Musk's Twitter Tantrums

About a week ago, Twitter's 3rd party clients like Twitterrific stopped working. They had no idea what was going on. Even worse, they didn't have anyone to talk to at Twitter because the comms team had been gutted soon after Musk took over. After a week, here's the official word:

Third party clients have contributed a lot to the Twitter experience (retweets, pull down to refresh, heck even the blue bird logo). And the users accessing Twitter from these clients form a minuscule percentage of an already shrinking user base. It's very on brand for Musk to revoke the API credentials of solid partners, lollygag for a week and then issue a half-ass ignominious statement from the TwitterDev@ account. I'm sad for the indie developers who are affected by this. Hope they land on their feet elsewhere.

In the last two months, whatever little regard I had for Musk has been burned. He is smart and he has built impressive things. But since his takeover, his range of actions remind me of a middle-school bully and a toddler at the same time, if that even makes sense. Firing employees indiscriminately without decent severance, halting rent payments on their leased buildings, and releasing broken features in the name of shipping fast... all marks of a toddler lashing out at their parent for being forced to do what he didn't want to do, which in this case is buying Twitter after he tried to pedal back.

With such tantrums, Musk is waving a bright red flag to all smart engineers who might have _some_ interest in working for one of his companies. He's already antagonized mainstream media by slavishly aligning with extreme right-wing nuts. Many active users of the service have closed their accounts and/or moved to Mastodon. At this rate, we'll have a skeleton crew running the infrastructure and a significantly shrunk user base that don't want to go elsewhere because they love it. My wish and hope, is that in about six months when Musk is tired of servicing his Twitter debt ($1B/month) and his personal wealth greatly diminished (which is tied to Tesla market cap, which is still overvalued) and his other successful bets have suffered a big churn, he'll sell Twitter at a steep discount to a PE and they'll take start managing it like professionals.

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