Well, our Elon Musk certainly knows how to set a prairie on fire! After his aggressive acquisition of Twitter, the world could follow per second -and per tweet- how the flamboyant billionaire tore through the Twitter company like a hot rusty knife through lukewarm butter. Closing down buildings, firing entire teams, leaving traces of steam in the corridors, and plenty of blood on the walls.
Within minutes, Musk became the target for countless criticizers, accusing Musk of stupidity, ignorance, super-hero complexes, megalomania, superiority complex, cruelty, and plain stupidity.
True: a couple of books, a TV series an at least a trilogy movie can be made on how Musk could have moved his pieces on the Twitter board more subtle, more humane, more tactful and less destructive.
His display was certainly not a masterclass exhibition of empathic managerial skills, not was it a demonstration of well-thought-through communications. It was a hack-away display of power minus tact.
Musk certainly did not do himself any favors with this toxic masculinity display of brute and despotic power. Countless barriers on tact, social responsibility, employer behavior, respect and bonhomie have been shattered to pieces. The damage will take ages to heal.
But, let’s give the Musk-mind some credit. Stupid? I beg to defer. You do not turn big ideas into success by being stupid. Last time I checked, PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, Starlink, Neuralink… they thrive.
Nasa and its astronauts mocked Musk for years, now his SpaceX rockets are the backbone of the US space operations. Drooling billionaires are lining up, thrusting Musk with their cash. Tesla shows a whopping $576.132B market cap and a $53.823B revenue for 2022.
Bent Flyvbjerg who is Head of the Danish Institute for IT Program Management (DIIP) at ITU stated : “The SpaceX’ platform strategy is ten times cheaper and twice as fast as NASA’s project model on comparable missions”. That does not sound too stupid, does it?
Elon Musk also has a reputation of having a small, but very hardcore circle of tremendously capable, reliable and smart people. You do not become the world’s richest person on a diet of joints, hysteric tantrums and bedding supermodels alone.
If Musk can bring a man to Mars…
If the man can put a man on Mars (he can), he certainly has the teams, the drive, the cash and the capacity to make a rather simple web application work, no?
Question is if his vision of the future Twitter corresponds with our vision of the future Twitter, and if all this flash and bang smoke does not hide a rather clever, but alternative plan. Even Elon Musk does not shell out over a 40 billion on a whim.
X. It often marks the spot
“X” is an important factor in Musk-speak. It was a mythic website in the early PayPal days, it has a prominent place in the Tesla line up, and in the SpaceX naming. Musk bought back X.com a while ago. He has been hinting at a plan “X,” suggesting that “X” would be a kind of social media platform-with-multiple-benefits that has not been experienced before in the West. He called it an “everything app“. At Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting earlier this year, Musk said he had “a pretty grand vision” for X as “something that would be very useful to the world.”
Will he turn Twitter into an everything app? Will Twitter be the communication backbone for a broader plan “X”?
X, a super-app
Musk hinted earlier this year that he is actively plotting a super-app along the lines of Tencent’s WeChat, a Chinese app that has become the cornerstone of the Chinese economic and social fabric. He also dreams of a blockchain powered global app….
Will Twitter, in another enhanced form, act as “a 360 service app” that will offer everything from messaging, video chatting, calling, co-working, gaming, sharing, (autonomous) ride services, food delivery, (e) (crypto)banking, and virtual shopping? Is it Elon Musk’s foot in the door of a more Metaverse future? Will it run on his autonomous Starlink provided global internet?
I’m betting on “X”. Time will tell. I’m curious. You?