Most people outside Silicon Valley may not realize that Elon Musk’s ownership and control over Twitter was a disaster.
In less than two years since Mr. Musk assumed control, Fired more than half of Twitter’s employeesDon’t panic! Many major advertisersMade (and not made!) series of Unwise changes to its verification programPoliticians and regulators were furious Wrong and offensive tweetsAnd the He declared a short-lived war on Applelit in green a Viewing “Twitter Profiles” is weirdAnd the Stop paying rent on Twitter officesBut it is wrong Charged the company’s former boss for trust and safetySupporting child sexual assault. His personal wealth has diminished Billions of dollarsAnd he was Booed on The Dave Chappelle Show.
It’s not going his way. But, there is one group that remains in Musk’s side: the chiefs.
Many tech entrepreneurs, founders, investors, and executives have expressed admiration for Musk in recent weeks, even though the billionaire took to Twitter.
Reed Hastings is the CEO of Netflix Mr. Musk praisedHe called him “the bravest and most creative person on earth” at a DealBook conference held in New York Times last month.
Gavin Baker is a private equity investor. recently claimedMany venture capital chief executives “took inspiration form Elon.”
Numerous partners at Andreessen Horowitz (an influential venture capital firm) have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts. Similar encomiaFor Mr. Musk’s management style.
Inside Elon Musk’s Twitter
Maybe elite cheerleaders can be boiled down to class solidarity or pure financial self-interest. (Andreessen Horowitz, et al. It invested 400 million dollars(Refer to Mr. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. Some of it may reflect residual positivewill from Mr. Musk’s success at Tesla and SpaceX.
But as I’ve contacted C-suite executives and influential investors in Silicon Valley over the past few weeks, I’m surprised how many people support Mr. Musk — even if they don’t admit it publicly.
Musk’s supporters point out that Twitter didn’t collapse or go out-of-business despite losing thousands of employees as some critics predicted. They believe that Musk’s ruthless management style was a necessary corrective step and that he will be rewarded at the end with cost savings and increased law enforcement.
“He says the things that many CEOs want to say, and then he actually does them,” said Roy Bahat, a venture capitalist at Bloomberg Beta.
Mr. Bahat, who has criticized some of Mr. Musk’s moves, called his tenure on Twitter a “live, normal experiment” — a divisive but illuminating window into what other CEOs might be able to get away with, if they tried.
He said, “It gives people lots of knowledge about the possibilities.”
Tech elites do not support Musk simply because they like his politics or because they share his views on waking up. (Of course, the number does.
Instead, they see him a role model for the emerging worldview that they hope will spread further in Silicon Valley.
John Gans Author Call This “authoritarian” worldview — a belief that the people who build and run important tech companies have ceded too much power to the competent, lazy people, has woken up the people who work for them and they need to start taking it back again.
In Mr. Gans’ narrative, Silicon Valley’s most prominent proponents of authoritarianism—including Mr. Musk and financiers Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel—seize the opportunity to pull tech industry culture sharply to the right, sending left-wing workers and labor sympathizers down. Get in touch while returning their bosses to the top of their totem pole.
Some of Musk’s sympathizers see matters in such stark and politicized terms. Writer and cryptocurrency founder Antonio García Martinez, for example, has praised Mr. Musk has taken Twitter as a “revolt by entrepreneurial capital” against the “ESG bouncers” and “bristle-haired people” that populate the ranks and files of companies like Twitter.
Some tech CEOs may blame a small group of gender studies majors, but many of Mr. Musk’s admirers are more focused on business school management. They admire him for ruling Twitter with an iron fist and making the kinds of moves tech executives have resisted for fear of alienating workers — cutting jobs, stripping privileges, punishing internal opponents, resisting diversity and inclusion efforts, and forcing employees back into the office.
These bosses believe that the booming tech industry and the shortage of talent have made many CEOs make unreasonable compromises over the past decade. They lavished workers with lavish meals and kombucha. They agreed to use workplace chat applications like Slack to flatten office hierarchies and give entry-level workers a way of challenging leadership. They’ve bent over backwards to give in to workers’ demands—DEI workshops, flexible remote work policies, company wellness days—to keep them happy and prevent them from jumping ship to a competitor.
Elon Musk, however, came out on Twitter to deny doing any of that. Instead of trying to impress himself with the Twitter employees, Mr. Musk fired several of them and dared to let the rest go — forcing them to prove they’re “a very hard core” if they want to keep their jobs. He’s done this before in his other companies. However, Twitter was his platform for doing it all in the open. He used his Twitter account as a stick to keep workers on task.
Indulged in the conciliatory style of boom time management, Twitter’s former leaders allowed for an atmosphere of open discussion and discussion — one of the company’s core values was “fearless communication to build trust” — but Mr. Musk has replaced that with a culture of unquestioning loyalty. He dressed Twitter employees up in public. Expelled all who daredHe was not to be criticized. He was particularly dismissive of the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts — mocking the old “Stay Woke” T-shirt found in the Twitter locker and disbanding the company’s employee resource groups (including Black and LGBTQ groups and female employees).
For many, Musk’s actions seemed like a textbook example of how not to run an organization. But for some of Silicon Valley’s elites, they were a thunderbolt—a long-overdue answer to the question, “What if we just treated workers… worse?”
While Mr. Musk may not be the boss of every decision, many believe that Musk is correct about the big picture. Technology companies are unproductive and bloated. Woke HR has gone too far. Workers should stop being so active, and instead focus on their jobs.
These views were not shared by Musk alone. Companies like Basecamp, Kraken, Coinbase and Kraken have tried to limit employee activity in recent times, with mixed results. (at recent days, Prohibited workers deadDiscussing “subversive topics” such as abortion or gun rights in workplace forums.
The background is now what is different. The tech industry is suffering from economic pressures that have slashed profits for the first time in almost two decades. Companies that used to make every effort to please their workers are now trimming their sails, and laying off employees. CEOs who are suffering from falling stock prices make their own announcements.Chief Executives in Time of WarWorkers who might have threatened to quit their jobs for more secure ones a year back are now hanging on for dear Life.
This led to a shift in power away from workers and towards bosses.
Margaret O’Mara is a history professor at Washington University who has written about Silicon Valley’s work culture.
Musk was able to pick the right time to create an administrative revolution. The question is now: How many other presidents will follow him into this fire?
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