In the so-called “gig economy” every ambitious soul is supposed to have a “side hustle.” There are generally two kinds of side hustle. One is a gig that’s a solo cash infuser used to prop up the life style loot, like driving an Uber on weekends or tutoring kids after work.
The other kind of side hustle — the fatter kind — involves an entrepreneurial passion project that, if and when your ship comes in, paves the way to golden dreams. This side hustle is where, say, you’re a customer service rep by day but dress designer by night — and then Kim Kardashian wears your gown to the Met Gala.
This sort of fat side hustle isn’t limited to workers bored by their day jobs, either. The distracting desire for more and better — for a new shinier brass ring — afflicts men and women across all income brackets, even the richest people on earth.
Take David Solomon, for example, the head of global investment banking giant Goldman Sachs who is also a club DJ. Every movie star, too — from The Rock to Kate Hudson to George Clooney — seems to have an apparel line or fragrance or a tequila to sell. Or all three. Millionaire comedian Kevin Hart sells vitamins.
Not to mention there are plenty of billionaires running giant companies who also own NBA and NFL franchises and who take a hands-on approach to both. Side-hustle a Super Bowl ring? Why not?
This side-hustling club of multitasking CEOs would seem to reach its apex in the peripatetic Elon Musk, who runs not just the world’s most famous electric vehicle company, Tesla, and SpaceX, a leader in rocket technology, and the Boring Company, which does something underground, but now also, famously, Twitter. As you may have heard.
Musk, Twitter, $44 billion — yes, you heard.
With Musk now reportedly lending Twitter his Tesla engineers and being more generally accused of shirking his fiduciary duties to Tesla and SpaceX investors with what seems to be his Twitter obsession, it’s notable that Musk isn’t the first CEO to do double duty on the job.
In fact, Musk isn’t even the first CEO of Twitter to split his time between running the disinformation-plagued social media platform and another company. Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey was doing the same thing, if more quietly, before Musk came along.
Dorsey remains CEO of Block Inc. (formerly Square), a position he held while also simultaneously running pre-Musk Twitter. Sure Parag Agrawal sat in the Twitter CEO chair before Musk fired him, but he was seated there less than a year. Otherwise, Twitter has always had to share its CEO.
It’s interesting to consider what Twitter might look like if it ever had a full-time CEO. But then whoever the full-timer was, she would probably have a side-hustle. Maybe rockets?