employees are buzzing about the possibility of an acquisition by Netflix.

And Roku workers aren’t the only ones chattering about a deal: Experts told Insider that as Netflix looks to introduce advertising to its services, buying Roku could be an auspicious move.

Read the full story here:

  • Inside Roku, talk is heating up about an acquisition by Netflix

Nab some real estate with these co-ownership companies

Three founders of real estate startup EmberFrom left: Jeff Lyman, Kurt Avarell, and James Sukhan, the founders of Ember.


A trend of “fractional ownership” allows almost anyone to purchase or invest in real estate. Properties listed in locations such as Manhattan, California, Florida, and Mexico have been “selling out in less than 24 hours,” one CEO told Insider. 

But critics say these are merely timeshares masquerading under a new, fancy name. Still, these companies offer a low-barrier entry. Others ask for only a $100 contribution. Could you have your slice of pie and eat it too?

Read the full story here:

  • Buy vacation homes from $68,000 or become a landlord with these 8 startups

‘Another SoftBank-backed company is imploding’ 

Rao Mulpuri shattering with numbers behind him

Ethan Miller/Getty Images; Rebecca Zisser/Insider

The smart-glass company View is becoming a cautionary tale that highlights the inherent risks in the SPAC market. Insiders, including former employees and bankers, told us that “the company burned cash and struggled with product failures for years.”

Employees pulled back the curtain on the company’s work culture, where the CEO has been dubbed “Chairman Rao.” View is now involved in a pending class-action lawsuit and runs the risk of being delisted by Nasdaq.

Read the full story here:

  • SoftBank’s View became one of the worst SPAC deals ever 

This week’s quote:

“Clark was brilliant, but he was soulless, like a machine, ruthless in a certain sense, and didn’t have the human-connection part.”

  • A former Amazon VP on Dave Clark, who recently left the company.

More of this week’s top reads:

  • Following allegations of misconduct reported by Insider, a top Microsoft executive has resigned. 
  • Want a part-time job? In corporate America, that’s going to be hard to come by. 
  • These 34 retail-tech power players are changing how brands operate and customers shop.
  • Bank of America executives discuss how the company’s return-to-office plans are going. 
  • YouTube pastors are making bank.
  • Stablegains customers lost upward of $40 million by unknowingly investing all their money in Terra before the crash.

Plus: Keep updated with the latest business news throughout your weekdays by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here tomorrow.

Curated by Lisa Ryan. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb, Sarah Belle Lin, and Hallam Bullock. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.

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