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Disruptors must now come to grips with becoming the disrupted
By Roger McNamee  |  Apr 25, 2023
Disruptors must now come to grips with becoming the disrupted
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Amazon, Twitter, and Meta (née Facebook) changed economies and societies before COVID-19, but changes are now afoot that put these former disruptors on the defensive, leaving them scrambling to decide what to do. This new era is a chance to fix excesses for a better future.

STANFORD, CALIFORNIA - After a decade of unconstrained growth - when it seemed that a new billionaire was being minted practically every day - the tech industry has finally hit a rough patch.

Elon Musk’s erratic behavior following his takeover of Twitter has left the financially leveraged platform in a precarious state. The sudden implosion of the crypto exchange FTX has vaporized a business that was recently valued at USD32 billion, taking many other crypto firms with it. Facebook parent Meta, meanwhile, is laying off 11,000 people, 13 percent of its workforce, while Amazon is shedding 10,000.

What should one make of these setbacks? Are they isolated incidents, or signs of structural change?

Twitter was already struggling even before Musk’s takeover. After taking on debt and overpaying for the platform, Musk immediately began cutting costs, declaring that the company was losing USD4 million per day. His first round of layoffs swept out 80 percent of the company’s contractors and half of its permanent staff, including key engineers and most of the content-moderation team.

Musk then reversed the bans on Donald Trump and thousands of other far-right provocateurs, and he also&nb

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