Long Take: Twitter, Elon, Jack, and the promise of decentralized social media
Gm Fintech Architects —
Today we are diving into the following topics:
Summary: Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter for $43 billion at the lulz price of $54.20. Twitter has offered him a board seat, on which Elon rage quit, and now the company is pursuing a poison pill to stop the unwanted acquirer. Why is it important to own a social media network? What principles motivate this behavior? And how can our industry build more trustworthy, decentralized solutions that preserve dignity and the freedoms of expression? We explore several decentralized social approaches in the analysis and point to areas of future promise.
Topics: mergers and acquisitions, social media, Web3, marketing
Tags: Twitter, BitClout, Lens Protocol, Mirror, Square / Block
If you got value from this article, please share it. Long Takes are premium only, and we need your help to spread the word about how awesome they are!
If you live under a rock, then you don’t know that Elon has been in a battle to buy Twitter. What a privilege it must be, to be under that rock! To not know of the nothing burger which is our economy! To be free of having to write this newsletter about Elon-launched-an-electric-car-into-the-sun-Musk and his Twitter use. Whew.
Elon is a natural. Us mere mortals use automation and robots to get scraps of attention on social media. No need. Elon keeps robots in the factory, making spaceships and retail tanks for the nuclear household. For Twitter, Elon tweets from his iPhone, raw, at 9PM on Sunday like an animal.
He tweets every day, 10 times a day, getting 20 million likes per month. Elon’s megaphone makes the New York Times look like an irrelevant tiny hiccup, with its 2 million monthly website visitors. Elon gets 10 times the attention of the entire New York Times by being the world’s second best Twitter edge-lord. You know the first.
Elon sells. Everything he says *sells*. Own your distribution people, learn by example. Here’s the number of Tesla cars sold per quarter.
At 250,000 per quarter, or 60,000 per month, Elon needs to convert just 0.30% of his tweet likes into Tesla sales to be responsible for *all* Tesla distribution. Own your channels people, build your voice.
So when Elon wants to secret-buy Twitter for $43 billion at a the lulz price of $54.20, there shouldn’t be confusion as to why the man wants to do it. He understands the value of attention, and that attention on Twitter is way, way more valuable than attention in the traditional media, or some algorithmic Google/Facebook/Apple digital advertisement format.
Attention on Twitter is underpriced, as Gary V would say.
Putting aside colorful language, what happened is that Elon bought up to 9% of the social network, then was invited to be on the board by the CEO and accepted the board seat — which meant he could own no more than 15% of the company — then rage-quit the board seat on the day when he was supposed to start, then announced a an offer to buy the whole company, then the company started creating poision pills to prevent the take-over, and then people started suing Elon for the whole thing and resulting price fluctuations and timing of the SEC filings. It’s now Elon’s turn.
Is there more to this than just … controlling an attention megaphone and shaping its vectors of change?