Jack told Elon Musk in private texts: Twitter “should have never been a company. That was the original sin”
On November 29, 2021, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down from his role as chief executive officer of Twitter after 16 years with the company. Jack also confirmed in a tweet that he resigned from the company. “Not sure anyone has heard but, I resigned from Twitter,” Jack tweeted. At the time, there were speculations about what led to his resignation.
Fast forward about a year later. We now have more details about why he left the company he co-founded 16 years earlier. In a series of private exchanges between him and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Dorseys discussed his original belief and view that Twitter “can’t be a company.” Dorsey writes to Musk:
I believe it must be an open source protocol, funded by a foundation of sorts that doesn’t own the protocol, only advances it. A bit like what Signal has done. It can’t have an advertising model. Otherwise you have surface area that governments and advertisers will try to influence and control. If it has a centralized entity behind it, it will be attacked. This isn’t complicated work, it just has to be done right so it’s resilient to what has happened to twitter.
Jack also told Musk that “Twitter started as a protocol.” He went on to describe the mistake of Twitter becoming a company. “It should have never been a company. That was the original sin,” Jack added.
Jack Dorsey texts Elon Musk
March 26, 2022 pic.twitter.com/gMa7xzINtp
— Internal Tech Emails (@TechEmails) September 29, 2022
In another exchange between the two friends, Dorsey also revealed he had attempted to persuade the board of Twitter to bring in Musk a year before after news broke in March that Musk had acquired a 9% stake in the social media giant. “Couldn’t be happier you’re doing this,” the former Twitter CEO texted Musk.
In another exchange, Dorsey told Musk that he wanted him to join Twitter’s board of directors long before Musk acquired a large stake in the company.
“Back when we had the activist come in, I tried my hardest to get you on our board and our board said no. That’s about the time I decided I needed to work to leave, as hard as it was for me,” Dorsey says. “I think the main reason is the board is just super risk averse and saw adding you as more risk, which I though was completely stupid and backwards, but I only had one vote, and 3% of company, and no dual class shares. Hard set up. We can discuss more.”
The text messages, which shed new light on Musk’s behind-the-scenes negotiations with Twitter’s leadership, were revealed in a Thursday. The private messages also showed tense exchanges between current Twitter Parag Agrawal confronts Musk about an April 9th questioning if “Twitter is dying.”Agrawal told Musk:
“You are free to tweet “is Twitter dying?” or anything else about Twitter – but it’s my responsibility to tell you that it’s not helping me make Twitter better in the current context. Next time we speak, I’d like to you provide you [sic] perspective on the level of the internal distraction right now and how it [sic] hurting our ability to do work. I hope the AMA will help people get to know you, to understand why you believe in Twitter, and to trust you – and I’d like the company to get to a place where we are more resilient and don’t get distracted but we aren’t there right now.”
Musk responded less than a minute later. “What did you get done this week? I’m not joining the board. This is a waste of time. Will make an offer to take Twitter private.”
You can see the court document below.elon-musk-text-exhibits-twitter-v-musk