One of the biggest risks of wealth/power is no longer having anyone around you who can push back, give candid feedback, suggest alternatives, or just simply let you know you're wrong.

A shrinking worldview combined with intellectual isolation leads to out-of-touch shit. 🧵
Am I commenting on current events? Yes.

Is this also autobiographical? Yes.

It takes extra effort to surround yourself with people who feel empowered to say 'no' when they're generally incentivized to just say 'yes' and hope it ingratiates them or gets them something.
I've known Elon a long time. I've admired his thinking & ambition. His ability to note and question the assumptions implicit in the rest of our thinking is a rare type of genius I've only seen in the greatest minds. His success to date is not an accident. Tesla is world positive.
I've had fun nights out with him (did you know he is a skilled close-up magician?), and I've learned a lot from him. He's given me solid advice multiple times, and he has personally accelerated my and Lowercarbon's ambitions to unfuck the planet.
But I've recently watched those around him become increasingly sycophantic and opportunistic. Simply put, agreeing with him is easier, and there is more financial & social upside. Personally, I would love to sell Tesla the battery lithium they need, so even I have bit my tongue.
I'm a founding member of the Twitter Can Be So Much Better Party, and strong leadership from first principles could deliver results that wouldn't ever make it through a committee. But many of Twitter's core issues just can't be reduced to black and white.

They are gray AF.
Batteries and motors and rockets and tunnels and solar panels have definitively right and wrong answers. Success criteria can be objectively measured. Elon's mind is maybe the greatest in history for pushing those ideas and their execution forward.

But this shit ain't that.
Policy requires sharp people, w/ diverse lenses on the world, pushing back and forth, challenging each other. You want balanced speech and truth? That's how it's forged. Frankly, I wouldn't nominate myself for that room as I'm too biased against fake Christian patriot shitheads.
But Twitter isn't going to get better for users, the advertisers aren't coming back at scale, and his huge investment just isn't going to pay off unless there is genuine dialogue leading to thoughtful progress and stability.
"Move fast and break things" - Never been a fan, but at least that guy keeps some smart people around and sometimes listens. I hate most of their decisions, but they are free to suggest to Zuck that he's full of shit.

But, "Move fast and alone," and it's all guaranteed to break.
That's the thing though. This guy is alone. He has plenty of "pals" and is the life of parties and dinners. But the hard truth is that he is straight-up alone right now and winging this. If you're trying to make sense of anything, that context might help.
That's what got Travis in the end too. Travis is objectively brilliant, and a good debater. But as he became powerful only the suck-ups remained. He had no real friends left. Travis had a board seat to fill, and there was almost no one he could put in it because he was alone.
No one on Earth is good enough to get it all done on their own. It's easy to think we are, especially when shit goes right. The path of least resistance is to attribute success to our talent/skills/etc. But, if we're lucky enough to be honest with ourselves, we see it's not true.
We all need people around us to push back. To say no. To call bullshit. Again, I definitely didn't get this right early in my career. But I thankfully learned this lesson, and now @Lowercarbon has a culture that rewards even the most junior person in the room for countering me/us
All told, I love Twitter too much to give up on it. I've been on this hellsite for 16 years(!), and I'm not moving. Well, unless this thread gets my account suspended. Then I'll embrace full #Boomerlyfe and go back to email FWD:fwd:RE:FWD:fwd
To those questioning if I'm going to Mastodon:

That's like asking if I'm going to quit a pack-a-day Camels habit to start rolling my own clove cigarettes.

Like the rest of you, I just need to stop smoking.
But until I can kick this addiction, I am rooting for Twitter. Every day it's looking more like an uphill battle. So much product and policy talent was pushed out the company door, and, my god, you just can't fire that many engs, ops, and SREs and expect the site to stay healthy.
Yet, I really want this thing to work. The only way I see that happening is if anyone around Elon can speak some truth to power and complement his bold and ambitious instincts with desperately needed nuance. Humans aren't math and physics problems.

We are fucking messy.
I'm turning comments off b/c I'm a snowflake who's about to piss off everyone. The crypto-incel disciples will yell at me for not licking boots & the haters will read this as me blindly rooting for every move he makes. No doubt Elon himself will be taking me off his nice list.
Been on Twitter long enough to know that I probably should've kept this thread in drafts.

But I can't sit by and watch a guy I've looked up to for over a decade fumble this opportunity, stoke more insanity, and likely hurt a bunch of folks in the process.
On a more important note, not sure if you heard, but the climate is either megafucked or gigafucked. Still waiting for the latest numbers.

Either way, we need all hands on deck. So, go here and find your next thing, make a bunch of money, and feel proud:

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