How Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and Parag Agrawal cratered the Twitter deal, in texts

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Elon Musk’s deposition for the Twitter v. Musk swimsuit might have been rescheduled for next week, however the public bought some extra inside dust about his plans for Twitter, because of the discharge of two slideshow presentations and a slew of Musk texts.

The texts present Musk and quite a lot of contacts — together with former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, entrepreneur Jason Calacanis, and podcaster Joe Rogan — speaking about every little thing from the blockchain to placing Oprah on Twitter’s board. (That half is likely to be a joke, however with Musk, it’s tough to inform.) However above all, they’re a chronicle of the deal’s gradual implosion.

Twitter “by no means ought to have been an organization.”

The texts are mild studying, and you may check them out here for those who’re so inclined. They’re largely divided into two sections: a giddy feeding frenzy round Musk buying Twitter and a protracted venting session because the acquisition went south.

The primary key part begins a few month earlier than Musk’s $44 billion supply to purchase Twitter. In March of 2022, Jack Dorsey reaches out about one of Musk’s tweets, a part of a thread complaining a few lack of free speech on Twitter. “A brand new platform is required. It might probably’t be an organization. That is why I left,” Dorsey says. He tries to promote Musk on a brand new decentralized communication protocol, saying Twitter “by no means ought to have been an organization.” Musk roughly agrees, however with a caveat: “I feel it’s value each making an attempt to maneuver Twitter in a greater path and doing one thing new.”

Dorsey expresses doubts about this, however when Musk buys a considerable share in Twitter, Dorsey is extraordinarily on board. “I’ve needed it for a very long time. Obtained very emotional once I discovered it was lastly potential,” he texts after an preliminary announcement that Musk is getting appointed. He’s equally smitten by Musk assembly present CEO Parag Agrawal: “Parag is an unbelievable engineer.”

Threaded via numerous textual content message subplots (Kimbal Musk actually needs to speak with Elon about Web3), one theme stands out: as Twitter’s outdated CEO pushed to carry Twitter and Musk collectively, Musk’s persistence with its new one frayed virtually instantly. Musk and Dorsey are on the identical high-minded wavelength. In the meantime, Agrawal comes off as, effectively, a present govt and former nuts-and-bolts engineer at a really massive firm that’s about to take a giant danger.

“Twitter CEO is my dream job.”

This isn’t instantly a problem. “I simply need Twitter to be most superb,” Musk gushes in an early dialog after his funding, touting his experience in “heavy obligation software program.” Agrawal tries gamely to do some coder-to-coder bonding: “I was CTO and have been in our codebase for a very long time … deal with me like an engineer as a substitute of CEO and let’s see the place we get to.”

However two days later, Agrawal makes a pivotal mistake: he asks Musk to cease tweeting. “You might be free to tweet ‘is Twitter dying?’ or anything about Twitter — however it’s my duty to let you know that it’s not serving to me make Twitter higher within the present context,” Agrawal texts on April ninth. “I’d like the corporate to get to a spot the place we’re extra resilient and don’t get distracted, bu we aren’t there proper now.” Two minutes later, Musk declares becoming a member of the board “a waste of time” and says he’ll supply to take Twitter personal. (Over within the Web3 B-plot, he’s concurrently texting Kimbal about the best way to begin a paid blockchain social community.)

“Fixing Twitter by chatting with Parag gained’t work,” he tells Twitter board chair Bret Taylor tersely. “Drastic motion is required.”

(In the meantime, in an ongoing C-plot that’s by far essentially the most entertaining a part of these textual content messages, Jason Calacanis affords Musk a relentless stream of thirsty recommendations that embrace elevating his supply value, shifting Twitter’s headquarters to the Gigafactory in Texas, and bringing YouTube creator MrBeast onto Twitter to win over Zoomers and Millennials. Additionally, Calacanis is ride-or-die for Musk, will bounce on a grenade for him, and tells Musk, amongst different issues, “You may have my sword,” and “Twitter CEO is my dream job.”)

 “Parag is simply shifting far too slowly and making an attempt to please individuals who won’t be completely satisfied it doesn’t matter what he does.”

Dorsey is totally on board with the acquisition — “I gained’t let this fail and can do no matter it takes. It’s too important to humanity,” he pledges. (Again within the B-plot once more, Musk is texting Boring Firm CEO Steve Davis about “a blockchain-based model of Twitter” the place customers pay in Dogecoin, then fortunately concluding that “blockchain Twitter isn’t potential.”) And Dorsey tries to clean issues over with Musk and Agrawal: “He’s actually nice at getting issues performed when tasked with particular path,” Dorsey tells him.

Musk will not be into this. “Parag is simply shifting far too slowly and making an attempt to please individuals who won’t be completely satisfied it doesn’t matter what he does,” he says. Dorsey diplomatically takes the glass as half-full, saying that “a minimum of it turned clear that you could’t work collectively.” However it’s the final message we get from him — whereas Musk texts Rupert Murdoch heirs Kathryn and James to say he’s too busy together with his crypto startup to rejoin Twitter.

And this all occurs whereas Musk remains to be largely excited about shopping for Twitter. (This part ends completely with enterprise capitalist Steve Jurvetson suggesting that Musk rent his son to run operations — once more, a feeding frenzy.) Soar into Could, and he’s complaining to banker Michael Grimes about Twitter having “requested no good questions and had no good feedback” at a gathering, instantly earlier than asking to gradual the deal down in case of World War III and guessing that fewer than half of Twitter’s customers are actual.

There was loads of apparent public friction between Musk and Agrawal, and Dorsey’s help for the acquisition was generally known as effectively. However primarily based on the string of textual content messages right here, it’s placing simply how rapidly issues with Agrawal go south and the way little Dorsey manages to promote Musk on any of this being a good suggestion — one thing Musk appears to start out doubting almost the minute he strikes his cut price.

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