Publication Date: February 13, 2024
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"Zoë Schiffer has written the definitive book on perhaps the weirdest business story of our time. A fast-paced and riveting account of a hilarious and tragic mess."
— Matt Levine, Bloomberg Opinion “Money Stuff” columnist
“the bird is freed”
- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022
When Elon Musk took over Twitter, commentators were rooting for the visionary behind Tesla and SpaceX to succeed. Here was a tough leader who could grab back power from Twitter’s entitled workforce, motivate them to get “extremely hardcore,” and supercharge Twitter’s profit and potential. And it was all out of the goodness of his own heart, rooted in his fervent belief in the necessity of making Twitter friendlier to free speech. "I didn’t do it to make more money,” Musk said. “I did it to try and help humanity, whom I love.”
Once Musk charged into the Twitter headquarters, the command-and-control playbook Musk honed at Tesla and SpaceX went off the rails immediately. Distilling hundreds of hours of interviews with more than sixty employees, thousands of pages of internal documents, Slack messages, presentations, as well as court filings and congressional testimony, Extremely Hardcore is the true story of how Musk reshaped the world’s online public square into his own personal megaphone.
You’ll hear from employees who witnessed the destruction of their workplace in real-time, seeing years of progress to fight disinformation and hate speech wiped out within a matter of months. There’s the machine-learning savant who went all-in on Twitter 2.0 before getting betrayed by his new CEO, the father whose need for healthcare swept him into Musk’s inner circle, the trust and safety expert who became the subject of a harassment campaign his former boss incited, and the many other employees who tried to save the company from their new boss’s worst instincts. This is the story of Twitter, but it’s also a chronicle of the post-pandemic labor movement, a war between executives and a workforce newly awakened to their rights and needs.
Riveting, character-driven, and filled with jaw-dropping revelations, Extremely Hardcore is the definitive, fly-on-the-wall story of how Elon Musk lit $44 billion on fire and burned down Twitter. It’s the next best thing to being there, and you won’t have to sleep in the Twitter office to get the scoop.
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