Elon to Twitter Employees: Go Hardcore or Quit

Ars Technica reports Elon Musk sent an email to all Twitter employees that they need to go “hardcore” and work long hours or they should quit (and get three months’ severance). I feel for Twitter employees. They didn’t grossly overpay for the company, but now they are expected to put in long hours to attempt its reinvention. This is a monumental task. Right now Facebook, with its 2 billion active users, is struggling. Twitter has something more like 200 million active users. One-tenth the reach. Whether Twitter is successful (and Elon makes more billions) or unsuccessful (and everyone gets laid off), those who sign on to Elon’s hardcore employment still have to deal with wreckage that does to the rest of their lives and relationships.

Steve Jobs did a similar thing at Apple in 1997 when he came back … kind of. I’ve heard of a meeting where he told people they need to get on board or leave, but I’ve never seen any reporting that it included the condition that they screw up their lives. A video from this period on YouTube shows Steve’s plan to turn the company around. Still, that meeting was more to sell his employees on his vision than giving them any ultimatum.

Regardless, if I worked for Twitter, I would take the severance and run.

The Steve Jobs Archive

Last month Bob Iger (the former Disney CEO) wrote a heartfelt tweet about Steve Jobs and The Steve Jobs Archive.

There isn’t much to the Steve Jobs Archive at this point, but what is there is inspiring.

It is too easy to deify people like Steve Jobs. In doing so, you are doing them a disservice. Steve, like the rest of us, was a flawed human and yet did some amazing things. Indeed, his flaws are much more well-cataloged and known because of his success than they are for the rest of us.

The public narrative of Steve Jobs is that he was a self-obsessed jerk. And yet … I’ve got several friends that worked with him at Apple, and they only talk about him with love and respect. 

No matter what you think, there is some practical wisdom at the Steve Jobs Archive. I’m curious to see what they do next. Bob Iger implied there is more to come.