back to article Musk tells of risk of Twitter bankruptcy as tweeters trash brands

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has told employees of the risk of short-term bankruptcy as corporations — hence potential advertisers — get trashed by spoof accounts set up under the new blue checkmark scheme he introduced. According to numerous reports, including Bloomberg, the rocket and electric car tycoon took to a Twitter all- …

  1. Ace2 Silver badge

    This is going bad even faster than I thought it would.

    1. redpawn

      Mark of a GENIUS, always full of surprises.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Uhh...would that be a "STABLE GENIUS"?

        1. redpawn

          TALKING HORSE?

        2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          May be both Musk and the orange one need each other

    2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Same surprise here. But as someone much cleverer than I am once said: never underestimate a man who overestimates himself.

    3. Snake Silver badge

      RE: going bad even faster

      Heh. Who knew that my premonition would be so correct??

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      I wonder why he thought he could just state that he wanted a blue tick subscription service and say "Make it so!" and it would be so without allocating time to design a system that worked, including verification?" That sort of system needs people to carry out, at the very least, random checking of automated verification. And you can't just knock up an automated verification system in a few days. It takes people and time and he gave little to no time and took away half of the people. Why does he think developing new ideas, products and systems at Twitter will be instant when it clearly isn't at SpaceX or Tesla?

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        I think it's a classic case of someone who is used to hardware development not understanding software and software development timelines. The mechanical bits are hard, software must be easy right? It's just a bunch of ones and zeroes...

        The reality is ofcourse that (good) software development takes as much, if not more, time than hardware development.

        1. Jedit Silver badge
          Devil

          "... a classic case of someone who is used to hardware development ..."

          More of a classic case of someone who is used to fucking around not understanding "finding out" timeliness.

        2. Kev18999

          People said before, he came from software and has no business in hardware. And now you said he has no clue of software?

          This shows how little you know about Musk, he co-founded Paypal and that's how he got his chops before selling to Ebay. He knows more about software development than you do.

          1. Jedit Silver badge
            FAIL

            "This shows how little you know about Musk, he co-founded Paypal"

            No, he didn't. Paypal was founded by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel and Luke Nosek. Musk bought them out a couple of years later.

          2. imanidiot Silver badge

            I've never seen any indication that Musk has any sort of background or understanding of software development and it's clear when he's talking about the hardware side of things (like in spaceX about the Raptor for example) that he has a fairly good understanding of what is going on and the engineering that is happening, even if he's not actually doing any of it himself. I've never gotten that feeling when he's talking about for instance Tesla FSD features. He doesn't have the same in depth knowledge about what's going on, what underlying design and engineering choices were made, who is working on what. So no, I don't think Musk is a software guy. He's not actually an engineer on the hardware side either but it seems to "click" with him far far better.

    5. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      What are the odds offered by London's bookmakers about Twitter surviving the next week?

    6. big_D Silver badge

      Also:

      – Musk also said staff should brace for 80-hour work weeks, do without company-provided food and get used to working from the office.

      Sorry, any boss who says you have to work an 80 hour week has seriously screwed up his resource management, If you are expecting employees to work 80 hours, that means you have half the staff you need to do the job... Oh, wait, he sacked 50% of the staff... So, his own decisions have brought this situation about and now he expects people to work 80 hours to bail him out? How the hell did he ever get this far?

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        re: How the hell did he ever get this far?

        Daddy owns a diamond mine.

        1. Jedit Silver badge
          FAIL

          "Daddy owns a diamond mine."

          I will not stand for this fake news on the Reg.

          It's an emerald mine.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Agreed.

        There was a time, quite a few years ago, when I spent a few months working 60-80 hours a week for my employer. But that was for a small startup where all the other (half-dozen) employees were family or friends, and they were also working very hard and often putting in long nights and weekends; and I was young and free of other responsibilities. It was temporary and we were doing what needed to be done to get a big deal and keep the company afloat, and to be honest, at that time and that point in my life, it was fun: the ergodic rush, the camaraderie, the sense of accomplishing something unusual and, in its own small way, notable.

        If some jackass bought the company I worked for an announced I had to do that, I'd be gone as soon as I had another offer. Which, to be honest, if I worked for Twitter would have already happened.

      3. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

        Once you have money, it's easy to make more money. Unfortunately it's even easier to lose money.

    7. Johnb89

      I want it to go slower

      I want it to go slower because then it will be funny for longer.

    8. Elongated Muskrat

      Can he take the "Metaverse" with him?

  2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

    "staff should brace for 80-hour work weeks"

    If I worked there, then he would have to be braced for my middle finger and rapid move elsewhere.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Coat

      80 weeks.... I haven't pulled any of those since I wore a much younger man's clothes. And never again!

      Should I have ever have been employed by Twatter (I know) I would have had the sense to make for the door when the courts said, "Sorry Elon, but you really do have to complete the purchase." I would have raided the office supplies cupboard, and emptied my desk all while my chair was spinning, on my way to the door!

      Be sure not to forget my coat, nothing defeats a dramatic exit like returning for your coat...

      1. Ace2 Silver badge

        $500K/yr has a way of changing minds.

        I pulled an (approximately) 80 hr week once last summer. I didn’t feel right for weeks afterwards. College was a long time ago, apparently.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          So say the very stable genius pays $500k/yr to attract an employee who want to spend 16 hours a day in the office (how is this even legal, but never mind, it's the US)... what avantage is there over paying $250k/yr for two employees to work 8 hour days?

          It seems to me that's not the deal... the deal is Musk isn't paying overtime to those unlucky enough not to get fired.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            It can be done legally, both in the U.S. and elsewhere, but generally with a lot of agreement. You can't legally require someone to work that many hours, but you can require them to do enough stuff that they would have to and specifically indicate that they're earning a salary and it's not about hours worked. If they didn't know that was coming, don't expect them to put up with it for too long, especially if the law specifically says they can quit with no notice at all.

            As for advantages, there are no advantages. Two people working normally accomplish a lot more because they don't spend a quarter of the time looking at the clock and thinking about how much they hate the person who hired them, then burn out in a few months. The only time where it helps to have one person paid really highly for really long hours is when they have especially rare and needed skills and you can't find a second person who knows what they're doing or if you do, it would take too long for them to ramp up on things. That's not Twitter's situation, so they're just going to get a slight performance increase for about three days before their engineers start slowing down for survival and to make time for the many interviews they're undoubtedly on.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Even if salaried, in many jurisdictions, including the UK and EU, even with a Working Time Directive opt-out, you can't make those sort of demands with the only option to resign without falling foul of a whole raft of constructive dismissal cases.

              1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

                The thing about salaried in the US is, they have no hour requirements at all. If you can do your week's work in 1 hour, then 1 hour is all you have to work. 80 hour workweeks come into it when your assigned work takes you 80 hours to accomplish.

                This is also why I've only ever had one management gig, and I'll never take another. I also will not stay if the job switches from hourly to salary. I worked in a department where that happened. The Boss converted everyone to salary with a 10 percent raise to "make up" for lost overtime. I chose to move to a different department because quite frankly, The Boss was a dick and I kinda expected what was coming to happen. Before the big salary move, the department ran a person on swings and a person on mids who could resolve most problems, but after everyone worked 8-5 M-F and was expected to provide 24x7 support. It burned them all out, caused a few divorces and the entire department had quit within a couple of months. With my hourly jobs, I work my 40, and the rest of my time is my own.

              2. Shades

                Shh, you'll awaken Dave the Angry Troll!

          2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            what avantage is there over paying $250k/yr for two employees to work 8 hour days?

            To be fair to the Muskinator, salary is not the sole cost of employing someone. The benefits an employer has to pay for a salaried employee in the US ain't cheap. And the Chief Twit is requiring everyone to return to the office, so rent, physical-plant, and other office-related costs will rise in proportion to the number of employees.

            There's also a risk trade-off – two "moving parts" rather than one, to put it crudely – but on the other hand you also have a certain amount of redundancy with more employees, so I think that balances out under reasonable threat models.

            It does seem like Musk could take this plan to its obvious conclusion and fire everyone except himself, and then pay himself 100% of Twitter's net profits. It'd probably work as well as his current strategy.

      2. John Riddoch
        FAIL

        I used to do 80 hour weeks on occasion, but that was with overtime/on-call allowances and I did pretty well financially off the back of it. Sounds like Musk is expecting his minions to do it without overtime payments. Sod that.

        Between that kind of pronouncement and the command to come into the office, I'm assuming all the competent staff are polishing their CVs and applying for their exit strategy now. Give it a month or two (assuming it hasn't completely failed by then) and all Twitter will have left will be those who can't find work elsewhere.

        I didn't really expect Musk to make quite such a mess of things or as quickly...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Sounds like Musk is expecting his minions to do it without overtime payments. Sod that."

          Depends if they are getting normal person pay or silly-con valley over-inflated pay.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            "Depends if they are getting normal person pay or silly-con valley over-inflated pay."

            Over-inflated pay? If you are expected to work in NYC, SF or the Silicon Valley, you have to be paid enough to afford to live there as well. A small one bedroom flat on the 4th floor with one underground parking spot can cost $4,000/month on a yearly lease. That's $48,000/yr of post income tax money. What could be inflated in Paducah, KY might mean having to live in a van in San Francisco if you could find a place to park it.

            1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

              Why not get a cheaper apartment? One that doesn't come with luxury features like an underground secure parking spot? The entitlement is strong in this one.

              1. imanidiot Silver badge

                Parking your vehicle on the street is a recipe for it getting stolen, destroyed, gutted or all of the before in very short order. If I was expected to live in LA I'd be demanding/expecting to rent a place with secure parking too. And to be getting paid enough to do that (plus a HELL of a lot more if I was to ever voluntarily live in the hellhole of any large US city.)

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Coming from someone whose posts are normally a strawman stereotype of a rabid "leftist", this sounds out of place- very much like the sort of companies-owe-employees-nothing response you'd expect to come from a pro-corporate apologist on the right.

                It's almost as if you mean none of it and you're really just a troll.

            2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Only $4K/month? That seems low to me, based on the last time I talked to people about living in the Bay Area. But it's bad enough.

              It's true this is very much a concern though. When my wife and I moved to Michigan, we were living in a lovely small city (only technically a city; it looked and felt like a traditional Midwestern town), in a historic Queen Anne that we bought for around $150K. A comparable house in SF currently lists around 10-20 times that (just checked some listings on Zillow). And we couldn't get our half-acre lot with mature trees in SF.

              If I'd been living in SF, my salary could have been an order of magnitude higher and I would have been about breaking even.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: middle finger

      The correct response is to have a cup of tea, calm down and be polite so you do not give your employer any excuses then ask your lawyer about constructive dismissal.

    3. pluraquanta

      Anyone who's worked an 80-hour week knows what's coming, a virtual avalanche of vulnerabilities, exploits, breaches and lawsuits.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "Anyone who's worked an 80-hour week knows what's coming"

        They should see it coming too when Elon states that everybody should report to a Twitter office and be prepared to be there for "at least" 40 hours per week. A job posting for SpaceX reads that 50 hours is a base week and mandatory overtime is to be expected, which happens often enough. Even if you are working in the Hawthorne plant as an engineer in a cubicle, only working 50 hours per week will likely put you in the axeman's sights. You had better come up with an excuse that beats the birth of your first child by a wife you may have only seen awake 4-5 times in the last month to be given a pass on leaving early.

    4. Boo Radley

      80 Hour Weeks

      I've been working 80 to 90 hours a week for the last ten weeks. I'm no spring chicken, at 61 years old, but so far it's been a breeze. The big difference is that I'm self employed, I bought the company for which I've worked the past nine years, a small taxi company that is dominant in our city. I chose to work 12 to 14 hour days, every day, because it's all for my benefit, and I know that there's light at the end of the tunnel. I simply need to hire at least one additional driver, which is harder than one would think. It seems like no one wants to do these types of jobs despite decent pay.

      1. Far out man
        Stop

        Re: 80 Hour Weeks

        I will not get into a Taxi that is being driven by an idiot that works 18 hour shifts. I hope that you do not have an accident causing you or your passengers injury due to your ignorance.

        I suspect many would be of a similar mind if they knew of your indifference to their wellbeing

    5. Dan 55 Silver badge

      What an absolute genius... fire half the staff, make the other half work twice as much. Brilliant!

      It appears he wants to turn Twitter into a bank to try and stave off bankruptcy. I'm sure many people will leap at the chance of giving the Bank of Musk their life savings.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        I thought he was suggesting that Twitter apply to be payment processor. That's not a bank. It's just cutting out the middle man in subscription payments AFAIK.

        1. sten2012

          Ah yeah, because those middlemen such as PayPal are literally getting money for old rope and offering nothing productive to society..

          ..

          ..

          Hold on a minute..

          1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
            Devil

            If you want to know if a company gives anything useful to the society, check if it bills include VAT (Value Added Tax).

            You'll note that banks don't charge VAT for their "services"...

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Reports are it'll be the full range of banking services. But then again, this may be just Musk "thinking" out loud in a meeting. If he doesn't like the oversight he's got now, just wait until he works out what it's like running a bank.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            But he wont be a bank he'll be a hyper-converged-next-generation-fintech so no regulation at all.

            Just like "Alipay" managed under the notoriously hands-off light -touch Chinese state regulators

        3. big_D Silver badge

          He announced it as a 2 stage plan, firstly as a payment processor, but also to store the processed money in the users account and let them spend it on other accounts, or, eventually, remove the money from the platform into a valid bank account.

          He was also talking about paying interest and getting people to store their savings in their Twitter account. Hell no, Elno!

    6. Dave K

      I thought there'd be fireworks, but I didn't expect anything this clueless. The guy has absolutely no idea how to motivate a workforce. Any company that told me to expect working 5-days a week in an office (because he doesn't trust anyone) for 80 hrs a week would be one I'd hand my resignation into quicker than you can say "Salad Fingers" (kudos on the username by the way).

      Anyway, excuse me - need to buy more popcorn...

    7. DS999 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      80 hour weeks

      So that's his crafty plan to save money. Fire half the workers, make the remaining half work twice as much!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: 80 hour weeks

        I wonder if he's bothered to read all their employment contracts? How many of those staff are hourly paid and entitled to overtime rates after 40 hours? Or, this being Silly-Con Valley, is that not a normal contract of employment? I'd be surprised if any of the EU or UK staff are on unlimited hours contracts without overtime rates, except maybe executive level people.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: 80 hour weeks

          "How many of those staff are hourly paid and entitled to overtime rates after 40 hours? Or, this being Silly-Con Valley, is that not a normal contract of employment?"

          The SV way is to have as many people salaried as possible with no limits stated. It's not a problem if the company is focused on the well-being of their staff. I've been in that sort of situation where we'd work to the job and not the clock. That had meant some really long hours during some periods where we were pushing to get something finished and some short days and 4 day weeks when things were ahead of schedule. Going by my diaries, I put in more than 40hours / week over the course of a year, but it was at a pace I set and we did some amazing things I am very proud of being a part of. I left when they started adding "management" and doing a lot more micro-managing instead of giving the engineering group a goal and an achievable date to just get on with it.

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: 80 hour weeks

            Makes me glad I work in Europe - contracts must state weekly hours / daily hours (and core period of availability, if it is flex time), contracts can only state "reasonable" overtime, which means not every day or every week from here to eternity, and a maximum of a 48 hour average over 6 weeks (rolling window). That is for salaried staff, as well as hourly paid.

            Excessive overtime can be agreed upon, but it has to be a limited time frame (a few weeks at most) and it has to be paid (first 8 hours per week can be seen as the "reasonable" part and not recompensed, but everything over that is "excessive" and will need to be paid or the employee gets time off in lieu. This has to be agreed upon by management, the employees and an employee relations ombudsman. (My daughter went through this a few years back, when her employer were having a tough time and the employees agreed to work extra shifts to ensure the survival of the company, but it was a short term agreement and was reviewed every month.)

    8. big_D Silver badge

      My first CEO told me, that if an employee has to regularly work overtime, management screwed up, either they underestimated the amount of work or they didn't resource the project adequately.

      So, he has sacked nearly half the staff, then says that everybody needs to do the hours of 2 people... I think his decision to sack people, without actually working out how much work there was was a bit of a silly decision.

    9. Roger Kynaston Silver badge
      Meh

      a long time ago in a twon far far away

      I used to drive a taxi in Taunton in Somerset. Wages were a percentage of takings and I used to do insane hours. I think it was around 100. My longest day was Thursday where I would start at 0700 and finish at 0330 the following morning.

      Nowadays I would fall asleep at the wheel and experience one of Musks RUDs

      Don't Junior Doctors do those sorts of hours?

      Were I to work for this antisocial media I would be heading for the door as others have said they should.

  3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Some of us grew up with the phrase "Doing a Ratner". I think the 21st centuary version is going to be "Doing a Musk"

    1. blackcat Bronze badge

      Ah there is a phrase I've not heard in a LONG time.

      For the young-uns here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKtBkVrqYYk

      1. Ace2 Silver badge

        A gaffe in the Kinsley sense - accidentally telling the truth?

        The prawn sandwich thing was awesome.

    2. Kurgan

      I'm 52, and still I did not know about Ratner and his story. This is probably because I'm italian and we had no Ratner stores here. I have read about him in Wikipedia, and I'm quite impressed by the fact that he probably just told the truth. After all, how can you sell a whole cut glass set and a tray for less than 5 pounds? Because it's crap. He was honest.

    3. IGotOut Silver badge

      The whole Ratner story was a case of the papers being their usual scumbag selves.

      The whole story was a poor lad who did really well for himself. He was surrounded by arrogant elitist jewelly companies who mocked his customers and products. He flipped it on them and pointed out that selling cheap crap to those that wanted the look of the expensive goods, but couldn't afford it, gave him annual profits greater than all the other mainstream jewllers combined.

      The papers took the quote out of context and used it to destroy the business.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Yes and no. The thrust of what you say is correct. His mistake was in actually calling it crap. There were many and better ways he could have described it without calling it crap and he would almost certainly have got away with it.

        1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

          I believe it wasn't the first time he said that line. It just happened to the the first time the mass media picked up on it.

  4. original_rwg
    Mushroom

    Whaaaat? Twitter may fall into the abyss?

    How can I help?

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
      Joke

      What, to help it fall in faster?

      1. Ace2 Silver badge

        If we all push at the same time…

        1. chivo243 Silver badge
          Trollface

          I'll brave it and climb up on top, jump up and down! If it starts falling really quickly, please grab me, I wouldn't want to be sucked into that vacuum.

          1. Ropewash

            They will be expecting a body in the wreckage, brother.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Not with the way it's going to go up in flames. Just twisted metal and molten glass, rather like his Teslas.

  5. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

    Employee memo number 2

    To keep your dear leader in the top billionaires club "Musk also said staff should brace for 80-hour work weeks".

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: Employee memo number 2

      More unnecessary proof that Musk is a complete arsehole. This is what happens when you dump half your staff practically overnight. How long until the remaining victims - 'cause lets face it, they are victims here - how long before they quit, spiral into depression and/or have some sort of psychotic break due to the newly intense workload?

      And this is supposed to save the business, help it grow? Fuck no, this is a proven recipe for self-induced corporate collapse.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Employee memo number 2

        coining a new phrase? Going Twittered? Better than Going Postal?

        1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

          coining a new phrase? Going Twittered? Better than Going Postal?

          Since “twitter” descends from an Old English weak verb, “going Twittery” would be etymologically analogous to “going Postal”. It might also suggest further coinages, e.g. “assault and Twittery” for the actions of people who do go Twittery.

        2. doesnothingwell

          Re: Employee memo number 2

          Going full twat.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Employee memo number 2

          You do know that "going postal" was coined after a number of postal workers randomly shot a load of their co-workers, don't you? IRC, about 50 people died over some years due to these incidents of "angry" workers.

          1. Yes Me Silver badge

            Re: Employee memo number 2

            And even in California, Musk is asking for the same thing to happen. I assume he has 24x7 security for himself, and he obviously won't worry if some of his remaining employees take each other out after a few weeks of 80 hours slog.

      2. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

        Re: Employee memo number 2

        Agreed. In addition, those staff who are stupid enough to put in 80 hours a week for a multi billionaire, they are not valued. They can and will be cut just like the other staff. If I'm working for myself I am prepared to put in 80 hours a week.

      3. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

        Re: Employee memo number 2

        Yup. "At will" employment looks pretty good now, doesn't it? His entire staff can quit (unless the contract has specific requirements for quitting) today, and their responsibility to Twitter ends with "bye" even if their leaving costs Twitter large amounts of money.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Employee memo number 2

      Musk should brace for being told to fuck right off.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Employee memo number 2

        Maybe he really wanted to fire 75% of the workforce, but figured telling them they'd have to work from the office 80 hours a week would induce half of those he didn't fire to quit?

        1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

          Re: Employee memo number 2

          His problem will be knowing which half will quit. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that the half that will quit is "both."

          The minute MY employer says mandatory 80 hour weeks from now on is the minute my resume starts showing up around the area. The only time I've ever accepted mandatory overtime was during company strikes for the union folks. As a non-union person we filled in to keep the company running during the strike because strikes never lasted more than a month.

          1. sabroni Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: As a non-union person we filled in to keep the company running during the strike

            The word you're looking for is "scab".

            1. Spazturtle Silver badge

              Re: As a non-union person we filled in to keep the company running during the strike

              And the word to describe those going on strike is 'scum'.

              1. imanidiot Silver badge

                Re: As a non-union person we filled in to keep the company running during the strike

                Depends on the Union and the demands they are making. Sometimes they're scum, sometimes Unions have a point.

              2. Elongated Muskrat

                Re: As a non-union person we filled in to keep the company running during the strike

                Make sure you remember to use that word the next time you have a nurse treating you for anything, right?

                I'm sure you'll get appropriate treatment.

                1. Elongated Muskrat

                  Re: As a non-union person we filled in to keep the company running during the strike

                  Those who downvoted that apparently don't realise that nurses are going on strike here in the UK for the first time since the formation of the NHS, over appalling pay and conditions. 40% of them have to rely on food banks, despite working in a highly skilled and regulated profession that requires a degree. They have had to tolerate a decade of real-terms pay cuts under a Tory government.

                  If you think these people are scum for striking, then I would advise you to reflect on what that makes you, because there are stronger words for those who would exploit people to this degree and then insult them for trying to improve their situation.

  6. Mike 137 Silver badge

    The difference?

    Might this epitomise the difference between paying smart folks to run things (e.g. Spacex) successfully and trying to actually run things himself?

  7. First Light Silver badge

    Musk has devotees not fanbois

    Interesting read from The Verge: current Twitter Head of legal Alex Spiro insists Musk is not afraid of the FTC (with which it signed a consent decree in May about privacy and security) because he "puts rockets into space."

    https://www.theverge.com/2022/11/10/23451198/twitter-ftc-elon-musk-lawyer-changes-fine-warning

    1. Plest Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Musk has devotees not fanbois

      Ah yes, the exclusive "Billionaire Phallic Rocket Club", all launching their substitute cocks into orbit just prove their billionaire credentials!

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Spiro

      If your lawyer is advising your employees to get your company into expensive legal battles with the US government then it is remotely possible he wants to buy some nice beach front property and another yacht.

    3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Musk has devotees not fanbois

      he "puts rockets into space"

      How are those Starship launches going?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Musk has devotees not fanbois

        Better than SLS and the starliner :)

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Musk has devotees not fanbois

          I dont know, SLS hasn't launched yet, but it also hasnt exploded yet. So SLS is up on some accounts...

          1. John Sager

            Re: Musk has devotees not fanbois

            He is working at the bleeding edge with Starship. You would hope that NASA aren't with SLS but we won't know that until it flies.

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Musk has devotees not fanbois

              "He is working at the bleeding edge with Starship."

              How exactly is that? Trying to build a really big rocket isn't bleeding edge. Notice that the Falcon 9 Heavy rarely gets used so there isn't a whole lot of big payloads to take up that SpaceX aren't building themselves. Everybody else works extra hard to make their satellites as small and light as they can (governments excepted). It's also a massive risk to build a payload that only one rocket can lift.

    4. nintendoeats Silver badge

      Re: Musk has devotees not fanbois

      Reminds me Bill Gates during the Microsoft antitrust days (why did those end anyway)? You look at him in interviews, he has no respect for the people across the desk. He has since publicly stated that his arrogance cost the company dearly and in effect was morally wrong. Will Elon ever have such powers of self-reflection? I doubt so.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Musk has devotees not fanbois

      Mush has a load of cult members who worship the very ground he steps. They will do almost anything to keep their Emperor in power.

      If you doubt me, go to any Tesla supercharger site at a popular time and start bad-mouthing Elon. The venom directed towards you will be intense.

      The Musk cult is centred in California but the UK chapter is alive and kicking.

    6. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: Musk has devotees not fanbois

      I'm sure that loyalty will work out about as well for him as Michael Cohen with Trump. Like Trump, Musk seems to hire kool-aid drinkers instead of people who are actually skilled at a given area of law. If the filings in the trial against the former Twitter board trying to get out of buying the company is any indication, it does not lead to good work.

    7. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: Musk has devotees not fanbois

      Didn't the top management left in masse because they will be otherwise deemed responsible of not following the previous agreement with the FTC?

      How long will it be before EM is left alone?

    8. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Musk has devotees not fanbois

      Musk is not afraid of the FTC ... because he "puts rockets into space"

      Makes sense. I'm not afraid of tigers because I write code.

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Hey Elon...

    What are you waiting for? You know that you bought a lemon car and it is time to run for the hills.

    Go on, file for Chapter 7 right now. You don't need no stinking Chapter 11.

    Don't forget to add $44B to your tax write-off list for the IRS on the way.

    Either way, suck on this-> See Icon

  9. Paul Woodhouse

    pass the popcorn

  10. Pirate Dave Silver badge

    WFH

    " one thing that might save company from the abyss: ending WFH"

    Well, if all the employees are fired or quit, then I guess the WFH issue has been resolved...

  11. CommonBloke

    How to make twitter profitable

    Limit the number of tweets, retweets and likes per day people can post, sell those on lootboxes. Maybe you'll gain another 3 tweets, maybe you'll get a golden tweet with greater reach! Or you can get super lucky and win a golden hexagon profile pic to show how awesome you are!

    I jest, but let's be honest, that would rake in more money than we'd like to admit. Just look at mobile games.

    1. Plest Silver badge

      Re: How to make twitter profitable

      Don't laugh!

      Musk is such a immature twat, he's probably already floated most of those ideas past the Twitterati...well those that are still left to pick up those 80 hour weeks!

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: How to make twitter profitable

        the idea behind the Twitter Bank is that you are charged every time you send/read/share a tweet.

        And also monthly charges (not a pitiful 8 USD/month, we are speaking of a bank!).

        And of course it is an opt-out for people with a Twitter account, but the page has not yet been published.

  12. codejunky Silver badge

    This should make people happy

    How long have people wanted twitter to vanish down the hole of oblivion? Numbers I expect increasing when they tried to 'fact check' a certain way.

  13. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Surprised Musk isn't crowing about success

    One of Musk's goals was to get the share of Twitter revenue from advertising under 50%. I am sure he is well on the way to achieving this if he hasn't gone further already.

    Of course this is all Musk playing 4D chess: getting others to trash brand names is just viral advertising a future revenue stream. Soon you will be able to by brand protection from Twitter for a reasonable hourly fee. All negative comments about your company, criminal activity or war will be silenced.

    In the mean time content creators will be able put their videos in a pay walled section in return for high performance Twitter shares.

  14. Bruce Ordway

    Can a genius be unskilled and unaware

    Musk does seem like a clever guy.. in some areas.

    However... I suspect his particular "genius" will not be of benefit to Twitter.

    I am reminded that no matter how smart a person thinks they are...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Can a genius be unskilled and unaware

      Musk does seem like a clever guy.. in some areas.

      Some observers have suggested that most of Elon's successes weren't actually achieved by Elon but by others and Elon just happened to be in the right place at the righ time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: in the right place at the righ time.

        He didn't start Tesla. IT was already producing EV's when he came along. He did transform it from a minnow into a mega car producer but he didn't create Tesla and for sure, he didn't design the cars. He, wisely employed people who knew how to do it.

        He isn't infallible as is evidenced by the launch of the Cybertruck and its supposedly shatterproof windows.

        Then there is his propensity to announce products years and years and years before the tech is there that can make them profitably.

        M'lord, I give the Tesla Semi as an example.

        IMHO, he is just like the 19th century snake oil salesman.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: in the right place at the righ time.

          Don't forget his greatest invention, the Hyperloop. Which he invented.

        2. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

          Re: in the right place at the righ time.

          "He isn't infallible as is evidenced by the launch of the Cybertruck and its supposedly shatterproof windows."

          I guess we should be thankful he didn't try to duplicate how safety glass was introduced in the 40s or 50s, which was by having a beauty contest winner sit in a car, then have a major league baseball pitcher chuck one at the window from 5 feet away. Glass shattered but stayed together, girl behind the glass had a stunned haddock look when she realized that if the glass had failed she'd have caught a 90mph ball with her face.

    2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: Can a genius be unskilled and unaware

      Good with machines, terrible with people. He's hardly the first engineer to fit that description, he's just the first with $200bn and a global audience.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Can a genius be unskilled and unaware

        He's not an engineer. Engineers don't promise - or even imply - that they can deliver something unless they are very sure they can do so in the stated timescale.

        It's salesmen who overpromise and underdeliver, late. Engineers underpromise and overdeliver.

        He has two very specific skills - raising money and marketing. He has convinced a lot of banks to lend him and his ventures a lot of money.

        I've yet to see much evidence of anything else - and it's also much easier to get a big loan if you've already got a lot of wealth.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Can a genius be unskilled and unaware

          Edison? AC/DC wars?

          1. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: Can a genius be unskilled and unaware

            At least Musk hasn't tried to emulate Edison's great feats during the AC/DC wars.

            Don't believe the rumours that Elon was spotted tying an elephant to the bottom of Bezos's rocket.

            1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
              Childcatcher

              Re: Don't believe the rumours

              It wasn't one elephant but a whole herd.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Don't believe the rumours

                No Republican was armed however

            2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: Can a genius be unskilled and unaware

              The elephant's collar was welded, wasn't it?

      2. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: Can a genius be unskilled and unaware

        Which particular machines is he good at?

        Tunnel diggers?

        Vacuum tunnel transit?

        Automated car battery changers?

        Trucks?

        Semi-trucks?

        Dancing robots?

        Cave rescue?

        Brain implants?

        Robot taxis?

        New models of an existing car - ok. Hiring lots of people to design a rocket system for him - ok. Almost forgot - the flame thrower.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Can a genius be unskilled and unaware

          And the flame thrower is pretty useless

  15. MajorDoubt
    Thumb Down

    Fuck that asshole

    everything is being done that can be to ensure the total failure of twitter. that man is a incompetent fool, who can't see past his own ego.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Fuck that asshole

      He said he wants to benefit humanity. Killing Twitter may be part of that plan. Maybe we should be congratulating him :-)

  16. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Place your bets:

    1: Twitter is under a 20year FCC order for being naughty. Musk fired the group responsible for monitoring compliance. The potential fines start at $bn

    2: He loses defamation lawsuits from every major company in the world after people post parodies under a blue checkmark that means Musk literally verified them.

    3:The site goes down permanently because he fired the sys admins on a site where whistleblowers have already said there are core servers that they couldn't rebuild if they went down

    4:all of the above simultaneously

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Place your bets:

      I like the trifecta here...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People think he’s a genius?

    No, just wealthy.

  18. Marty McFly Silver badge
    FAIL

    I don't get it...

    I have never used Twitter. I've got a decent circle of friends. I have never heard any of them talk about a Tweet they actually received. I've seen news stories about prominent people saying stupid things on Twitter, but I have never seen those things first hand.

    It really looks like Twitter was a bunch of non-existent people talking to other non-existent people, and bringing advertisers along for the ride. It is like the entire company is an over-inflated shiny bobble filled with nothing.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it...

      So like the rest of the C21 then ?

    2. A. Coatsworth

      Re: I don't get it...

      I'd love to live also in 1985, McFly...

      My circle of friends is rather small, but I know at least 3 persons who still use twitter as one of their main sources of news (following news sites and local political commentators) and intreact with people every now and then. During the last political campaing over here, one of them had this ritual of every day write to one of the candidates "you will never be president", first thing in the morning.

      Now that I think of it, another of them seems to have abandoned twitter almost completely in the last 2 years, and moved on... to tiktok. Make of that what you will

    3. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it...

      A lot of journalists and politicians spend a lot of time and effort on twitter. Therefore it becomes Important News when a politician or journalist tweets something stupid.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: I don't get it...

        A "news" is important when it is not something that happens every few minutes...

        Let me know when EM tweets something that is not stupid, defamatory or fake news...

  19. IGotOut Silver badge

    If Twitter dies..

    ...does this mean journalists will have to start reporting on things again?

    1. Marty McFly Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: If Twitter dies..

      Pfffffttt! Good one!

      Are there any Reporters anymore? All the ones I see on TV / Internet are just news readers.

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Re: If Twitter dies..

        It's gonna suck if we find out that for the past 10 years, all the news articles have actually been written by Twitter bots...

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: If Twitter dies..

        "All the ones I see on TV / Internet are just news readers."

        Most of them aren't even that. They "read" 60 seconds of news then spend the rest of the "show" being opinionated twats ranting about one aspect of it with their like0minded "guests". There are very few actual sources of news that don't bury it in strongly biased opinions.

    2. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: If Twitter dies..

      It just means that the sofa dollies will have to spend more time interviewing each other for "reactions to this ongoing story".

      But will anyone notice?

  20. gnasher729 Silver badge

    Some employees have to do overtime for free if the business requires it in the USA. Working overtime after the business fires half the employees is not a business requirement.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      "Some employees have to do overtime for free if the business requires it in the USA."

      I thought they did away with slavery with the 13th amendment in 1865?

      1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

        You can think of "exempt" employees, otherwise known as salaried employees, as indentured servants instead of slaves. Both are treated the same, but only one entered servitude willingly.

      2. Elongated Muskrat
        Holmes

        Actually, they didn't do away with slavery, they explicitly kept it for people in prison, which in the US includes one in ten black men. They also have the highest total and highest per capita prison population of anywhere in the world.

    2. Ace2 Silver badge

      We are at-will and exempt. They can demand anything of us; if you don’t like it, you can quit.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        For clarity, who is "we" and will you be quitting any time soon?

  21. spuck

    Ending WFH

    If they've been hiring people around the country (world?) for more than two years with the promise of Work From Anywhere, I would wager there's not a small number of employees who just cannot get into the office the next day, boss.

    It's one thing for the people who don't like a 2 hour commute into San Jose, it's quite another for someone living in Kansas, South Dakota, or the middle of Canada.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Ending WFH

      And so these people can just quit - saving you the costs of paying redundancy and unemployment claims

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Ending WFH

        Probably not saving you the cost of a constructive dismissal suit, though. (OK, that might depend on what country they were hired in, but it's certainly true for any staff Twitter might have in the EU.)

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Ending WFH

          "OK, that might depend on what country they were hired in"

          Maybe not. If your normal place of employment was a home or remote office and you are told that your new place of employment is too far away for a reasonable commute with a day or two of notice, it would take a pretty horrible judge or employment tribunal to uphold the employer's demand. It would be the same as if on Friday your employer told you they are shutting down the Liverpool office and transferring everybody to the London office and if you don't show up Monday morning, you are to be considered resigning from your job. Not being sacked since that might require some sort of redundancy payments.

          I would not be surprised if many Twitter employees took advantage of remote work to live in a much nicer and lower cost of living area. Those people will have to hope that their contract or official company policy states that the policy is SOP. Large employers can sometimes be required to give 30+ days of notice for changes to their policies with regards to employees. It might even be more for cases involving holiday time off and things that might not take place in the very near future. Somebody planning on a certain amount of maternity leave that is currently a couple of months along would not be happy to see a memo that maternity leave is being cut in half in 30 days time.

      2. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Ending WFH

        The problem is a fair number of Twitter employees moved - many to other states - in the last couple years on the promise that WFH would be "forever".

        I'm not really sure what the law would hold about something like that, but I expect that some remote Twitter employees will be consulting a lawyer right now to find out.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The tide is going out on all these so-called genius CEOs.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, well, clearly insulting your customer base about some BS about "free speech" is the way to win market share revenue, isn't it you temper-tantrum throwing child?

    1. Aussie Doc
      Joke

      Well...

      ...to be fair I think he meant 'fee speech'.

      1. Elongated Muskrat

        Re: Well...

        Freeze peach

  24. Howard Sway Silver badge

    How many of these fake accounts have been set up by ex-employees?

    If you're one of the many staff who just got fired, and you know well how to get exposure on the site, it must be mightily tempting to spend $8 of your payoff to bag a "verified" account and shitpost happily for a month as some company whose lawyers are going to be very active in suing for damages.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: How many of these fake accounts have been set up by ex-employees?

      Even better, if your account gets banned for posting %!&#$% - you get your $8 back !

    2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: How many of these fake accounts have been set up by ex-employees?

      I suppose they know enough people still working there to get the tick without paying it...

      Do the high-ups that left still have theirs?

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: How many of these fake accounts have been set up by ex-employees?

      "it must be mightily tempting to spend $8 of your payoff to bag a "verified" account and shitpost happily for a month"

      That could be a horrible idea. The better tactic is to go completely silent and let an attorney do the "talking". More people get themselves in trouble posting on social media than those that see any good from it.

  25. Rol

    So Rupert, How does that go again?

    You buy Twitter with loans you load onto it, and then completely destroy it. I'll then come along, likely hiding behind one of my many shell companies, and "rescue" it for $1

    Ur huh

    I'll bung you some brown envelopes stuffed with bitcoin and hand delivered by some wannabe page three starlets. Return them when you're bored of them.

    Huh huh

    I'll rebuild the brand using the one thing we all know that works. porn porn and more porn

    huh huh huh

    And then I'll be owning a massive media outlet that they would never in a million years let me get a hold of.

    Huh

    And then I can properly invite Satan to dinner without feeling inferior.

    Huh?

    Sorry did I say that last bit out loud, err. I meant Santa. Yes Santa.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So Rupert, How does that go again?

      The starlets have more value than the bitcoins, I'll keep them, thanks

  26. steelpillow Silver badge
    Joke

    The ups and downs of staff management

    Sack some people, then plead with them to come back.

    Keep other people, then tell them to F off out of the kitchen if they don't like the heat.

    He must think his staff a are a right bunch of yo-yos.

  27. aerogems Silver badge
    FAIL

    Let this sink in

    Today marks the 2-week point at which Musk took ownership of Twitter. In that short period of time, he's managed to take a company that was losing money, but was still relatively stable financially, and drive the value of Twitter down by AT LEAST 40%, drive away users and advertisers needed to actually turn the company around, eliminated half the staff, including plenty of people who were actually doing important things, and drag Tesla's stock down around a similar 40%, and he's already talking about the possibility of it going bankrupt. Those are just the cruising altitude headlines too.

    I always figured that once Musk took over he'd drive the company into the ground, catering to nazis and various other right-wing extremist groups he's been flirting with lately, but I figured it would take him at least a couple of YEARS. Never in my wildest imagination did I figure he would manage to drive the company into the ground in a matter of WEEKS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let this sink in

      Almost like the lizz truss of silicon Valley...

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Let this sink in

        The Ultimate Question - Will Musk survive a Truss at Twitter?

        (using the El Reg Soviet's definition of a Truss of course...)

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Let this sink in

          You're going to need to better define what losing means. Since Twitter's now his, the only ways he couldn't survive at Twitter is if he sells it (good luck finding anyone who wants to buy it now), gets it taken off him in legal charges (not likely and they would take forever), or dissolves it (which also takes a while). However, he could easily destroy it within a Truss. He'd still be the owner and operator of a thing called Twitter, but depending on how badly he manages to screw this up, it could be unrecognizable. I wouldn't have expected it to be that fast, but the number of things he's broken in a couple weeks suggests I gave him more credit than he deserves.

          1. Elongated Muskrat

            Re: Let this sink in

            Does Justin Timberlake still own MySpace?

            Asking for a friend...

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Yes things have been moving at light speed

      I had made a garbage can sized container of popcorn to eat while I watch this develop over the next few years, but I'm gonna get fat eating it at this rate given how quickly he's driving Twitter's value down to zero.

      There won't even be time for nazis and other low lifes to come back to the platform, at this rate he'll have destroyed it before that 'commission' that's looking into that issue comes to their rubber stamp conclusion!

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Let this sink in

      "Never in my wildest imagination did I figure he would manage to drive the company into the ground in a matter of WEEKS."

      Your estimate of it taking more time to auger into the ground from altitude was likely based on the assumption that there would be some adult supervision going on to temper Elon's impulsivity. He doesn't do well with any sort of staff that tells him when an idea he has is complete shite.

    4. Aussie Doc
      Joke

      Re: Let this sink in

      Personally, I think with the great success he seems to be having he should buy Fox News next.

      Just kidding.

      As an Aussie, I just don't care anymore ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      1. Aussie Doc
        Trollface

        Re: Let this sink in

        Looks like I upset a Trump supporter.

  28. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "We all need to be more hardcore"

    You're going to end up being hardcore with 12 employees.

    Keep on making stupid decisions, then making stupid demands from whoever is left.

    I'm sure your costs are going to go down sharply in the days to come - your payroll is going to go near weightless.

    Of course, at that point it's going to be you running around trying to make everything work.

    We're just here to cheer you to your doom.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "We all need to be more hardcore"

      I wonder how long it will take before the documentaries starting coming out on the downfall of Twitter?

      Based on lead times for TV, I'd guess about 6 months will be the earliest.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "We all need to be more hardcore"

      1 guy and 12 henchmen?

      It reminds me of something...

      I'll check what happens on next Easter...

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: "We all need to be more hardcore"

      "We're just here to cheer you to your doom."

      I feel like somebody ought to set up a live stream of a lettuce...

      ...well, it worked the last time!

    4. Elongated Muskrat

      Re: "We all need to be more hardcore"

      I'm assuming he's using the word "hardcore" in the construction-industry sense of the word:

      Rubble.

  29. Munchausen's proxy
    Pint

    More and more

    More and more I get the feeling that yes, indeed, he is deliberately trying to completely destroy Twitter - nothing else makes sense to explain his behavior. The only thing I can think of as a reason is if he expects to sue the previous directors by claiming that they sold him a broken company that couldn't survive.

    For that to make sense though, he must not realize he's doing it all in public and we can see it.

    Mysteries of the rich and their assholery, I guess.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      No he'll cite the usual right wing boogeymen

      Mainstream media, Hollywood elites, woke corporations, Deep State, crooked Hillary and antifa all conspired against him and blew it up!

      Even if he could sue the previous directors the whole bunch of them probably aren't worth 1/10th of what he paid. Just like many of us learn at some point that surfing Amazon at 3am after a long night's drinking is a bad idea, he is learning that making a no contingency purchase offer for a Fortune 500 company while high as balls is also a bad idea. Our lesson might cost us a few hundred dollars, his is costing him a bit more.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: More and more

      indeed, he is deliberately trying to completely destroy Twitter

      The phrase "never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence" springs to mind. His rampant narcissism (probably fueled by experimental drug mixtures that the techbros seem to value) and his refusal to accept that he's nothing like the genius that his sycophants claim he is all seem to have peter-principled him many more than one level above his competence.

  30. Rikki Tikki
    Joke

    Recycling an old joke, but ...

    "What's the quickest way to become a millionaire?"

    "Start as a billionaire and buy Twitter."

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "Recycling an old joke, but ..."

      I grew up in the country.

      What would I do with a million dollars? I'd keep ranching until it was all gone.

  31. Ace2 Silver badge

    New theory

    So Twitter is this big trainwreck due to Musk’s erratic micromanaging. But Tesla is fine, right? They make lots of cars, people like them, it’s profitable.

    What if that’s because Musk spends 98% of his Tesla time on his Full Self-Driving fantasy? The rest of the business (the cars, the factory, the charger network) is being run by professional managers & engineers who know what they’re doing, without Musk interference.

  32. Ceiling Cat

    The worst part

    The worst part is that there will be a huge line of twats ready to replace the staff who inevitably quit.

    Perhaps he should have just paid the fine for backing out of the purchase agreement. Seems he is now in charge of a company he really doesn't want, and all so he could say whatever he wanted on the platform and not have his posts moderated or be cancelled.

  33. Trigun Silver badge

    If what is in this COMMENT article is accurate, then it certainly doesn't look good. Very few people will work 80 hour weeks for no additional benefit. Again, if this is accurate.

    I make that "if accurate" distinction, because I see an enormous amount of bias in the press about this subject and some people are eating it up uncritically.

    Doesn't mean Elon Musk isn't mucking things up badly, but only time will tell on that, so I'm going to sit back and reserve judgement for a while longer.

  34. Winkypop Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Twitanic

    Now with twice as many holes!

  35. that one in the corner Silver badge

    No wonder he laughed at the automatic onboarding tweet

    The one that asked him to complete the Managing at Twitter 101 course.

    He thought that tweet and the course work had been set up as a prank for the new boy; how else could you explain such ludicrous chapters as "Respecting your colleagues", "How to earn the respect of your team", " Peon - and other banned phrases".

  36. martinusher Silver badge

    The problem's Tech culture

    I've worked at California tech companies for half my working life. I've occasionally come across tech culture, the notion that you're irreplaceable and without your genius the place would just fall apart, typically because I have often found myself being brougth in as a trouble shooter -- project(s) are behind and failing, personnel quittting and so on. The culture's nce work if you can get it but it is just not sustainable -- eventually you get hit by the numbers, it just boils down each employee having to create a certain value (typically three times their salary or better) in order to justify their employment. Sometimes in the earlier stages of a company's development this rule is broken because its expedient for a product development, the founders and investors are essentially gambling their captial in the hope of a win, a payback that will justify the capital spent. This is typically the startup phase of a company and its here that stock options get dished out -- not those 'retirement plan' level options you might get as a modern employee at a tech giant like Intel but the 'nickel a share' type options that if the stock vests (or the company gets bought out) can represent real value to the holder. You get sucked into working all hours because you're gambling your time for an eventual payback.

    The problem with tech culture it that it can quickly segue into a culture of entitlement. People start believing that their lifestyle is a right rather than something that has to be earned, that their mere presence justifies their position. Especially with software its easy to weave a convincing technical narrative around this (and it doesn't help that the notion of 'work' is entirely fluid with software -- unlike more physical products where its quite obvious whether its working properly or not). But there are always people who can see beyond the hype.

    Anyway, I think Musk overpaid something rotten for the brand, he got taken by a bunch of pretty smooth operators, but it will be interesting to see if he can make something out of it. He'll get a whole lot of crap for this -- quite apart from the destructive nihilism that permeates large areas of today's society there's investors who may be feeling a bit unnerved by what's gone down in the last couple of weeks. But my bet is that if anyone can pull it off it will be him. In its previous form Twitter (and other 'tech' companies) isn't sustainable; they're parasites feeding off a parastic ecosystem where advertisers ultimately pay for because they can't envisage an alternative, they're riding a tiger that they need to get off (because the whole advertising thing is crap, frankly -- a huge waste of resources).

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: The problem's Tech culture

      "Anyway, I think Musk overpaid something rotten for the brand, he got taken by a bunch of pretty smooth operators,"

      Elon didn't get "taken" by anybody. It's all self-inflicted. Twitter didn't go to him to be bought out and they certainly didn't set the price. Elon also didn't do any of the due diligence that a proper business person would do before buying an expensive property. He could have joined the board when invited and spent time learning the ins and outs of the company. As a major stockholder, he could have been made privy to more information than others may have been allowed to see. He could have paid the breakup fee and backed out gracefully once the drugs wore off even after signing the contract for the purchase. By dragging out the drama, bad mouthing the company and scaring off many employees and making potential new hires shy away, he lost all avenues of retreat.

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: The problem's Tech culture

      "that their mere presence justifies their position"

      So.... most management then?

  37. Far out man

    I would not use a Taxi service that has drivers doing 14 hours plus per day. I value the remainder of my years too much to be driven by someone who towards the end of such a shift is probably accident prone. The following days shift could also be dangerous to all concerned due to fatigue etc. from the previous day (s)

  38. xyz Silver badge

    The Twitanic...

    . Anyone got any iceberg jokes?

    1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: The Twitanic...

      Iceberg?

      It is a kind of lettuce, no?

  39. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Resignation accepted

    Honestly, my response to this "blah-de-blah or resignation accepted" would be to do nothing. I'd quit doing work for them, but not put in a formal resignation (since after all he said not coming into a physical office and not working 80 hours a week means resigning anyway.) Just see how long they keep paying while either looking for a better job or preparing for early retirement.

  40. MachDiamond Silver badge

    $4 million a day isn't salaries.

    I have a suspicion that Twitter's costs were driven more by trophy office addresses and waste at the top over what the rank and file were paid. Salaries could have been much lower if the staff didn't need to be paid enough to live in some of the highest cost of living areas on the planet. Rents are also much cheaper in the "fly over" states and in the home counties where there is also a much higher quality of life for families. I had to hand deliver some prototype equipment from the west coast of the US to Ft. Wayne, Indiana on a day's notice. Getting there and back on the same day was not an issue so being away from a major city isn't an impossible task. That was a trip that revolved around physical products, if it were just files that could be sent electronically, I could have been on a beach in Hawaii and it would have made no difference between that beach and Chicago in real terms.

    Losing so much staff in such a short period of time is going to lead to more people quitting when they see how much more work they will be required to take on and how much blame they are going to get for things going wrong where all of the people that knew how something worked were sacked. Twitter has some legal covenants they must follow in penance for past sins. If the people that knew the particulars are gone, it will mean more trouble with governments. Elon doesn't seem to understand that "free speech" isn't always tolerated in every country and there can be severe limits on what it considered free speech around the world. As the company grew, they had to work out understandings with different governments that expect the company to remember what was discussed and must be followed or there will be fines, penalties and even executives in those countries being detained. It's happened before even if Elon chooses not to listen to anybody telling him about those things (if anybody is left that was there). I wonder how much compliance staff was cut and the costs that might incur.

    TL:DR, Staffing costs might not be a big percentage of outgoing funds. Just the most visible.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: $4 million a day isn't salaries.

      It's a fantasy figure based loosely on last quarter's numbers. Basically, Musk is trailing the bankruptcy as inevitable. Bankruptcy will get him out of the debts and the WFH orders will reduce severance payments.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: $4 million a day isn't salaries.

        "Bankruptcy will get him out of the debts"

        Not that he'd live long enough to feel any sort of relief. Too many people known, or at least rumored, for taking very direct action are also part of this deal. I highly doubt they'd consider any decision coming from a bankruptcy court as being acceptable if it's anything short of giving them all of their money back.

  41. Aussie Doc
    Facepalm

    Really?

    80 hour weeks?

    I remember what that felt like when I pulled a few as a younger Uni student but I'm pretty sure my cognitive ability fizzled out way before my 80 hours were up.

    Nothing good can come of this, methinks.

    Excuse me but Melon Tusk can suck a bag of dicks.

  42. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    WTF?

    Maybe hes trying

    (and failing) to beat this guy

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-63612489

    $32 billion in a week lost ....

    My question is.... do venture capitalists sign out their sanity when they arrive at their office in the morning?

    "Hey John... this ones got no assets, no finance and has a plan to make 1 billion by the end of the day"

    "Sounds good... lets invest 2 billion with him....... oh and pass the crayons I'm hungry"

    "Oh just heard , learing, beardman and dump just invested 4 billion with him"

    "Make it 8 billion we're putting in... and get my arms out of this jacket so I can sign the paperwork"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe hes trying

      Actual quote from BBC article:

      "According to a blog post from venture capital giant Sequoia Capital, Mr Bankman-Fried played an intense League of Legends battle during a high-level video call with their investment team.

      It didn't seem to put off them off at all, though. The group proceeded to invest $210m in Mr Bankman-Fried's company FTX."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Maybe hes trying

        Look at the family connections. Mum runs major political PACs for the Dems, aunt is with the WEF and his brother has some govt NGO connections. Also FTX was the second largest donor to the Dems after a certain Hungarian we can't mention.

        Something very fishing going on with FTX.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Maybe hes trying

          I don't know that there's anything fishy with FTX itself. SBF found a good excuse for parting a large number of fools and their money, and then spread some of that money around. But much of it was based on the overall momentum of cryptocurrencies, and when that died down after the Terra collapse, it was just a matter of time before FTX proved to be overextended. It was a house of cards, and it collapsed.

          What is fishy is what happened as FTX was circling the drain. The possible movement of resources over to Alameda, the "Bahamian residents" dodge...

          FTX was just trading in snake oil for most of its history.

          Molly White has details, as usual.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That $44 billion?

    Bird seed.

  44. This post has been deleted by its author

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