It’s on. Elon Musk has formally filed to kill his personal Twitter acquisition, and Twitter is looking his bluff. They’ll see Musk in court docket. And whereas it’s solely going to get messier from right here, one vital verdict has already been rendered by Elon Musk himself: he doesn’t have what it takes to run Twitter. And that’s a damning blow to his personal central mythology.
We’ll take a look at the specifics of Musk’s formal SEC submitting in a minute, however first it’s vital to recollect what he’s stated concerning the deal and why he wished to do it within the first place. It’s not just like the world pressured the acquisition of a comparatively small social community on the world’s richest man. And Musk’s conduct surrounding the deal has been marked by quite a lot of apparent troll habits. An inexpensive individual would conclude he was by no means severe about it to start with, which is already resulting in quite a lot of Musk stans and Twitter haters divining a 4D-chess narrative that makes his blunder appear intentional. However.
There are some issues Musk stated within the frenzy of the Twitter takeover that may’t be ignored. That’s as a result of they strike on the coronary heart of what constructed his unique repute: as a visionary, a daring industrialist, a futurist, and perhaps even the man who would clear up local weather change and multi-planetary civilization. Certain, currently he works tirelessly to draw an enormous base of social reactionaries and numerous right-wingers who care extra about his trolling than the missions of SpaceX or Tesla. However Musk’s actual credibility — if he ever had any — was being the face of genuinely big and bold efforts to vary the world and make it higher.
He in all probability didn’t have to, however he introduced that very same world-saving vitality to the Twitter deal:
- Musk stated he was motivated by the truth that Twitter had grow to be a “de facto city sq.” and that it’s “actually vital that folks have each the truth and the notion that they’re in a position to communicate freely.” (He talked about “free speech” rather a lot throughout this time.)
- Talking at a TED convention, Musk stated the deal will not be a strategy to earn money. A few of his actual phrases: “it’s about the way forward for civilization, however you don’t care concerning the economics in any respect.”
- Later, talking internally to staff of Twitter, Musk stated “I would like Twitter to contribute to a greater, long-lasting civilization the place we higher perceive the character of actuality.”
- Musk: “Twitter has extraordinary potential. I’ll unlock it.”
These statements stand out above the whole lot else as a result of (a) issues which might be vital to the way forward for human life aren’t belongings you sometimes troll folks about, and (b) that must be very true in case you are Elon Musk, who has spent his complete fashionable profession since Tesla cultivating the concept he’s on a mission to avoid wasting the way forward for humanity and unfold civilization throughout the celebs. Does he tweet dumb memes rather a lot? Sure. Did he ship a automobile into area as a joke? Certain. However the missions of his firms are lifeless severe. Tesla’s mission is “to speed up the world’s transition to sustainable vitality.” Neuralink desires to construct units that assist folks with paralysis to “regain independence.” And SpaceX? That’s about nothing lower than “enabling folks to dwell on different planets.”
So: Musk has deliberately spent his profession leaning into a number of the world’s most difficult-to-solve issues. He offers numerous keynotes, throws huge concepts on the board, and makes numerous guarantees. By the way, this marketing campaign to avoid wasting the world earned him one of many largest and most energetic fanbases on Twitter. And let’s be actual: the person likes to tweet. The one individual on the earth who would possibly love tweeting greater than Elon Musk has been banned from the platform and impeached twice by the USA Congress.
However keep in mind: Musk didn’t say “I need to purchase Twitter as a result of I really like tweeting and I command a military of customers right here.” He stated Twitter was vital to the way forward for human civilization. And so, spiritually, the deal joined the ranks of the Teslas and the SpaceXs of the world.
What sort of issues would forestall this man from unlocking Twitter’s true potential? To assist steer it and, alongside together with his different firms, assist humanity flourish sooner or later? He solely actually makes two assertions in his SEC submitting:
- Twitter gained’t give him information vital for him to determine what number of spam bots are on the platform.
- Twitter fired some folks and misplaced some executives.
That is weak crybaby stuff.
Musk has been happening concerning the alleged bot problem for some time, even entering into public beefs with the CEO of Twitter about it. I’m not going to unpack this complete spat — the Delaware Courtroom of Chancery is about to look at that in some element — however the TL;DR is that Musk desires to tank an enormous deal over an issue identified to each social media firm on the planet, who’ve all devoted huge quantities of sources towards fixing over a number of a long time. It’s only a essentially unserious place from a man who’s prepared to resolve world-shaking issues like local weather change
However let’s assume only for enjoyable that Musk is true. After he began the deal and seemed beneath the hood and laid out his plans for Twitter’s employees, he found Twitter’s bot inhabitants is extra like 20% than 5%. So what? What’s a variety of 90 million customers when TikTok and Fb are forward of you by billions? In case your place is that Mark Zuckerberg is an unelected tyrant of speech, how is abandoning Twitter going that can assist you take him on? And why would you argue in your SEC submitting that income from energetic customers is at stake? That doesn’t sound like “not caring concerning the economics in any respect.” That seems like solely caring concerning the economics.
And as for blowing the deal as a result of a number of Twitter execs fired employees whereas persevering with to function usually and roll out new options (hello, co-tweeting!) — get actual. You’re shopping for Twitter for $44 billion. It’s yours now. You’ll be able to clear home if you wish to and proper or reverse the entire ill-advised choices that introduced the platform inside your sights initially. No one will cease you! The SEC couldn’t even get you to cease tweeting!
There are lots of potential theories for why Musk put himself, Twitter, and the world via this charade. However ultimately, Musk wrote a examine his fantasy couldn’t money.
We’re left with two potentialities. Both Musk doesn’t suppose he can do the job he promised at Twitter, and he’s not the world-changing power he’s been made out to be. Or, he was mendacity concerning the sorts of lofty beliefs and visions that constructed his firms and his picture.
What sort of man trolls the world about a greater future?