In October 2022, the world watched as Elon Musk took the helm of Twitter, ushering in a new era for the social media giant. The first chapter of this gripping tale begins with the swift firing of the senior leadership team, a move that sent shockwaves through the company. For Twitter staff, the days that followed were filled with uncertainty and anxiety, as the new regime brought about rapid changes, layoffs, and a daunting sense of chaos.
Employees recount the whirlwind of events that unfolded in those early days. From Musk’s unexpected arrival at the office, carrying a sink as a clever metaphor, to the buzz of speculation among colleagues about potential perks like getting free Teslas, there was a mixture of intrigue and apprehension. The prevailing sentiment, however, was one of concern for job security and the preservation of Twitter’s unique culture. The fear of an increasingly hostile environment took hold, as employees wondered who among them might be reporting to Musk or falling under his watchful gaze.
Then came the dreaded layoffs—a night of confusion and turmoil. Locked out of their machines, employees were left to wonder about the fate of their colleagues and the future of the company. The abruptness of the cuts left many in shock, scavenging through the wreckage of the aftermath. It was a traumatic experience, filled with a mixture of relief for those who survived and a sense of deep unease about what lay ahead.
Chapter 2 delves into the uncharted territories of working in the Muskverse. For the survivors of the initial layoffs, life at Twitter became a frenzied existence. Musk’s demanding work ethic, his emphasis on cost-cutting, and the ever-looming specter of “demon mode” cast a long shadow over the organization. Some saw this as an opportunity to impress Musk and rise through the ranks, while others learned the delicate dance of navigating the idiosyncrasies of their new CEO.
Employees describe the frenzy of trying to prove their worth and win Musk’s favor. The cutthroat competition among colleagues, the relentless pursuit of unrealistic changes, and the pressure to find new projects became the norm. The relentless pursuit of growth and innovation pushed employees to their limits. Yet, amidst the chaos, there remained a glimmer of hope and a hint of excitement.
As Twitter continues to evolve under Musk’s leadership, time will be the ultimate judge of whether this transformation will be hailed as a case study in business rejuvenation or a cautionary tale of unchecked hubris. For now, those who have experienced this extraordinary journey firsthand offer valuable insights into the circumstances, motivations, and dynamics that shaped Twitter’s tumultuous first year under the Musk regime.