With X, Musk is playing the bottom-up game

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Po-tee-weet?

Most marketers can’t dream so big as to imagine a world where the name of their product is mentioned on every newscast, written about on every flier, every advert, every sign and every email signature.

That’s the absurdly omnipresent power of the Twitter brand. At first, it seemed like Musk was playing a game of chicken with the site. But no. The gloves are off. The hawks are out. When X’s home icon changed from a birdhouse to a regular house, you know that things were starting to get real. Twitter isn’t dying: It’s dead.

Tweets are posts. Retweets are reposts. The cute little home icon? Burn it. Accessibility? Diversity? Eh. It doesn’t matter. That’s not who we’re building for over here. And in the process, the artist formerly known as Twitter is burning so much brand recognition it’ll make a junior advertising executive do unspeakable things.

None of these things makes sense if you are playing the wrong game.

If you think Musk is ruining Twitter, then yeah, he is. That’s because he’s not in it for Twitter. He’s in it for X, and the current lovers of the platform are collateral damage.

Founders love giving top-down takes. What’s the total addressable market, how can it be segmented in a way that makes money, and as the tide raises all boats, how hard can founders ride that CAC-to-LTV ratio mixed metaphor into the supernova of their IPO?

I’ve been doing this long enough that I know what works. The problem is that every category-defining company of our era didn’t have an addressable market: They created one.


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