November 17, 2022

How many people can Elon Musk fire anyway?

Shall we call it Quitter?

Ok, so we are discussing now that Elon Musk gave the remaining Twitter employees an ultimatum: agree to work brutal hours or be laid off immediately. Who’d want to stay under those circumstances? Or rather, who’d not agree, quiet quit and secretly search for a new job?

Here’s the thing. The number of technicians you reasonably need to run a website like Twitter is in the lower three digits. You also need a couple of accountants, probably a few lawyers, cleaning staff and certainly a lot of people working on marketing. But even when you give every employee a dedicated manager, you should not crack 10k mark. Twitter had 5 times that much! What were they doing? Good question. My guess is that a lot of them were just diversity hires, friends and family, or networkers that brought in a bunch of good business contacts.

Twitter (the social network) is extremely left leaning in the political spectrum. Easy to anger, hard to please, always on the lookout for the next shitstorm. You don’t get that kind of audience without a matching corporate culture and lets be realistic here, people who are primarily concerned with blocking others that don’t reflect their political opinion are shit at getting work done, but great at being in everyone else’s way.

I’m not going so far as calling it a plan, but I’m pretty sure, Elon Musk is gambling on that if he can make the job harsh, the unproductive snowflakes will quit and leave the busy worker bees behind. Natural selection, survival of the fittest, corporate style. Musk only wants the engineers to stay. But why would they? Well, Engineers tend to have this mindset where building the product becomes a matter of personal pride. Once they see the product as their baby, they welcome what lets them fully concentrate on it. In this case, longer hours and fewer distractions from incompetent managers.