Twitter: This is what Elon Musk had to say to his troops

Elon Musk is known as a terrible communicator. For him, having to turn to others – be it his teams, the media or financial analysts – is a kind of inconvenience, a limitation that affects the speed of his movement and the fluidity of his work in any case. Consequently, his first decision was to reduce the number of communicators on Twitter from 100 to 2. He applied the same attitude to SpaceX or Tesla, sometimes taking time for direct communication, for example, when he visited their factories with famous YouTubers such as Tim Dodd or Marques Brownlee, he would devote several hours to sometimes unstructured conversations with geeks. geeks without filter or contradiction.

The human factor: An unknown concept for Musk

For Elon Musk, considering the human factor in general is a waste of time. What’s happening may seem disgusting, but it’s actually cognitive sensitivity, as if he has a deficit in his prefrontal cortex. Journalist Ashley Vance tells this inspiring scene in her 2017 biography of Musk’s loyal assistant Mary Beth Brown, who worked with him from the beginning and lived through the dark times at Tesla and SpaceX. “MB,” as he was nicknamed, kept an eye on everything, rounded corners, followed his boss’s slavish rhythm, shielded him from intrusions, strictly managed a hundred-hour-a-week schedule, and often made important decisions. on behalf of his boss. “He was a follower of Musk,” says Ashley Vance. One fine day, Mary Beth Brown asks Musk to consider his ten-year commitment to running SpaceX and Tesla. Musk then suggests that he take a vacation. Upon her return, Mary Beth discovers that her boss has assigned an assistant to Gwynn Shotwell (the general manager of SpaceX) to manage her agenda. “MB” will leave soon. Explaining this decision in his biography, Elon Musk revealed that his colleague found a little too much comfort in his functions “and frankly, he needed life“.

This terrible episode, the thousands of Twitter users bemoaning their fate today, should have considered it, because it had it all: Musk’s lack of empathy, his detachment, the obsessive nature of some people with Asperger’s Syndrome.

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However, Twitter’s new owner has some reasons to understand, as he has made this famously dysfunctional and not very innovative company built on successive management abdications and built on the antipodes of the titanic discipline of Tesla and SpaceX.

Instead of a flurry of Friday emails, an avalanche of orders and a sloppy onslaught of counter-instructions and humiliations, the founder would be inspired to pitch and build his argument.

What Musk should have said to his soldiers

Here’s the speech that should take Twitter’s boss. We imagine he’s making a video. This is often edited into a series of short shots to give power to the spoken word, which resembles an audio version of an internal monologue. The following purely fictional text is inspired by facts and public statements by Musk.

team,

As of Thursday evening, I am the sole owner of Twitter Incorporated. Therefore, I have to take serious action to get the company back on track.

Over the past few months, we’ve had time to do extensive research with the Tesla teams on Twitter. Moreover, it was this dive that caused me to give up on this purchase after discovering countless problems. I have since changed my mind because I believe it is possible to make Twitter the most influential company in global public discourse.

But the task is huge.

Twitter is not doing well. Absolute and relative. As the latest quarterly results show, we are currently losing $3 million per day. Compared to our competitors, we fall short: each Twitter employee earns less than $700,000 in annual revenue, compared to $1.4 million at Facebook or Google, and $2.4 million at Apple. Others calculate profits per employee, we only record losses.

Therefore, it is unbearable.

This situation is the result of years of incompetent and unreasonable management. In business, as in life, the fish always rot from the head. Therefore members of the C-Suite [les grandes directions] were removed from their positions. Some of these members were removed due to serious deficiencies. I will have an opportunity to talk about this again.

“Now every day counts”

We are facing a difficult financial situation and we have to reckon with huge competition: if you doubt it, look at the growth of TikTok, for example, in areas where it has invested one after another thanks to the power of its algorithms. Because we are not in the business of deceiving those who express their opinions that we like. We need to align the company around a strong, seamless technical platform that can deliver strong value to Twitter for its users and the advertising customers who support us and are not overly satisfied.

Also, a completely different organization is needed, which cannot be built on the ruins left by the previous administration.

Our status as a private company is or about to be [Twitter ne sera bientôt plus cotée en Bourse], giving us full latitude to move quickly and deeply. Everything will be done in parallel. We will review our engineering practices; we will redo the organizational chart of the box based on SpaceX and Tesla. We have some confidence in this area. There is nothing magical about it: the flattest management structure, where people selected for their large volume of work and skills are invested with the autonomy necessary to make the necessary decisions quickly. Only for the purpose of business excellence and growth. For those who do not follow what was said, I repeat three key words: skills – we will find them and evaluate them on Twitter – autonomy and the pursuit of excellence. So we created the world’s leading electric car manufacturer and dominated the global space launch market – expecting to go to the Moon and Mars.

“I don’t treat myself to a new toy”

In recent weeks, you have received more or less informed comments about my personality and actions. Just remember one thing: I am personally involved. Buying Twitter isn’t just about the world’s richest man getting a new toy. My supposed wealth is highly volatile and illiquid as it consists of Tesla and SpaceX stock. So I personally had to borrow $13 billion from banks that charged me a constant rate of payment.

We won’t achieve our goals with people who work mostly remotely, spend their days in sterile Zoom meetings, or talk on Slack. This will be done with teams working at least forty hours a week on site, producing code and delivering new features. What is on this platform is scandalously antediluvian. It will need something new.

One last thing about Twitter’s business model. It is currently inefficient and needs to improve. We will evaluate, test, iterate, decide. Quick. This is how we move forward. This applies to power users [utilisateurs intensifs] Once they get a significant benefit from Twitter for their business, personal brand, or ego, they will need to contribute a little more financially to the platform. In return, they will benefit from special features.

This also applies to advertisers. Some have seen fit to temporarily switch to Twitter to go along with an idea that is often inconvenient for me. Others stay because they are confident in our ability to execute. The former will return, I guarantee, but at a high price.

“Weak Algorithms”

To those who fear that Twitter will turn into an illegal agora, I say: look at the current state of the platform, in a company of 7500 people, conclaves are always false algorithms that decide to suspend accounts. the same direction decides who has the right to speak. Twitter should be a platform where everyone finds their place: some appreciate strong speeches, others want more civil and constructive exchanges. We will try to meet all expectations. If freedom of expression is what being an absolutist is, I recognize myself in that definition.

The coming days will not be easy for anyone, I am aware of that. However, the achievement of the goal and the survival of the collective cannot leave room for good feelings.

See you next time.

It could be Elon Musk’s stance. But it works differently. Actress Linda Hamilton, who was briefly married to director James Cameron, also a person of countless accomplishments (and a friend of Musk’s), said her ex “definitely went over to the cars side.” Terminator. Elon Musk is undoubtedly made of the same metal. Cold alloy.


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