Economics/Class Relations

More Musk chaos

Nicholas Carlson, December 19, 2022


Hello, Insiders. Given how terrible social media can be for teenagers’ mental health, my plan for when my kids reach that age is to tell them, “Sorry, no smartphones until you’re 18.” The good news: There’s a bunch of teens in NYC who are voluntarily living life without smartphones. They even formed a group called the “Luddite Club” — they meet up at a public library to read, draw, and talk. One of them told us, “It’s an incredibly powerful thing, appreciating the moment.” I’m hoping my kids will agree!


But I’m eager to hear from you about this topic. What do you think? If you’re a parent, have you tried not giving your teens smartphones? And if so, how’d it go? Did they file for emancipation — or did they appreciate it? Let me know:

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The latest
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The big story
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images; Twitter; Rachel Mendelson/Insider
At Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk was a jerk with a grand vision. At Twitter, he’s just been a jerk.


Musk has a tried-and-true playbook for doing business, writes Insider senior correspondent Linette Lopez. And while he’s used it for years to build companies from Tesla to SpaceX, it’s not a model that can turn Twitter into a profitable company — and it may even take the social-media company down in flames.


At the core of every Musk company is a big, world-changing promise that can be deployed to win over and raise money from a fervent group of true believers who are kept on the hook with flashy, half-baked product ideas. Plus, there’s often billions of dollars in government funding, and a fleet of overworked, undervalued employees.


These employee-punishing, product-pushing tactics may have worked at previous stops in his career, Lopez writes.


But without a world-changing vision for Twitter to distract from his sophomoric product ideas and erratic management, his takeover of the social-media company is in deep trouble.


Twitter’s users have caught onto the chaos.


Last night, Musk asked Twitter users if he should step down as CEO, saying he’d abide by the results. The poll closed this morning. Just over 17.5 million people participated, and 57.5% — or around 10 million — voted in favor of him giving up his role.

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Today’s team
This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson, and edited by Hallam Bullock, Lisa Ryan, Nathan Rennolds, Jordan Parker Erb, and Shona Ghosh. Get in touch:
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