25 Comments
Dec 1, 2023Liked by Dave Karpf

I'd like to believe it was I who brought down the Company. I said before he bought it that I will terminate my account if he ever bought it. And I did just that. Woke up to news that he bought it, I ended it. And ever since that precise minute, the Company has been a sunk ship. Titanically speaking. (See what I did there?)

So, yes. It was me who brought down Musk. And to Earth, I accept your congratulations.

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Dec 1, 2023Liked by Dave Karpf

It seems unlikely that we'll see any substantive action by the FTC.

The government has poured billions into SpaceX, Tesla, and Starlink, so apparently Musk can ignore Consent Decrees, undermine foreign policy, and endanger national security with no repercussions...other than the loss of ad revenue.

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Speaking on behalf of Earth, let me say thank God for Elon for saving us, Earth, from the existential threat of wokeness or something

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Dec 1, 2023Liked by Dave Karpf

The schadenfreude, it burns.

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Dec 1, 2023Liked by Dave Karpf

Yep.

One observation: about 5 years ago I did some test advertising on Twitter, Bing, and Google, to see if it would bring more revenue. Twitter was by far the worst. I was selling a few English language professional books, for which at that time the main markets were Europe, the US, and Australia. All my Twitter cost for engagement went for 99% into clicks in Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc., so much that I even got the suspicion there were fake engagement farms there so that Twitter could create its own fake engagement and revenue (no, probably not, there will have been another dumb reason, Hanlon’s razor and all, but it felt as if there were — humans have a natural drive to conspiracy theories). Completely different from Google (which was the best for driving engagement at the time) and Bing, that actually got me some traction in my main markets. The advertisement experience at Twitter was: ‘bloody useless, feels almost fraudulent’. The aspect that Twitter might also simply be really bad at advertising compared with (monopolist) Google, might also play a role.

Elon is the prime example of the species ‘accidental billionaire’. He seems to have the crazy personality traits that can get some to rise to the top (e.g. a lack of empathy) and he was lucky. Zuckerberg seems to be another ‘accidental billionaire’ example. Once (with luck) risen to the top, they and the rest of us act as if they are truly brilliant. Because they are successful, we assume they must be right. This is part of our own psychology, where we (efficiently) look for patterns that ‘feel logical’. But Zuckerberg (Metaverse, anyone?) and Musk show that success is a risky indicator for being right. They were right in the past (but so did many others, probably), but that was not the main basis of their success.

Gates and Bezos seem genuinely smart operators (though Gates was right in being the first to understand computers would become cheap, and he was brilliant in (early Microsoft) business strategy (e.g. riding the dragon), his tech and ux credentials were dismal and he has been constantly wrong on many tech subjects in his career).

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Dec 1, 2023Liked by Dave Karpf

Yeah. I have no prediction of how long it takes, but Xitter is cooked and Elon's the one who poured gasoline on the charcoal and lit the match. I do wonder if his face saving ploy will involve some sort of "super app" move which offers a little banking and discounts on Cyber Trucks for super users or some such Tesla related garbage but doesn't really have a social media platform except for conversations between purchasers of other services. It would never get Twitter out from under the loans he put on them or otherwise make enough money to survive, but he'd sure show us. (Changing the entire purpose and model of the company might moot the FTC consent order, though-I don't know)

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Dec 1, 2023Liked by Dave Karpf

Holy shit. How is that interview real?

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Most CEOs are psychopathic narcissists, but most successful psychopaths know how to pose as decent people / manipulate people in order to profit.

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It is said that the way to make a small fortune from owning a football club is to start off with a big fortune. Why am I reminded of that?

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For better or worse, Elon did force all of Silicon Valley to assess, "do we have 75% too many people in this company". And at this stage, the fact Xitter runs with seemingly the same uptime but greater feature velocity with a much smaller team is a fairly significant trick to pull off. Whether that can persist, we all get to find out.

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I can honestly say I do not envy him. Not even slightly.

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But will his partners let it die? Don’t they need a global disinfo platform for anti-freedoms/democracy speech? Threads is blocked in the EU last I looked.

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If Musk puts Twitter into bankruptcy I hope he won't shut down its existing accounts (including mine).

Wouldn't a bankruptcy court insist on salvaging as much value as possible, meaning he couldn't do that?

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