The Obese Blue Bird Is Now In A Financial Gym, To Stay Fit

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As Elon Musk takes an obese blue bird to financial gym so that it can stay in shape, try to learn something from him. Indeed, if you run a company and your pride comes from the number of workers you pay, not the productive output created in the company, you have a problem in this knowledge age. 

There were less than 36 engineers when WhatsApp was sold for close to $19 billion to old Facebook (now Meta). The total number of staff was about 50. The modern age of knowledge systems makes things compound at scale, unlike the industrial age architectures.

While we cannot compare orange and apple, Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion, inheriting close to 7,500 workers; other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Snap, etc outperformed Twitter on userbase/staff. That he wants to reduce that number must not be seen as a billionaire attacking the 99%. Twitter was a bad product. Yes, I could not use it; and I left because I could not use it. Yet, they were congregating many humans for a product few could use easily. What were those workers doing?

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The good news is this: co-founder and ex-CEO Jack Dorsey has apologized for many own-goals. It does mean that within days of the Musk era, he has found areas he could have done things differently. One of those areas was making Twitter obese. But because of his larger than life in the company, no one would have challenged him. With Musk in, the bird is in the financial gym. Hopefully, it comes out leaner to run against Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, etc competitively.

People should spare Musk the verbal attacks; Twitter is not a charity. After spending $44 billion, the world must not expect Musk to “toy” around with a bird. Yes, that bird must produce quality financial eggs to feed the investors! And making that happen does not need a special UN resolution on how it must be done.

Comment on Feed

Comment 1: Prof’s balanced views about the economic and financial influences of decisions made by pioneers, and not just emotional driven thoughts you often get from consumers of tech products especially, should be what I love most about his comments on these matters.
Last time it was about Meta, today’s about the blue bird.

The most important thing is to keep the vehicle moving, sometimes you’ll need to take less passengers than the vehicle usually takes so it doesn’t get in a worse shape than it already is.
I was talking with an Indian friend about this a few days back when we discussed about how people lashed on Byjus Co-founders for signing Messi as their new ambassador while planning to lay off over 2,500 employees over the next 6 months.

Sometimes as a growing techpreneur who seems to view the world differently it’s encouraging to see experts proving you’re not on the wrong track when they comment on issues this way.

My Response: Indeed, Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” must continue to be relevant for markets to function despite the activists. If a founder does not do what he/she has to do to save the firm, the firm goes down and everyone suffers.

Comment 2: You can attack him if you like but that would not change anything. He who pays the Piper dictates the tune. Business is not the extension of the Salvation army nor is it a detachment of the boys scout movement, profit drives business. He is going to do everything possible to make this bird profitable. He won’t accept anything less.

Comment 3: Mind how ypu monetized mobile application.

Any mobile app can be replaced with another one with new features and free.

If you’re running a business that advertises for the whole world, you need a rep in each country. Do the math and see how many workers you should have.

Twitter Ex-CEO has created bluesky, let’s see how bird can cover sky.

My Response: “Any mobile app can be replaced with another one with new features and free.” – that actually does not happen for apps which feed on network effects. What happens is that you can create a new “category” and dominate but it is always hard going against dominant players. Twitter’s value is not the app, it is that it has users. You can create your app (like Trump did) but you cannot have those 100m overnight.


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