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Elon Musk on Thursday told Twitter employees he had paranoia about recessions after trying to keep his companies afloat during the previous ones.
The Tesla CEO held an all-hands meeting on Thursday at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, where he spoke about attrition, the end of remote working, and changes to the platform, Insider previously reported.
Roughly halfway through the meeting, Musk spoke about recessions and how he handled them at the time, according to a transcript of the meeting obtained by The Verge.
He said he had “recession PTSD” from keeping PayPal alive during the 2000 recession and Tesla alive through the 2009 recession.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said that while Chrysler and General Motors hit bankruptcy in 2009, his electric vehicle startup did not. Despite this, he said it was “excruciatingly difficult” for Tesla to keep going during the recession, per the reported transcript.
Musk quoted former Intel CEO Andrew Grove, who once said: “Only the paranoid survive.” Musk told Twitter employees: “Well, then we are going to be paranoid, and we’re going to survive,” per the transcript cited by The Verge.
Musk has previously said how 2008 was the worst year of his life as Tesla was draining money and SpaceX was having difficulties launching its Falcon 1 rocket. By 2009, Musk was living off personal loans, per Insider.
Per The Verge’s transcript, one Twitter employee asked Musk how Twitter could increase the number of projects, similar to Twitter Blue, on a sustainable level.
Musk replied, saying Twitter needed to urgently boost subscriptions while a “serious recession” was around the corner. He added that Twitter was in a “dire situation from a revenue standpoint” because recessions have a big impact on advertising.
“You may have read that I sold a bunch of Tesla stock. The reason I did that was to save Twitter,” Musk said during the meeting, per The Verge. “The reason that we are going hardcore with subscribers is to keep Twitter alive.”
Musk told Twitter staff to expect one or two years of recession, which will disproportionately affect the company, according to The Verge’s transcript. 
“We’re going to get through that and not be dead,” Musk added.
Twitter didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside of normal working hours. 
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