Welcome to another edition of Business Twitter, where we collect the best tweets to come out of Silicon Valley so you don’t have to. This article is part of a newsletter — if you want a weekly Business Twitter roundup sent to your inbox every Friday, subscribe here.
This week: Elon Musk says Tesla could be the biggest company in the world (then deletes the tweet), Volkswagen is the butt of the joke on April Fool’s Day, and Coinbase announces when it’s going public.
Here’s everything you may have missed from this week.
1. Elon Musk’s deleted tweets
Twitter memelord extraordinaire Elon Musk recently did something he’s not known for: deleting a tweet.
Whole Mars Catalog, a Twitter account that frequently praises Tesla and Elon Musk, tweeted that “Tesla is going to be bigger than Apple,” then tagged Musk. Musk replied in his characteristically cryptic style, saying “I think there is a >0% chance Tesla could be the biggest company.” Although it’s unclear why, Musk deleted the tweet not long after posting it.
Although Tesla and Apple aren’t direct competitors, they might be soon. Apple is planning on selling its own self-driving vehicle by 2024. Apple’s team for the project includes Doug Field, a former Tesla employee.
Musk’s tweets have landed him in hot water countless times. In fact, Musk was forced to delete a different tweet last week, one he wrote in 2018.
The tweet in question was about Tesla and unions, and Musk was clearly anti-union. The National Labor Relations Board ruled on March 25 that Tesla repeatedly violated labor laws, and that Musk had to remove a tweet that "unlawfully threatened" workers who wanted to unionize.
2. Volkswagen changes its name — April fool’s!
We know, 66 is an unusual age to change your name, but we’ve always been young at heart. Introducing Voltswagen. Similar to Volkswagen, but with a renewed focus on electric driving. Starting with our all-new, all-electric SUV the ID.4 - available today. #Voltswagen #ID4 pic.twitter.com/pKQKlZDCQ7— Volkswagen (@VW) March 30, 2021
In one of the biggest April Fool’s blunders in recent memory, Volkswagen announced a surprise name change that turned out to be a joke. According to the company, “Voltswagen” would be the new name, to better put a “renewed focus on electric driving.”
While the stunt would have been met with a chuckle if it came on April Fool’s Day, it instead came on March 30, two days early. Naturally, the media took it seriously, especially because the company explicitly said it wasn’t a joke. That is, until the next day, when the company came clean.
What began as an April Fool’s effort got the whole world buzzing. Turns out people are as passionate about our heritage as they are about our electric future. So whether it’s Voltswagen or Volkswagen, people talking about electric driving and our ID.4 can only be a good thing. pic.twitter.com/Rzx8mJgxkT— Volkswagen (@VW) March 31, 2021
Naturally, people weren’t pleased that they’d been fooled — especially the journalists who reported the news.
VW: “We’re changing our name from Volkswagen to VOLTswagen. Haha April Fools!”— Maw (@TheEbonyMaw) April 2, 2021
Normal people: That’s lame.
Journos: THEY LIED TO US. THIS IS CRAVEN. THIS IS LYING, AND LYING IS WRONG. WHAT A FACE PLANT. THEY LOST OUR TRUST. PURPOSELY HOODWINKED! WE SHOULD NAME NAMES! pic.twitter.com/UbUmo4VamI
you know, if I were a company famous for lying to regulators about emissions, I would avoid April Fools entirely https://t.co/ghZkaC7aYG— Elizabeth Lopatto (@mslopatto) March 30, 2021
3. Coinbase is finally going public
We’re happy to announce that earlier today, the SEC declared our S-1 registration statement effective and that we expect our direct listing to occur on April 14, 2021, with our Class A common stock trading on the @NASDAQ under the ticker symbol COIN.https://t.co/cwRZWmj9Pv— Coinbase (@coinbase) April 1, 2021
On Thursday, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced it would go public via direct listing on April 14. The company will also release its Q1 earnings results on April 6, just eight days before going public.
Coinbase has been riding a wave of crypto enthusiasm in recent months, coupled with the price of Bitcoin reaching all time highs this year. It’s S-1 filing revealed that it brought in over $1.2 billion in revenue and $322 million in profit last year.
Coinbase is currently valued at $104 billion, a figure that some analysts say is too high. Meanwhile, shares in the company reached $343 in the secondary market. Both numbers are likely to change once Q1 earnings are released.