May 17, 2022
Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images)
Good morning! It’s beginning to look a lot like Elon Musk doesn’t actually want to buy Twitter. There are a whole bunch of ways this deal could shake out, and you can bet Musk will tweet his way through it. I’m Owen Thomas, and my copy of “GuRu” by RuPaul is the only thing vaguely keeping me together these days.
Elon Musk is too busy owning Twitter to actually buy it. The performative grift of his offer is becoming more evident every day.
Musk is incensed about bots, a peeve some attribute to the tendency of crypto spammers to attach themselves to his tweets. This isn’t as big an issue for the vast majority of Twitter’s users, who don’t have 93.6 million followers and hence aren’t as attractive a target. But when you’re a raging narcissist, your problems are what matter.
Is Musk being a jerk as a negotiating tactic? At the Miami conference, Musk said it was “not out of the question” that he’d try to lower the price of the deal.
There are two important words in the Twitter deal that Musk might regret. They are “specific performance.”
Twitter still wants this deal to go through, but it's hard to see any of this ending well. Maybe Musk is acting out because he’s hoping to make the banks financing the debt component of the deal nervous. If they back out, he can safely drop his Twitter bid and blame the cowards on Wall Street. And the spam bots! Really, though, it’s surprising Musk isn’t more sympathetic to the spammers. All they really want is our attention. He of all people should understand that.
— Owen Thomas (email | twitter | dog’s instagram)
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LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman told Vanderbilt grads to get friends who will say the truth:
Flink is buying Cajoo, a France-based instant delivery startup, for close to €100 million, according to TechCrunch.
Rodney Clark is leaving Microsoft. He’s been with the company for over two decades and last served as its channel chief.
Angela Chadwick joined Alphabet’s Wing as general counsel. Chadwick was an associate general counsel at Tesla.
Dawn Woodard joined LinkedIn as a distinguished engineer. Woodard previously led machine learning and data science at Uber.
Liz Brittain joined Foursquare as CFO. She most recently held the same role at HackerOne.
Bakul Patel joined Google as its new senior director of global digital health strategy. Patel is the former head of digital health at the FDA.Joyce Kim is Twilio’s new CMO. Kim previously worked on marketing at Genesys and Arm.
Tech companies need to tackle online radicalization solo. It's unlikely that Congress will step in anytime soon, and smaller platforms need to catch up with the steps larger tech companies have taken to address online hate.
Color of Change wants a racial equity audit of Twitch after the shooting in Buffalo, New York, this weekend. Twitch said it’s working with a different third-party organization on another audit.
Microsoft is setting aside more money for employee pay. The company plans to double its global budget for merit-based salary raises and bump its annual stock ranges.
Meanwhile, Coinbase's hiring plans changed. The company wanted to triple its headcount this year, but it now plans to slow down hiring.
Donald Trump is required to prioritize Truth Social, according to an SEC filing. He has to post there first before another platform, and he can’t publish the same content on a rival site for six hours.
Here’s a photo of a delivery robot that got lost in the woods. Our colleague thinks the robot would make for a great Pixar movie.
CNBC's Disruptor 50 is out today. Flexport, Canva, Stripe and Blockchain.com are among the top 10 on the list this year.
Your fun read of the day: Nuns on TikTok. They’re participating in viral trends and riding lawn mowers on the platform, and some nuns said their presence could help get new members.
Uber’s quest to be a “super app” continued yesterday at its annual Go/Get event. This year, it’s preparing for a lot more parties and fun — and planning accordingly. Here’s what it has in store:
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