Following the offloading of roughly half of Twitter’s workforce, Elon Musk sent a message to the company’s remaining employees asking them if they were willing to commit to an “extremely hardcore” work culture that involves “working long hours at high intensity.” Musk’s message noted that Twitter’s remaining employees could either commit or take three months’ worth of severance pay and leave.
Reports have indicated that a lot of Twitter’s remaining employees opted for the latter option, thereby departing from the company. Thus, on Thursday, an exodus of sorts reportedly happened on Twitter, with some ex-employees stating that some crucial parts of the company have now become unstaffed.
A source reportedly familiar with the matter later informed Reuters that on Thursday evening, the version of the Twitter app being used by employees was already showing down. The ex-employee reportedly also estimated that the public version of Twitter was at risk of breaking during the night. Amidst these reports, the hashtag #RIPTwitter rose to the top of the platform’s US trends.
Elon Musk, for his part, responded to the trend with posts joking about Twitter’s supposed death. Musk also seemed to mock himself for overpaying for the social media company, noting that a great way to “make a small fortune in social media” is to “start with a large one.” Later on, Musk noted that Twitter, amidst the rise of reports predicting its supposed end, ended up achieving an all-time high in usage. “And… we just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage lol,” Musk wrote.
Musk also suggested that despite the attrition in the company, he is not extremely worried about Twitter’s future. This was because the employees that stayed and committed were the company’s best. “The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried,” Musk noted. Musk’s sentiments seem to be quite accurate, at least, as Twitter continued to run without any issues despite the prediction of the ex-employee to Reuters.
Musk may be the target of much derision over his current decisions surrounding Twitter, but he has gained some notable supporters. Among these is Bill Gurley, general partner at venture-capital firm Benchmark, who noted that those rooting for Twitter to crash and burn today should prepare for disappointment.
“One of the reasons companies routinely do 3 layoffs instead of one is they are almost all afraid to ‘cut too much.’ They fear ‘hitting bone.’ But they VASTLY underestimate how resilient companies actually are. Companies endure. This is also why everyone rooting for Twitter to ‘functionally fail’ are going to be disappointed. The company had 1,000 employees in 2012 and had 200 [million monthly active users]. And the systems are way better now. If they go back to that count they will survive. You are NOT seeing the ‘fail whale,” Gurley noted.
Musk has responded to Gurley’s insights on Twitter, noting that while he does not want to jinx anything, there’s a chance for Twitter to survive its current challenges. “Don’t wanna jinx it, but there’s a chance we can keep Twitter alive,” Musk responded.
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