Elon Musk’s time as “Chief Twit” has been marked by apparent snap-of-a-finger changes and sometimes swift reactions, but the Tesla and SpaceX CEOs are chasing momentum for growing pains.
“In the beginning, obviously, we’re going to make a lot more mistakes, because I’m new — hey, I just arrived, man,” he said on the “All-In” podcast show posted on Saturday. “I think we’ll have fewer gaffes in the future,” he said.
In addition to mass layoffs (now the subject of ongoing lawsuits), Musk also began stalling the implementation of new features such as payment verification and laying off employees monitoring disturbing content on the site. Most recently, he was criticized for the temporary suspension of the accounts of several journalists.
One of the show’s hosts, investor David Friedberg, noted “product iteration” – controversies surrounding the development of a product or feature – and some of the public’s “negative reaction to quick action without communication”.
Elon Musk offered a baseball metaphor, telling Friedberg, “We’re going to swing for the fans here on Twitter, and we’re going to do it quickly, even if it means striking out a little bit more.” Elon Musk also defended a new “views” feature that Twitter unveiled this month to show how many people viewed a particular tweet, which many users criticized for cluttering the interface.
That said it was a much more difficult feature to implement than you might imagine. Elon Musk also acknowledged that Twitter has a significant number of bots in the system, an apparent pet peeve that he cited in trying to dissuade him from buying the platform but said he has taken plenty of steps to reduce them.
Friedberg also extolled Musk’s cultural influence among tech peers, who are fascinated by the vision of a single leadership unfettered by the restraints of a board, a phenomenon that Insider’s Melia Russell recently covered. Kasturi acknowledged that autocratic power can take some risks.
I think in some ways I’m in a fortunate position where I don’t have to answer to — it’s not public, and we don’t have a board, really,” he said. “I can take drastic action. And obviously, if I make mistakes, Twitter will not be successful, and that will be very embarrassing and sad. He once again turned to baseball to lighten the forecast. As long as the batting average is good, the future looks bright.