Just not the kind that people are used to hearing about these days.
by Thomas C. Ossa, RockWeb Systems Inc.
This blog post will be updated regularly as the Twitter takeover project transpires.
So, I’ll say it flat out. Elon Musk is impressing the hell out of me right now.
I’m not one for being a jerk and firing everyone around me. I very much enjoy working within a great team of people. It’s one the most rewarding parts of what I do. Every now and then, we have to let someone go, or someone decides they wish to move on, and we do our best to collaboratively make the transition together and openly. Not easy, but worthwhile.
Elon Musk just walked into Twitter, and openly declared the potential firing of up to half of the workforce.
The thing to remember is that this is a different scenario from what a small business, that operates closely together with it’s workers, usually have in their places. Twitter is losing $4m a day. The bleeding has to stop.
Add to this the amount of pressure that seems to be coming this person’s way, in the form of potential lawsuits, advertisers dropping ad dollars to appease activist investors, and worse of all…AOC’s attention-getting troll campaign. (Twitter’s still waiting for that $8, by the way.)
Which leads me to why I am impressed. In this day and age, that’s a heck of a lot of pressure. But, as the numbers show above, these are all the right moves. So they need to happen in order to save the company.
This isn’t Elon Musk’s first rodeo. PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, the Boring Company, not to mention being a driver of environmentally friendly startups such as Boxabl, a tiny home producer. Yet all those companies certainly had their own share of human resource issues.
What is interesting about Elon’s approach is akin to some age-old business advice that gets passed around in most business circles: “Hire slow, and fire fast”. And not necessarily in that order.
At the moment, as a private company, it comes down to three things: Balance sheet, profit loss statement, and cash flow. That’s fundamental. The humans are expendable. Sounds cold? It is. But consider this: What’s worse – firing half the force now, or fire all of them later? Because if Twitter underperforms for just a few more years as it was under the control of some supposedly pretty smart people, the company will be bankrupt.
On the flip side, he’s bringing over engineers and trusted advisors that can help him to make pragmatic decisions. I estimate that many of them are of the same like mind that he is: Building companies is really cool. (Insert Beavis and Butthead laugh here) That will help Elon to continue to look at the company through the same united lens as is titled by the band Meshuggah’s 1995 album: Destroy, Erase, Improve.
As in most difficult decision making processes, the war is won in the tents. Elon is setting up for another major win. I’m guessing he’s probably not sure himself of what Twitter will be. But one thing is certain, Twitter will continue to be.
That’s a form of leadership that the press might be hearing more about in the coming years.
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