Economics/Class Relations

Musk is right about one thing

Spriha Srivastava, December 13, 2022


Hello, Insiders. This is Spriha Srivastava, filling in again for Nicholas Carlson.


Do you ever look back at the year and think about the new things you added to your list of expenses? Was it a new subscription service?


For me, it was a Kindle. No, I didn’t give up on paperbacks, but I realized it was easier (and lighter) to pack a Kindle when going on a holiday as opposed to heavy paperbacks.


But for many Americans, it wasn’t a Kindle or a streaming service. It was cream cheese from Walmart.


According to surveys, cream cheese sold under the retailer’s Great Value brand was the eighth fastest-growing brand in 2022 — and you can check out which other products saw consumer interest grow.


Why cream cheese? Because the rising cost of living is pushing consumers to buy more store-brand groceries. What was your new expense this year? Let me know:

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The big story
Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty; Marianne Ayala/Insider
Elon Musk seriously bungled his takeover of Twitter. But he did get one thing right: managers need to be in the trenches with their employees.


Musk’s questionable managerial practices have shown him to be a capricious, unreliable leader of employees. But amid all the ultimatums and Stone Age mandates he’s issued as CEO of Twitter, he has made one valuable statement about managing.


In an email, Musk told employees that “all managers are expected to write a meaningful amount of software themselves” and declared that bosses should be able to actively participate in the work of their subordinates. And as Ed Zitron writes, that’s actually a good point.


A person who manages coders should be able to contribute to and review that code — just as a person who manages cooks should be able to prepare the food alongside them. This sort of practical knowledge engenders goodwill between employee and manager, creating a culture of mutual respect that can increase communication and facilitate better performance.


That’s why, despite the irony of the messenger (Musk is perhaps the most visible example of an out-of-touch boss), there’s a gem of helpful insight to be mined here.


Read the full story here.

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Watch this
Audiences booed Elon Musk at a comedy show after Dave Chappelle introduced him onstage as “the richest man in the world.” Watch the moment here, and read our analysis on why this shows the Twitter mess has eroded his support among some of his biggest fans.
Today’s team
This edition was curated by Spriha Srivastava, and edited by Hallam Bullock, Lisa Ryan, Shona Ghosh, and Nathan Rennolds. Get in touch:
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