Musk is firing people without doing due diligence on whether the company needs their expertise, announcing big new policies without talking to the remaining staff about whether it’s a bad idea, and firing anyone who pushes back. He’s publicly trashing the people who have worked for Twitter, punching down from his elevated platform at the same time as everyone who is paying attention can see that he does not know what he’s doing.
His big move to paid, unverified “verification” opened Twitter up to the threat of a lot of lawsuits. He’s endangering the company by alienating advertisers and taunting United States senators while, as Sen. Ed Markey pointed out, “One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree. Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you’re spending your time picking fights online. Fix your companies. Or Congress will.”
On Monday, Musk proudly announced, “Part of today will be turning off the ‘microservices’ bloatware. Less than 20% are actually needed for Twitter to work!” That’s something else a lot of engineers disagreed with—not clear yet how many of them have been fired so far—and users promptly started reporting that two-factor authentication was now broken.
He has bragged about combatting spam, but many people are finding significantly more spam in their DMs than before he took over. And his contempt for the people who work for him is too deep for him to turn to those people for their expertise in fixing the things he’s broken.
But still, Musk is insistent that he knows best. He is a peerless genius who is not to be questioned, certainly not by you lowly peons. This is so familiar to so many people who’ve been saddled with bosses who didn’t know how anything worked or why things were done the way they were and never bothered to ask questions—just handed down orders from on high and then when it didn’t work out, blamed the people who could have explained ahead of time why that was a bad idea.
As many as 20 employees were fired in this particular purge, and Musk went on to publicly scoff at their value to the company.
Musk’s arrogance is constantly on display.
First, having expertise at one thing doesn’t mean you have expertise at all the things. Second, I’d be willing to bet that Musk has not personally done every big of work on Starlink and that there are a few engineers involved—for whose work he is taking credit even as, if they challenged him, he’d probably fire them, too.
We may not know what giant mistakes Musk will make next, but we do know that he won’t admit they’re mistakes, and he’ll punish anyone who tries to prevent him from making them. And everyone who uses Twitter will continue to be along for the ride.
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