In the trial between the American billionaire Elon Musk and Twitter, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware has made public several hundred e-mails and SMS in which he exchanges with big tech pundits. The report reveals some juicy behind-the-scenes details of the takeover. Insightful messages about Silicon Valley culture.
Ellon Musk, the billionaire who says no. But who ends up doing yes. The boss of Tesla and SpaceX has again offered to buy Twitter at the price agreed in April. A decision taken under the pressure of lawsuits launched by the social network, to force it to honor its commitments. A saga with multiple twists that is likely to last for a long time.
There are countless comments, hypotheses and analyzes on the motivations of Elon Musk. Will he buy Twitter for $44 billion? What are his hidden plans? What will be his strategy?
Sincewere made public by the Court of Chancery of Delaware, in the context of the lawsuit which opposes it to Twitter, it is the end of the suspense: there was no strategy.
>> To see: The didactic on the takeover of Twitter
In the report made public, we discover the written exchanges (SMS, e-mail, private messages on Twitter) of the boss of Tesla with big tech pundits like Mathias Döpfner, the CEO of the press group Axel Springer, with Larry Ellison , the founder of Oracle, or the business angel (note: investor) Jason Calacanis, following the announcement of the takeover.
Unimaginative and sycophantic
We imagined them powerful, but we discover a boy’s club with schoolboy humor that dares servile messages, excessive pitches and casual flattery.
The very zealous investor Jason Calacanis writes: “You have my allegiance, you have my sword”. He sends dozens of messages until 3 am with ideas to “change the world”.
For his part Mathias Döpfner, president of the press group Axel Springer (which owns L’Illustré and TV 8 in French-speaking Switzerland), offers the American billionaire to simply run Twitter in his place.
He would like to see it become “the backbone of free speech, an open marketplace for ideas that conform to the spirit of the First Amendment, to move business to a model supported by advertising and subscriptions.”
An example of a text message from the CEO of the Axel Springer press group, Mathias Döpfner, addressed to Elon Musk. [DR – Rapport Cour du Delaware]
Break the picture
We are far from the image we have of Silicon Valley businessmen, whom we imagined to be masters of calibrated transactions.
A world of brilliant geeks who make us the promise of artificial intelligence and the metaverse.
Exchange between Elon Musk and Larry Ellison regarding the takeover of Twitter. [DR – Cour de Delaware]
We have sometimes attributed to them an obscure brilliance, often malevolence. In a message, Musk asks Larry Ellison, boss of Oracle (software provider), if he wants to invest in Twitter. “Yeah, sure, that would be fun,” he said. “A billion…or whatever you recommend.” “2 billion or more if you can,” replies the boss of Tesla. Looks like a poker night with friends. With billion chips on the table.
Silicon Valley style
Being on Elon Musk’s phone therefore means understanding the culture of the San Francisco Bay, where the hub of high-tech industries is located. We understand better the culture of showiness. Also cheating. “Fake it till you make it” – pretend until it works”.
It is on this principle that Elizabeth Holmes, star of Silicon Valley, was condemned for fraud at the beginning of this year. She, who proposed a system supposed to revolutionize the blood test market, which would have allowed up to 200 analyzes from a single drop of blood taken from the fingertip. His Theranos business was valued at $9 billion. But it was a huge scam.
>>To see: The story of Elizabeth Holmes, convicted of large-scale fraud
Cheating and especially this idea of creating a product that does not meet market demand. To then impose it by saying that it is “disruptive” and “innovative”. Two words that trigger a Pavlovian effect among investors in the valley.
When UBER competitor Lyft’s service introduced its new Lyft Shuttle service, which replaced individual cars with minivans following pre-determined routes, one netizen famously tweeted: “It’s a bus. You invented a bus.” Disruptive, that’s it!
The tech industry has changed our lives, with inventions that make it easier for us: smartphones, internet that comes from space, as Elon Musk does with Starlink. It’s disruptive, the evolution is fast and positive too.