Twitter isn’t as big as you believe. Compared to other social networking sites like Meta, previously Facebook, which has approximately ten times as many employees, the firm employs around 7,000 employees. It implies that a massive jolt like the one we’ve witnessed today — Elon Musk’s $44 billion bid earning him control of Twitter — has a disproportionate influence on the firm. It also implies that each Twitter employee has a disproportionately large effect on the company’s operations. The key decision then becomes clear: should they stay or should they abandon the flock?
I’m not going to presume that every Twitter employee is already running for the door. Some individuals are presumably delighted about Elon Musk, or what his leadership would mean for their stock. Others may disagree, but must remain for financial reasons — or because they have a great mentor who could launch the next unicorn. There’s also the possibility that some people may just be ambivalent about having a part-time boss again so soon after Jack Dorsey’s tenure. Because of the conflicting emotions, making general statements about a varied group of people is pointless.
However, it may be useful to note where we are in the globe right now. Twitter’s leadership is changing at a crucial time for the internet industry. Many people have had to renegotiate their connection with work as a result of the Great Recession and the advent of dispersed labor. We’ve seen an individual’s power become a business model, and we’ve also seen that model evolve to a more realistic level. We’ve also seen individuals demand more from their companies, hold leaders to higher standards, and speak up when things become rough (I have a hunch Twitter employees don’t have trouble stating what’s on their minds on this last point).
We’ve also seen investors with large sums of money set up programs solely to get operators to leave their tech positions and establish businesses with no ties attached. The proliferation of accelerators, as well as the evolving definition of what it means to be a founder, has the potential to bring in a new generation of leaders. As I’ve previously mentioned, when it comes to encouraging someone to start, activation energy is frequently more crucial than a check. The last time there was a Twitter mafia debate was when the social media platform went public. Then, early workers had a financial incentive to go into business for themselves, adding to the already 90 firms founded by former Twitter employees.
Almost a decade later, the evidence is harder to come by, and the opinion is certainly more divided — yet the possibility for an entrepreneurial exodus remains the same. The TLDR? We’re all becoming a bit more selfish than we’ve ever been, and Twitter employees, like any other employee going through a difficult moment at work, may take advantage of the change to do something about it. Because of a number of tailwinds at the present, that something might turn out to be a new form of flock. Bring it on, entrepreneurs.