Elon Musk Twitter Saga Continues

The Six Five team discusses the latest in Musk vs. Twitter.

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Patrick Moorhead: Elon Musk, it’s on, it’s off, it’s on, it’s off. And Elon Musk just announced that he wanted to go in and do it again at the right price. Coincidentally, after four or five days of being grilled on Twitter for some of the texts that were sent back and forth between him and JCal and a couple other folks. So is this thing happening? What the heck’s going on here?

Daniel Newman: Yeah, so first of all, how entertaining is this? You and I tend to provide our color and analysis on things that are technology enterprise focused, sometimes more practical, making companies aware of what the best technology… But this is just fun. Here, first and foremost, is the irony lost on you that all the people that really despise Elon Musk and absolutely did not want him to buy Twitter are now emphatically pushing Elon Musk to buy Twitter? It’s because it’s never been about actually what the world wants. It’s about loving the cancel and the punitive nature of this. Now it’s like, “Oh, well yeah, you probably paid too much and it’s going to be terrible for you and you’re going to have to figure out a way to dispose of $44 billion in cash.” Now everyone wants him, and then all the people of course that want him to own it are hoping he gets out of it.

So that’s the first thing that I noticed is really funny. Here’s the bottom line. You and I are not lawyers. Okay? We’re not investment advisors and we’re not lawyers. So it’s important that we say this, because this is a legal situation here. But I think what happened is, Delaware is incredibly favorable to corporations, and despite the fact that Musk waived diligence but had some level of grounds to stand on around the potential fraud with the spam and the bots and the whistleblower, clearly there was not enough evidence that rose to the surface that Musk felt that he had any real chance of coming out as the victor in this thing. And so I think it kind of came full circle to, “Well, I guess if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it on my terms.” And on his terms now is basically, “I’m going to stop this lawsuit. I’m going to stop paying fortunes for lawyers. We’re going to figure out a way to get this deal closed.”

Of course, I don’t care how many billion someone is worth. Creating 40 plus billion dollars in instant liquidity to write a check for something like this is not easy to do, so there’s a lot of questions on how he’s actually going to pay for it. He doesn’t want to sell 40 billion dollars’ worth of Tesla stock. That’s going to be really, really bad for company if he has to sell that in a block, if he can even sell that in a block. That’s the thing people don’t tend to understand, you can’t just liquidate that kind of volume overnight. But I guess the long story short is, I still kind of like it, Pat. I kind of in the end hope… Twitter’s my favorite social stomping ground, but there is a lot of issues with it. The bots are an issue. Maybe it’s not a big enough issue to cancel the deal, but it’s a big enough issue that I’m hoping he’ll come in here and help make it better.

I’m also hoping for more balance. Like I said, I’ve always considered myself very centrist, very common sense with my arguments, and I feel like we’ve gone too far to both extremes and we’ve lost the ability to have thoughtful interactions online. I’m hoping that the implementation of AI, of moderation, of thoughtful moderation… Because obviously that’s not what he stands for, but thoughtful moderation. So less abuse, more discourse, more interaction. But in the end Pat, I still am not a hundred percent, I’m going to say this now on the record, not a hundred percent that there’s not more games being played here. That it’s not that this was purely just, “I’m going to buy it, 44 billion.” I think that’s what’s happening, but if it changed, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, the spectacle is awesome. I really do love it. And it has chapters, so it’s kind of like a mini series. And it’s a miniseries that… I think of something that invests you and I. You and I have invested a lot into Twitter. Twitter has done a little bit for us too, gave us a platform to toss out a hundred and forty and 280 characters. By the way, I got edit capability yesterday, so I’m super duper happy.

But I am sick of world leaders getting canceled on the platform. We’re not the only ones. Leaders out of Germany, Merkel, she’s concerned about it, that it’s become such an important platform. They are, at revenue per head, a fat company compared to Meta and other social media plays, so I think one of the first thing Elon is probably going to do is come in, literally automate the heck out of the company. You and I talk about automation all the time, and I do believe that Musk and his closest allies have a really good handle on how to do that.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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