So that’s what it’s like to work with Musk

He’s just a horrible man, and he’ll fire you for telling the truth.

On Tuesday, Musk gathered a group of engineers and advisors into a room at Twitter’s headquarters looking for answers. Why are his engagement numbers tanking?

This is ridiculous, he said, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the meeting. I have more than 100 million followers, and I’m only getting tens of thousands of impressions.

Uh-oh. He’s got socialmediaitis. The first sign of the problem is when you get obsessed with your numbers, and then you start believing that the number of people who look at you is a measure of your personal worth, and then your head starts to swell and you begin to believe you deserve every bit of attention. Musk is exhibiting ‘influencer’ ego.

One of the company’s two remaining principal engineers offered a possible explanation for Musk’s declining reach: just under a year after the Tesla CEO made his surprise offer to buy Twitter for $44 billion, public interest in his antics is waning.

Employees showed Musk internal data regarding engagement with his account along with a Google Trends chart. Last April, they told him, Musk was at “peak” popularity in search rankings, indicated by a score of “100.” Today, he’s at a score of nine. Engineers had previously investigated whether Musk’s reach had somehow been artificially restricted but found no evidence that the algorithm was biased against him.

Yes. He’s demonstrated beyond any doubt that he’s a hardcore twit, and has become much less interesting. His critics (like me) are realizing that he’s substanceless, and I suspect many of his fans are becoming uncomfortable at seeing their hero’s frequent gaffes. All the news about Musk is bad news nowadays.

Musk did not take the news well.

You’re fired, you’re fired, Musk told the engineer.

And that’s how an incompetent boss drives his company into a crater.


  1. StevoR says


    I just hope that SpaceX and Tesla survive him. Time those companies – and Twitter – had a change of CEO.

    Because despite their dogshit excuse for a human boss I do think those people working and creating and building and designing and achieveing some awesome things there do good work. Pity, Elon gets too much credit for their effort and thought and labour.

  2. says

    StevoR writes:
    10 February 2023 at 8:35 am

    Pity, Elon gets too much credit for their effort and thought and labour.

    This is true. The sad thing is it doesn’t have to be this way. If Musk associated companies are 1/100th as awesome as his hype (probably about right), they are still amazing innovators (even if acknowledging that would mean that Tesla stock would be worth a lot less than what is the case even now).

    Louis Rossman had a YouTube video last month on Why does Musk always lie? and, to sum it up, he asks that question because he feels Musk companies have much to offer and thus Musk doesn’t have to lie (not that it would otherwise be OK to lie). Rossman seems to be a disappointed Musk fan —there would seem to be a lot of those around these days. However, true fanboys will twist themselves in pretzels and gaslight themselves to justify anything Musk says or does rather than accept that every other thing Musk says is a self-serving lie.

  3. whywhywhy says

    I have worked in the private and non-profit sectors for multiple organizations. The closest I ever came to getting fired was for telling the truth when the executives did not want to hear it. It was then that I understood the request: “Don’t shoot the messenger.”

  4. says

    “I have more than 100 million followers, and I’m only getting tens of thousands of impressions.”

    “Well, I guess you’re not very impressive.”
    I wouldn’t last ten minutes working for that guy.

  5. raven says

    Twitter these days is overrun with child porn, Russian trolls, and antivaxxers.

    It’s no surprise.
    Elon Musk himself is a vaccinated antivaxxer.
    Elon Musk is a supporter of the attempted Russian genocide of Ukraine and Ukrainians.

    …and has become much less interesting.

    That is true.
    But it is much worse than that.
    I saw Musk and ended up disliking him as much as I dislike anyone for good reasons. And, he keeps finding new ways to be a horrible person. This is a core personality trait.

    I will never buy anything even remotely associated with Elon Musk.

    Musk did it all by himself.
    A few months ago, I was neutral on him and not at all paying attention. Then he put himself in the headlines by buying Twitter for too much money and proceeded to wreck it, along with his reputation.

  6. raven says

    Here is another reason to really, seriously dislike Musk.
    Starlink says it limited Ukrainian military use, particularly for drones.
    He has gone pro-Russian genocide, possibly because he just mindlessly adopts any far right wingnut positions because they are his fan base.

    Apparently, SpaceX/Starlink don’t want Ukraine to do what?
    Use Starlink to defend themselves against a Russian invasion.
    It’s absurd and evil.
    By claiming not to choose sides, they are in fact, helping the Russians.
    The number of reasons I dislike Elon Musk is going up rapidly.

    We already knew that Starlink was limiting Starlink use in Ukraine.
    Now we know why.
    As the Tweet states, apparently defending your country from Russian genocide is offense.

    Much of SpaceX and Starlink support comes from the US government and the US military. You don’t think those 4,000 satellites are launched from Musk’s backyard.
    They use government launch facilities at Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg.
    Musk has no problem biting the hands that feed, his potential customer base and critical financial backers such as the US government included.

    Yaroslav Trofimov @yarotrof

    Starlink says it limited Ukrainian military use, particularly for drones, because the system was never meant to be used for “offensive purposes.” Guess defending one’s country is now offensive.
    SpaceX curbed Ukraine’s use of Starlink internet for drones -company president
    SpaceX has taken steps to prevent Ukraine’s military from using the company’s Starlink satellite internet service for controlling drones in the region during the country’s war with Russia, SpaceX’s…
    11:08 PM · Feb 8, 2023

  7. bigzed says

    The part that really gets me is “…two remaining principal engineers.”
    I’ve worked at a number of tech companies on engineering teams, I’ve been a “principal engineer” at more than one place, and typically you’d have 2-3 principal engineers per director-level division on the org chart. The fact that Twitter’s only got two left TOTAL in any context is somewhat astounding to me.

  8. wzrd1 says

    @raven, yes, Musk should be arrested and charged with a direct and willful violation of the Mann Act. Interference with US diplomatic efforts for his Ukrainian interference antics.
    Instead, we’ll likely kowtow to his wealth, as we’ve returned back to the Robber Baron era.

    But, Musk is experiencing and failing to learn the ancient lesson of Tigranes II. Killing the messenger results only in one hearing the news one wishes to hear – rather than the reality that is actually going on. Tigranes II ended up surrendering to Rome because of that.
    Resulting in, “We won, Sir. Ignore that big fucking legion and their spears poking you”.
    Well, that after a city guard throwing open the city gates of Tigranocerta to the attacking Romans in disgust and he barely escaped with a very small guard contingent.

    Musk likely considers himself another Edison. In many ways, he is, save that he’s originated very little by his own hand. He, like Edison, hired tons of talent and used production line research and development to produce new products and technologies, then took credit for the works of his engineers.
    Both were infamous for ego, Edison failing at rejecting alternating current (interestingly, I saw a headline yesterday crowing about “Germany goes back to direct current”, showing a still remaining fanboi crowd for that idiotic debate), Tesla detonated a nuke on himself with Twitter.
    The idiot takes credit for the good works of their employees, the wise simply credits the ingenuity of their employees and takes credit for only being smart enough to hire those smarter than themselves in those fields the institution’s successes attracted the accolades for. Makes for boring headlines though.

  9. anat says

    bigzed @12

    The fact that Twitter’s only got two left TOTAL in any context is somewhat astounding to me.

    Well, now only one remaining.

  10. says

    Twitter these days is overrun with child porn, Russian trolls, and antivaxxers.

    All of whom are more interesting than Musk. Could that be one reason his own numbers are tanking?

    Also, while we all should be focused on Musk’s abuse of Starlink, we should also remember Theralink Neuralink, which, IIRC, was asking for permission to test brain-interface chips in human subjects — even after the inhumane shabbiness of their animal trials has been exposed.

  11. gijoel says

    And thus we come to the real reason Musk bought Twitter. $44B spent to prop up his ego. I hope it was worth it Elon.

  12. chrislawson says

    A question for commenters. Do you think Musk was always a narcissist whose personality flaws have been unveiled by time and increased media interest, or do you think that as he accumulated money, fame and political power, the more corrosive his billionaire-influencer-genius self-delusion became?

  13. John Morales says

    chrislawson, fallacy of the excluded middle.

    For example, it is not impossible that Musk was always a narcissist whose personality flaws have been unveiled by time and increased media interest because his accumulated money, fame and political power has resulted in him lessening the manifestation of his narcissism.

    Also, your question boils down to “was he always like this”, to which nobody here could give you an informed answer. Can’t see how that matters.

  14. StevoR says

    @17. gijoel : Meme seen on facebook a while ago & saved to my phone says this :

    For your consideration. The world’s richest man has made the largest purchase of his life at 44 billion dollars. The product? A machine that shows him the thoughts of millions of people who all have one thing in common, they hate him. Tonight ..On the Twilight Zone.
    – nova @faygatsiri

    Ellipsises original, any typos probly mine.