Elon Musk’s Twitter Fiasco Is the Twilight of the Tech Bro

Beloved pseudonym The weird Twitter philosopher drilled once Written, “’I don’t own! I don’t own!!’, I continued to insist as I slowly shrunk down and turned into a cob” [sic]

That tweet, from 2011, spawned the phrase “corn corn,” which in internet parlance means declaring victory in the face of apparent, humiliating defeat.

Now, it looks like social media has allowed Dril to become an absurdist folk hero in a shrinking ultra-online landscape. under the leadership of the Elon Muskthe richest man in the world (present)—a man once hailed as a genius, but sure currently not acting like a.

Musk has lost more than half of his workforce due to thoughtless layoffs and inhumane demands. Advertisers are on the run. Sell ​​verified checkmarks for any junk for $8 and are willing to give their credit card info to a site that has lost a significant portion of its security team led to chaos and, sometimes, hilarious. (In a turn that must have been heartbreaking for the well-made Musk, he wasn’t the one responsible for the laughs, Anonymous hero pretending to be Eli Lilly is.)

November 21 New York Times Piece complain that this is just Elon doing Elon, running Twitter the same way he ran Tesla and SpaceX in the early days. While reporters expressed healthy skepticism that this method would work at another company like Twitter, they also left open the possibility that it was purely part of a playbook that had worked before. and can work again.

Meanwhile, although Musk doesn’t talk much to the media, he certainly Tweet through itbreak shit and declare I want to do it—flips his Ls around and glues them together, telling us they’ve always been W. (Elon, that’s obviously an L. We can watch the Scotch tape.)

Muhammed Selim Korkutata / Anadolu Agency

Let me give a simpler explanation: maybe Elon Musk is not the genius boy he was made for and never has been. And maybe his Silicon Valley colleagues too.

In the last month, tens of thousands of tech workers have lost their jobs — from Meta to Twitter to Amazon, etc. — and in the coming weeks, industry leaders herald, there will be more.

Of course, expansion and contraction are inevitable regardless of the industry. But there’s something going on with what we’re seeing all over the tech world today. It feels bigger than the gentle wave of invisible hand. It seems like a bunch of people who were considered geniuses, then made a bunch of bad calls, and now reality finally catches up with them.

As a result, the people who work for them, the people who believe in them, are getting hurt.

The tech industry is a porcelain shop full of bulls… in the sense that many of its leaders have no idea what they’re doing.

As recently as a month ago, the popular narrative was bullish for Sam Bankman-Fried, the Bahamas-based crypto billionaire boy. At the age of 30, he is the face and brains behind the FTX crypto exchange. He’s had celebrity endorsements, Super Bowl commercials, and cover of Forbes magazine. But from November 8 to 11 this year, SBF’s net worth was estimated to have grown from $10.6 billion to $0 when it was revealed that the company had done a lot companies that manage other people’s money shouldn’t do, and the value of its underlying cryptocurrency has completely collapsed. Bankman-Fried was mishandling customer money in a similar way to what American banks did before the stock market crash of 1929. Not exactly genius behavior!

Amazon will also cut 10,000 jobs, after its “global digital” unit reported a $3 billion loss in the first quarter of this year. According to Business Insider, this is because the virtual assistant Alexa that people thought was the future of computing 10 years ago is actually not the future of computing. Alexa and its affiliated products have beenmoney loss hole” for years, facing controversies that eroded consumers’ trust in them, from surreptitiously recording conversations when they should have been turned off to failing to keep users buying. shop. Sorry. Maybe Jeff Bezos should stay in space.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is said to have a bright mind, recently coined some expensive stink. The recently rebranded Meta (no one calls it Meta unless they’re a reporter writing about it or a trader short selling its stock) has poured a godly amount of money into the development of the so-called Metaverse, a immersive virtual reality requires $400 headset to join and has provided a consistent bug and strangely amputated legs User experience.

(Disclosure: I was paid to create content on the Meta platform on a contract basis from June 2021 to October 2022. I am not an employee of the company and I am not aware of any. any internal business or discussion.)

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

Alex Wong’s photo/Getty Images

But right around the time Elon was creating Twitter, and someone impersonating Sam Bankman-Fried created a trusted fake list for this idiot. Bahamanian $40 million penthouse, Zuck announced that his 11,000 employees were about to lose their jobs. That’s 13% of his workforce is unemployed, heading into the holiday season and possibly a recession.

It reads a bit like a separate goal.

Perhaps if he had spent fewer resources setting up camp in Strange Valley, Facebook would have ceased to be the last stand for the uncle no one wants to talk to over Thanksgiving and more of a market square. The town is ready to step in and take on the role that Twitter did before it started circling the toilet. The hindsight is 20-20, unless you’re wearing a virtual reality headset and can’t see anything that’s actually going on around you.

How many of these tech bankruptcies do we have to go through before we stop giving the myth of the genius CEO any credibility? How many Elizabeth Holmes? How many WeWorks are there? How many reputable streaming mini-series based on the demise of a company started by a charismatic quack we have to see nominated for some perfunctory Emmys supporting actors before we learn your lesson?

Silicon Valley’s uncanny paternal worship of its leaders has always been tiresome for those of us whose brains haven’t been soaked in salt water. But now we’re seeing the tech industry – with its morbid unwillingness to acknowledge the limits of its leaders – explode in a spectacular fashion, in a way that can harm even those in need. who doesn’t know Elon if he accidentally runs into them. his “Self-driving“Tesla.

The tech industry is a porcelain shop full of bulls — in the sense that without illusory optimism about the growth potential of all endeavors, the whole place would collapse on its own, and in the sense that many of its leaders don’t know what they’re doing. doing.

We’re watching what happens when a culture is built around believing the auto-myth of leaders.

Silicon Valley is not a superhero incubator. Its leaders are not divine. Many of them are not even geniuses. The longer we keep this in mind, the more we prevent history from repeating itself again. And one more time. And one more time.

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