Fascinating book excerpt from inside Twitter. When Elon Musk first took control.

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How Elon Musk’s Twitter Ultimatum Brought Employees to Their Breaking Point: “People Were Emotionally a Wreck”
The billionaire CEO subjected staffers to brutal loyalty and competence tests immediately after taking the helm, as Zoë Schiffer writes in an excerpt of her forthcoming book, Extremely Hardcore. “With Elon,” one engineer recounted, “every day could be your last.”

The targeted firings of talented engineers tanked employee morale. Randall Lin worried the dour mood would impact people’s work. He decided to fly to New York with his long-distance girlfriend, Alex, an OnlyFans star who lived in the Midwest, to check on two of his colleagues in person. “People were emotionally a wreck,” Lin said. He paid for the flight and hotel himself.

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Lin spent the week ping-ponging between late-night dinners with Alex and coworking marathons with his colleagues, where he did his best to give them a sense of direction and mission. Sure, the CEO was unpredictable, and yes, the recent firings had sucked. But those who remained had a chance to make history, building a super app alongside the CEO of SpaceX. It was worth it.

Then, on November 16, Lin woke up to see a new email from Musk with the subject line: “A Fork in the Road.”

Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore. This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.

Twitter will also be much more engineering-driven. Design and product management will still be very important and report to me, but those writing great code will constitute the majority of our team and have the greatest sway. At its heart, Twitter is a software and servers company, so I think this makes sense.

If you are sure that you want to be part of the new Twitter, please click yes on the link below.

Anyone who has not done so by 5 pm ET tomorrow (Thursday) will receive three months of severance.

Whatever decision you make, thank you for your efforts to make Twitter successful.

Elon

 

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