As much as I've tried to disconnect from Twitter lately, I'm catching myself going to it far more than I would like. A few days before Christmas, I ended up listening in a Twitter space to a few Silicon Valley engineers talking about scale and complexity in tech ventures and how much engineers were actually required to sustain exponential growth (I know, I know...).
And lo and behold, Elon Musk barged in, asking if he could participate. In the context of his brutal downsizing of the bloated blue bird tech company, he soon hijacked the whole discussion and transformed it into an impromptu Q&A.
I'll pass on the dripping obsequiousness of the other hosts and speakers that really were talking to their very own Santa Clauss wrapped with reindeer and elves. That being said, as much as I came to dislike Elon these last months, I was fascinated too. The man was disarmingly charming and able to go straight to the point of very interesting issues for Twitter 😓
One very interesting insight was his focus on addressing the notion of "unregretted use minutes" on the site. He wants Twitter users to have as meaningful discussions and discoveries as possible (as opposed to spending two hours down a rabbit hole of stupid like we do on TikTok or Youtube).
This led to a discussion on why it was important to him. And of course, it wasn't so much as to make the world a better place or just boost Twitter usefulness. But rather because he was expecting severe headwinds on what he called fuzzy ad spending (Fortune 500 companies spending ad money on Twitter because it seems necessary, not knowing if there's any measurable ROI). Diminishing unregretted use means users are more personally engaged in what they are twitting about and Elon able to sell better-targeted ads, reaching out for non-discretionary spending... Even in the context of a global recession!
To quote him on this:
We need to show a ROI that makes sense. When times are tough, you can’t get away with unclear ROI.
I still don't like him very much, but damn, this is smart.