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2022-11-19 08:54 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 538 references Ignore this thread
The Twitter Paradox
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Oh my Ghod, Musk fired half of Twitter's employees and half of the remainder quit!  It's apocalypse now!

Uh...... Twitter is running.

What does this tell you about so-called "ESG" and "employees" who make six-figure salaries yet don't make the company anything?

Quite a bit, if you have a brain.  And by the way, you don't happen to think this sort of "staffing without return on investment" happens all over the place, right?  Including the 9 out of 10 medical "workers" over the last couple of decades who never see a single patient or provide a single thing to a single person who is ill?


PS: All of that is very inflationary, you know.

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Blanca 486 posts, incept 2020-07-25
2022-11-19 09:11:00

I'd like to know how many of those fired or those who quit were engineers who actually produced the product or kept it running. How many censors, HR DIE hires, managers, and other parasites were let go? I don't think we will ever find out because it's likely the case that less than 20% of the workforce were productive employees.
Tickerguy 190k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2022-11-19 09:12:53

@Blanca - One of Musk's apparent directives to the alleged "coders" is to email him a section of their code, the actual code itself, and explain why (1) they wrote it and (2) why its good code.

Apparently that's not a request either, and since I'm sure Twitter uses git (or something similar) for source control its not like either he or someone who can actually code (I don't believe for a second he's nearly as good as he claims) can dig through said commits by said person and see what they think.

The difference between "kill" and "murder" is that murder, as a subset of kill, is undeserved by the deceased.
Kirklandguy 53 posts, incept 2022-02-14
2022-11-19 09:16:15

Been having this discussion with a lot of my tech/software friends since Musk took over. Everyone's first reaction wasn't "oh the humanity" but, "Wait, Twitter had 7,500 employees? What in the world were they all doing?"
It's not like Twitter has manual labor requirements a la Amazon warehouses.
They don't manufacture any hardware. Last I'd heard, they don't even really have the soft R&D that MSFT/GOOG/etc have for datacenter engineering/electrical efficacies and the like.

Our combined guessing on true "run the business" staffing was maybe 500 true software folks, 100-200 SG&A type folks, and 100-200 entry level/lackey types to handle all the rest.

Rest were likely non-value add. Far cry from 7500.

"And nothing of value was lost."

Dmj625 3k posts, incept 2010-03-01
2022-11-19 09:16:19

Babylon Bee nailed it:

"Sometimes boxcars look like medical facilities, and instead of a tattoo number they get a bandaid and a sucker." - Workerbee
Veeger 875 posts, incept 2013-02-13
2022-11-19 09:18:29

The consequences of venture capital, pre IPO investing, angel investors, et al, is that there is no need nor desire to be judicious in spending. After all, everyone's going to make Billions and Billions of dollarnos, right?

Investors and founders tend to believe their own hype and spend money 'as if' they were a going concern with hundreds of millions in revenue. Fiscal prudence is frowned upon--gotta keep the hype going and 'show' how successful you think you will be. Tech, in general, is a gamble, not a business model, at least initially.

How many billions have all the Names burned and just how much profit are they returning-if any?

That's what I thought...

I remember the Diamond Princess.

Slowly at first, then all of a sudden.
Blanca 486 posts, incept 2020-07-25
2022-11-19 09:22:15

I read that a product is complete not when there is nothing left to add, but rather nothing left to remove. I wish software were like this. Most of the stuff that we use now is bloated, inefficient, and contains numerous useless features.
Sraven 82 posts, incept 2010-07-29
2022-11-19 09:22:55

When they can't get a raise
they blame the evil greedy capitalist who is making obscene profits.

No one ever considers that the reason they can't get a raise
is because all of their superior performance and exceptional productivity
is going to pay the wages of the unproductive masses across the cubicle farm
who can't or won't contribute to the bottom line - the freeloaders. 389 posts, incept 2021-12-17
2022-11-19 09:37:08

Oh my Ghod, Musk fired half of Twitter's employees and half of the remainder quit! It's apocalypse now!
Uh...... Twitter is running.

The last manager I had had a very "if it isn't on fire, there's no problem"-style attitude.

That things haven't ground to a halt yet doesn't mean things are fine. After all, you can start up your car with and drive it w/o coolant... for a while.
Bluto 1k posts, incept 2021-07-10
2022-11-19 09:37:14

This could get real interesting.

For example, the number of employees who do any real work in corporate America is "about half".

The other half are lazy people, diversity hires, or entrenched bureuacracrats who at best do nothing, and at worse actually impede the progress of productive employees. The bigger the company, the higher the percentage.

How long until some companies figure out they can fire the losers, give the remaining productive employees a big bump in salary, and increase earnings-per-share simultaneously?

Of course, some of the woke companies will get it wrong and fire the wrong half. But in the long run, that is still good since it will implode their business model.

"One man with courage makes a majority" Andrew Jackson
Tickerguy 190k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2022-11-19 09:39:19 - Where you're dead wrong on this is the number of said "employees" who in fact have negative value but cannot be fired due to HR interference (and were HR-style hires in the first place.) This was bad in the late 80s/early 90s among corporate America; I have personal experience trying to offload someone in that category and couldn't.

Today? Ha! I'll bet HALF of the employees in most 'tech' organizations have negative value to the firm in that not only do they suck up their salary and benefits they fuck things up and others have to fix it.

The difference between "kill" and "murder" is that murder, as a subset of kill, is undeserved by the deceased.
Tappedout 189 posts, incept 2020-09-21
2022-11-19 09:59:09

My employer mandated the shot for anyone who was not a "no contact" employee. I demanded to become one, and did.

I went form an exemplary employee and team player to selfish prick playing for my team of 1.

I did not quite "retire in place", but what I now do is a far cry from what I did. I do just enough to stay off the radar. I do so little now, that I took a second "work from home job" that I do at the same time. Lessons learned form my experience:

Employers are so desperate for people that the bar for pass/fail is just above your ankles.

They are afraid of any conflict with the employees they have, so they let them do whatever they want.

If they are tracking performance, the metrics don't mean anything/ no one acts on them.

85% (or more) of workers below 35 years old are 1/2 the employee of what they replaced. The other 15% (or less) are basically wolves on a sheep farm. They have a motor, get it, and can do whatever they want. They will inherit the Earth.

The numbers from Twitter don't surprise me one bit. Legions of purple haired he/she/its spending most of their day on woke activism and organizing employee protests because the company no longer has fresh sashimi in the conference room for lunch.

But at least all that relates to publicly traded companies and one can choose to be a part of it, or not, either directly or by stock ownership.

Healthcare? We are all part of that one, just like the D.O.D. And just about as efficient with tax dollars...only so many orders of magnitude larger that it is almost unimaginable.
Oldchemist 35 posts, incept 2022-05-31
2022-11-19 10:00:23

@Tickerguy I've experience this myself. I've fired several employees during my career that were a drag on the business. They definitely contributed negative value as the work load went down after they were gone. It took lots of time and effort to fix their screw ups.
Invisiblesun 600 posts, incept 2020-04-08
2022-11-19 10:02:41

The good news for America corporations is that despite the low unemployment rate there is a lot of employment slack that can be deployed elsewhere. The bad news is a lot of those workers are inherently unproductive and will be wherever they go.

Know a fellow who is very proud of his PhD and loves to spend hours telling you all the ways a project should be done. What he never does is work to make the project successful. We have an abundance of planners and thinkers and the doers are subsidizing them. Maybe not for much longer.
Tickerguy 190k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2022-11-19 10:02:23


When I ran my own place there was none of that shit. Ever.

When I worked for others? Oh there was plenty of it and corporate America is full of that crap and has been for quite a long time. Its MUCH worse now than it used to be. In fact I'll bet that among the non-physical-labor sorts in any firm firing half would almost-certainly improve output rather than reduce it.

The difference between "kill" and "murder" is that murder, as a subset of kill, is undeserved by the deceased.
Mrbobo 61 posts, incept 2021-12-01
2022-11-19 10:39:43

I have been shocked at how some companies of Twatter's ilk continue to grow costs with no restraints (excluding the whole 0 interest rate period). All have a known quantity in terms of scale and the price should only go down like all technology.
At least facebag has contributed some decent stuff by driving OCP, the only thing we got from the bird was Bootstrap.

It's bizarre watching the commentary. People cheering on Musk, another subset acting as if he is a tyrant for firing employees shit talking him in public, and the others believing these self immolations earn currency by sticking it to him.
People were ant fucking the use of the term RPC, Elon having the general issue right but proving he is probably pretty far from the keyboard these days, and people acting if GraphQL is magic. Forget the 1000s of "microservices" that are called on the backend, large amounts of which are calling other "microservices" or worse external API, then marshaled back as 24MB of brotli'd JSON.
The one petulant chick by all appearances (her github) wrote no codez yet was a tech lead whose job was graphql schema. So designing object fragments in a jsonish DSL.

I think George Hotz going in is hilarious.

Winesorbet 762 posts, incept 2010-08-23
2022-11-19 10:40:21

Guarantee that those that remain will be super happy now that the dead weight, assholes and moochers are gone. Folks that love what they do and can actually produce want an achievement rewarded environment!
Indianarube 917 posts, incept 2020-03-22
2022-11-19 10:40:25

I've seen a lot of places where the Pareto Principal is obvious. Twenty percent of the people do eighty percent of the work. An addendum to that would be the company would be more efficient and effective if a certain ten percent of the people were paid to stay home (and not "work").
Njca 249 posts, incept 2018-10-16
2022-11-19 10:44:17

I've never used Twitter, and bailed on Facebook after they editorialized an innocent post that they had read their biased thinking into. I have a LinkedIn account, but can barely tolerate the numerous virtue signaling, and pleased, delighted, honored self-promotional dreck.

I am migrating over to Rumble, but as of yet, I find that it still lacks the content that YouTube has. And I am continually amazed at the proliferation of viewpoint salespeople on YouTube and their need for more and more "subscribers" and more and more monetization. Twitter and YouTube salespeople all seem to be a bunch of mentally imbalanced people shouting for attention, hamsters on the monetization wheel. What happens when you outsource making actual stuff to Chy-Nah and third-world countries.
Tickerguy 190k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2022-11-19 10:43:53

@Mrbobo - The basic premise of "Twitter" is pretty-trivial. The only thing that makes it hard is the scale of it, and abstracting the targeting sufficiently for advertisers.

The speed of targeting on new posts is where the obvious trade-off point is and that's something you can get paid for to improve. Thus you can stratify it for advertisers and let THEM choose.

The quite-amusing part of it is how the wokesters inside Twitter basically drove the crazy train. There's not only no need to do that its counter-productive since there ARE advertisers on all areas of the political spectrum. The bullshit about "reputational risk" is just that; it's 99% bullshit so long as you can target effectively -- assuming you can actually drive consumer behavior with said ads. If you can then nobody cares; if you can't then everyone does and uses it as an excuse to try to find a reason to stick around in the "prayer" that you WILL produce a driving of consumer behavior.

If you can't actually drive consumer behavior with advertising then the entire premise of the company has no value at all in anything approaching an actual marketplace.

The difference between "kill" and "murder" is that murder, as a subset of kill, is undeserved by the deceased.

Mrbobo 61 posts, incept 2021-12-01
2022-11-19 12:04:17

Rumble can't even figure out there is a layout called landscape in their app. Responsive web design has been a thing for a decade and the damn thing is (or should be) a PWA; one of the few apps I was compelled to poohpooh in the app store. YouTube is so vulnerable, yet I have no faith in them being even threatened.
It's hilarious how podcasting and VOD were/are this new media breaking the old model yet from what I can tell all of those seem to deliver ads at a familiar cadence. Sucker, you pay for Spotify or YouTube premium and still get the same volume of native ads in the 'content'.
Abelardlindsey 1k posts, incept 2021-03-26
2022-11-19 12:04:25

I think the whole dynamic was driven by the FED cheap money policies and ever declining interest rates over the past 30 years. Because of inflation and a host of other issues, this is now coming to an end. We will have the corrective recession we've not had since the early 90's.

I am not surprised that 75% of Twitter's payroll can go away and Twitter remain functional. Ditto for all the other tech giants. I cannot for the life of me understand why Twitter required a payroll of 7,500 people and what these people did all day long on a day to day basis.

Corporate America is bloated in general, with fields such as education and health care being even more bloated. Andy and I used to discuss what percentage of the population could die in a real SF-style pandemic and yet things remain functional. I guestimated 50%. Andy guestimated 75%. Of course a lot of retraining would be necessary for the survivers. If 75% of utility linemen are gone, you will need to train up their replacements fairly quickly or the power goes out for a long time.

What's going on at Twitter has implications in the case that someone really does make the virus to penetrate and kill all the vaccinated people. Most "office" people were and remain gung ho for the shots. The operations people I personally know at the various customer sites I do work at are deeply skeptical of the vaccines and refuse to get them. A post "vaccine viral" pandemic society could be one comprised mostly of operations people. This would actually improve economic performance, after a period of adjustment of course.

Its all in the mitochondria
Dingleberry 566 posts, incept 2011-11-06
2022-11-19 12:05:06

There's a reason Twatter's stock price pretty much missed the entire run up of the last decade.

Actually several reasons. But the main one is letting woke trump greed. "Greed" being rational money-making biz decisions.

When you pander to the leftists and millennials, you get doom. Only a matter of when.

Did y'all catch the Musk meetings with his new "employees"? It was bad enough they wrote him a letter telling him what to do, in typical millennial fashion.

They acted like spoiled, entitled brats....and most of them are. Go look up some video clips of a day in the life working in tech (twatter, facefux, LinkedIn, etc.). Basically bragging on how they get paid to do absolutely nothing. And get free food, yoga, gyms, and so forth.

These social media outfits are corporate shells with "workers" playing make-believe. And making $200k a year. Reality is going to be a real bitch. Their parents did not teach them, so life have to do it for them.

Now there is a valuable lesson here to be learned here by the young. Tappedout and Pluto are correct, the hard "old school" workers WILL inherit the earth. They have almost ZERO completion from their peers. At least from the US.

I hire and fire, and see this often. A good worker is worth their weight in gold now. And then some.

To the young who have were not around the last time we had a real recession (1991) will see what happens when cuts have to be made, and how much fat gets to be trimmed, and who is always the first to go. Especially in larger companies.

I have said this before....if you have a job that moves paper from one side of the desk to the other...and then back again.....get your resume' ready. You will be unemployed. Only a matter of time.

The Fed won't stop raising rates until wage pressure comes down. That means unemployment is going up. Way up. And the economic parasites are always the first to go. Just like the 90s.

Flappingeagle 4k posts, incept 2011-04-14
2022-11-19 12:05:49

Here is a link that I posted in its own thread yesterday. It parallels what is being said in this thread about Twitter's employees. When I read it, I was thinking about the old saying of "the tide is going out", or another version "when the tide goes out you get to see who is swimming naked".

Either way, the end of easy money will be the end of the everything bubble. As I said yesterday, perhaps what we've been through is more aptly called the Easy Money Bubble with tech stocks, real estate, healthcare, just being the symptoms of the Easy Money Bubble.


Here are my predictions for everyone to see:
S&P 500 at 320, DOW at 2200, Gold $300/oz, and Corn $2/bu.
No sign that housing, equities, or farmland are in a bubble- Yellen 11/14/13
Trying to leave
Ingar 426 posts, incept 2017-02-14
2022-11-19 12:06:16

A friend worked for an electric appliance manufacturer in the early 1980's. They were some of the first folks to begin the stampede of deindustrializing America, and built a plant in Mexico in one of the border cities. After the factory had been operating for a while, one of the engineers noticed that a particular assembly area manned by five workers were causing a bottleneck downstream because they were producing more assemblies than the next process station could handle. The solution was to fire three of the five Mexicans to slow down the production to a pace that the next station could handle. The remaining two figured that their coworkers had been fired for not working enough and they doubled the output that the five had previously done. I suspect that the guesstimate that half of all workers are doing the lion's share of the work is correct. Let's see how the Twitter situation works out.
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