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Technology news was fun this week, if nothing else. The fact that we started the week by learning that Elon Musk bought a significant percentage of Twitter shares, in the middle of the week we learned that he had become a member of the board, and by the end of Friday we were busy reading about how they spend the matter. employees. , it was busy.
But it’s better to be busy and the saga has given us a lot to think about. Today, I want to touch on the matter once again from the perspective of voting rights.
Something we have seen in recent years are multi-class stocks in startups. Simply put, multi-class shares exist when investors and founders create an equity class that gives them more votes per unit share than other, smaller types of company shares provide. It does several things, including concentrating power in a smaller number of hands. In extreme cases, multi-class stock settings can ensure that the founder has complete control over the company forever.
One such company is Facebook. Twitter is not.
The difference between the two companies is not inactive. Facebook is trying to rediscover under the leadership of the same leader who led it to early success, while in contrast, Twitter is now run by a non-founder and has just added a controversial power-user to its board. These are very different results for publicly traded social networks.
That brings us to what makes me laugh. In my understanding of today’s technological tribalism, the people who are most fascinated by Elon Musk and his own brand of capitalism are also the ones who are most supportive of the use of multi-class shares to control companies. Or simpler, people who see a little problem with the CEO of Facebook holding all the cards are also excited about what Musk can do on Twitter.
I think this is an example of intellectual dissonance that forces me to share my view – that creating a corporate governance that looks like a monarchy is a bad choice in the long run – to ask the question: Given that a very rich shitposter is just signed up on Twitter’s board of directors through the creative use of their checkbook, does that change the way we think about corporate governance and the importance of shareholders’ voting rights that are more than fatamorgans?
Not. Not really. Elon does business as a shareholder, which is fine, although some people find it disgusting because some see him as a hybrid of visionary and role model.
What will Musk bring to Twitter? Who knows. But at least it will be fun.
Empowering non – developers
my friend and colleague Ron Miller wrote this week about a project on Salesforce that will allow people to write code through a computer conversation. I recommend you read it. It reminded me strongly of what GitHub recently created, specifically the method of designing code for developers as they write. Tools seem to be coming for boring development work.
Clean technology from Salesforce and Microsoft – the parent company of GitHub – will not replace developers. The complex work they do remains in demand. Instead, consider writing tools from the perspective of people who don’t write code daily but sometimes need to do their job. For them, the market seems to be removing obstacles from their path.
Between the expansion of code-free and low-code services and the above-mentioned work on more automated code generation, we are slowly moving towards the future, where development work will be much more within reach of beginners and even more so for beginners. daber. This could unlock and a lot human potential. And it can even reduce the lack of developers on a modest basis.
All in all, I’m excited about this part of the technical work. Let’s give more people more power. It will be good for humanity as a whole.