Elon Musk is a great entrepreneur. He had proven his calibre, showing he cared about breaking the barrier and bringing new things to the market. And he did so passionately, intelligently and with grace.
Yes, there were some questionable things along the way, but either it was a rumour. Or something which doesn't seem like a big deal.
And then twitter happened.
Getting forced to buy Twitter has made Musk go off the rails. Or he was like this from the beginning, and Twitter exposed his dark side.
Or perhaps all successful people do similar behaviour, but Musk is on fire because he loves showcasing his day-to-day workings to the world. And thus, we have been made aware of everything wrong with Musk.
Growth At All Costs
If you are given a task to grow a company, the best way is to get slaves and let them do the work. You will save a ton of money, and the profits will overflow. But do you want to make people slaves?
And here, I am not talking about the legal definition of a slave. If, as a company, you try to give only the minimum wage and pressure your employees to do long hours with little break, that is also slavery. This type of slavery is legal, but it's bad when viewed from a moral compass.
Or you can fire your employees every three years and hire fresh graduates at low wages so that you don't have to give performance bonuses, promotions and incremenets to your employees is also one such strategy. Again, it's legal but not something you should do as an employer.
Elon Musk is doing exactly that - he is using the law as a weapon and making sure to cut all the employee's benefits, making them resign or firing them such that he has to bear the minimum. Sure, you have grown as a company but at what cost?
This isn't to say that Twitter is all saints. There is, of course, mismanagement in Twitter's structure. When you aren't profiting as a company, you should grow slowly, but Twitter has grown rapidly - perhaps because it didn't intend to become a profitable company.
The management has changed hands many times, and it seems all they care about is their share of profits, and then they can go home.
But a company grows when its focus is on profit from day one. When revenue is down, you don't go and hire new people, expand and focus on hoping that someone will buy you out.
Sure, many people needn't be hired in the first place. But Twitter should have realised their mistake and slowly cut down on their offices, employees and infrastructure to minimise expenses.
What Elon did was partially wrong. But how he did, it was wrong. He should have been human about the approach, and things would have been fine. But he had to make a joke about everything.
When you are firing people, it's not a laughing matter.
He resorted to memes, funny one-liners and making a scene about everything. Instead of taking time to understand where and to whom need to go, he abruptly fired many people. And then called back a few and then fired again. He put a lot of pressure on those who remained. And he gave some bullshit reason for all of this.
No one should be working for even 8 hours every day. That's some nonsensical thing as an employee.
Maybe the people you fired were a relief to people who work. Because humans get sick, take holidays and relax. There needs to be someone to do the backup work. But no, Elon wants everyone to devote their entire life to Twitter because he has a God complex.
You bought the company; you are too invested. Employees can't and don't have to be. That's the whole premise of an employer and an employee. Elon wants to pay peanuts to employees but wants them to work harder, smarter and quicker than him.
The Big Purpose
The whole point of everything is to serve humans. It's not about making humans obsolete. It's about making an amazing space for humans. If you end up with AI making a billion dollars with zero employees, good for you.
But what did it achieve for humans as a culture, society or group?
Humans, when growing together, grow to another level. And when it's concentrated towards one person, often the others die in poverty, slavery and misery.
You have to choose what outcomes you want.
Firing people because it's needed for the company's health is alright. Firing people because they were hired to relieve others when they go on holiday is not okay. It's not about working 18 hours every day. It's about working amazingly, taking rest, caring for the family, going on holiday and living like a human.
Which Hero Do You Want?
Elon Musk was a hero, which you admired when he built Paypal, Tesla and SpaceX because most of his workings were behind the doors.
But now, you know what he did to achieve success. Suddenly, it seems criminal.
Do you want this version of Elon Musk as a hero you admire?