What do Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Twitter, Lyft, Stripe, (just to name a few) all have in common? Layoffs.
I’ve worked in enterprise tech for over <coughs> 25 years, and experienced layoffs in every single one of them, and they are always due to poor org structure and over optimistic growth projections. What’s going on with Twitter and the broader tech sector right now has been coming, IMO for at least the last decade (if not longer) – and the blame falls solely on leadership. But as always happens, employees will bear the cost of those bad management decisions at the price of their jobs and security…
IME in enterprise tech, “nice to have” roles, e.g. non-directly revenue attributing roles (advocates, process oriented, governance, etc.) are a heuristic for an org slipping off its revenue mission and will be the first ones to go. You don’t have to like it or agree with me, but I’ve seen it time and time again, and poor org design does not protect these important jobs (and the people who do them) from the firing line.
And to add Twitter insult to injury, in a real life “frog and scorpion” moment, Jack Dorsey clearly knew something bad was going to happen if Elon got his hands on the place, and was warned off by the board. To put a fine point on it: the layoffs at Twitter right now are as much Jack Dorsey and the previous leadership teams fault as they are Elon Musks. (Texts between Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk via Twitter vs Elon Musk, 2022)
What’s happening with Twitter right now has been happening in enterprise tech for as long as I’ve been around and it’s not the fault of the employees – its the result of years of bad management, poor org design, and exuberant hiring that fuels a “boom and bust” operating model. As usual, PE/VC and the founders have already made off with their money and the people doing with work get left holding the bag, so can we PLEASE mark this as the final tombstone for “tech-bro” worship?
Layoffs suck. I work in eCommerce and it’s interesting how many companies got overly optimistic about consumer spending online. Lots of pull back and layoffs because of it.
As you said it’s not the fault of the employees. Of all those layoffs, I’ve only seen Stripe say they made the mistake and at least try to compensate people for it: https://stripe.com/en-au/newsroom/news/ceo-patrick-collisons-email-to-stripe-employees
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