The letter X has the weight of all history at its fingertips. The Greek and Phoenician origins of the letter X have led it to represent the most famous religious figure of history, displays affection, illicit content and, well... a lot of nothing.
Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and owner of Twitter. He has publicly been enamoured with the letter since the early 1960s. His fascination has intensified over the past few months. Elon Musk has named his new artificial-intelligence venture xAI and he's repeatedly suggested X as a 'everything' app with Twitter at its heart. His rebranding the company that he purchased for $44 billion may be the most publically unreal.
Twitter's San Francisco HQ is reported to be making a big shift towards X. This comes less than one day after a possible Unicode logo was projected on the building. The New York Times reported on Monday that the conference rooms at Twitter's downtown office were given new names, including 'eXult', 'eXposure,' and uhm,'s3Xy. (More about the word's3Xy' in a moment.)
For better or for worse, Musk's decision to rename everything he can with the 24th alphabetic letter feels like the culmination of all his work as a technologist. Musk founded X.com in 1999 before his inclinations for electric cars or free speech were publicized. The company merged with Confinity, a rival dot-com firm. He was so attached to the X.com brand that he refused to change it, even though others wanted the merged company to be called PayPal. The winner of this war was obvious, but he won a small victory when he purchased the domain name X.com in 2017 from PayPal.
Musk was ultimately ousted from his company. However, even though X.com later became PayPal, he continued to keep the X in mind. Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX as it is known. The letter is also a factor in one of Tesla's core vehicles, the Model X. The company released its first SUV in 2015.
Even in his private life, X resonates. Musk and Canadian musician Grimes gave their first child the name X AE AA-12. Californian law forbids the use of numbers in legal names. So, another X had to be added to the child's name: XAE A-Xii. Grimes explained at the time that the X represented 'the unknown variables'
All speculation about the X's profundity and ambition could be for naught. Tesla's current model line-up -- the S3, the 3X, and the Y -- spells out "S3XY." This could be a nod to his previous successes at Tesla. He once sold short shorts that had 'S3XY" emblazoned on the back.