Elon Musk wreaks havoc at Twitter - GulfToday

Elon Musk wreaks havoc at Twitter

Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover was not expected to be smooth. But the Tesla and Space X tycoon has created havoc as he tried to mend Twitter with its 7,500 employees and 230 million users to suit his own way of managing things.

While he fired two dozen engineers, nearly half of the technical staff resigned when Musk sent an ultimatum with a Thursday deadline that they have to fall in line to do what he thinks needs to be done.

Even as Twitter-watchers are expecting the microblogging system to crash and dwindle – the word that is being used to describe the disintegration of Twitter is “fray” – Musk was putting an act of bravado saying that he can manage the social platform with half the staff.

He had however shown that there was indeed a crisis as he made a desperate call for coders to get in touch with him on the 10th floor of the Twitter office in San Francisco. So, there is a sort of a storm and crisis at Twitter even as Musk refuses to acknowledge that there is any problem. It is indeed a matter of intense speculation whether Twitter will survive the Musk tantrum.

There are some who feel that Twitter could crash any time, while others, including former employees, seem to the feel that the end of Twitter is imminent but that it will be a gradual dying process.

Like all takeover-CEOs, Musk seems to feel that Twitter is a bloated enterprise and the need is to pare it down. He does not seem to understand that the backup staff are not extra flotsam and jetsam but they are on guard to step in if there is a breakdown.

And the breakdown can happen anytime and anywhere. The 24x7 functioning of the system is due to the phalanx of backup technical teams. Musk may or may not learn the nuances of how a digital enterprise works. Blaine Cook, Twitter’s founding engineer explained: “Running even relatively boring systems takes people who know where to go when something breaks. It’s like saying, ‘These firefighters aren’t doing anything, So, we’ll just fire them all.”

Musk has had a tempestuous equation with Twitter right from the day when he announced he wanted to buy it, and then went back on the idea, and came back to buy it.

Now that he is in it, he seems to give vent to an irrational rage to undo the way Twitter is and remake it to suit his own whims.

Musk has always shown the arrogance of a self-made tycoon whose out-of-the-box ideas served as the big trigger both in Tesla, which was started to make electric vehicles looking at the looming crisis of fossil fuel use and its impact on climate change.

Similarly, Musk sensed the need for private players to enter the space sector and for the launch and maintenance of satellites, which made him to set up Space X. In both instances, he was bold and imaginative to sense the future bend of the curve.

In the case of Twitter, it is his ideological stance on free speech, that there should be no restrictions on speech in a democratic system, which is also termed the libertarian position, that motivated him. It looks like that Musk has come to the conclusion that the place needs to be overhauled before it can serve the purpose of free speech.

But here Musk seems to be the unimaginative old-era CEO who thinks that companies should remain lean and mean to make profits. But he does not seem to understand the nature of the beast – the digital system – that keeps things going and the support system that is needed to keep it going.

Tom Graham, cyber security entrepreneur, put it aptly: “So much of the security infrastructure of a large organization like Twitter is in people’s heads. And when they’re gone, you know, it all goes with them.”

Related articles

Other Articles