In Musk v. Twitter, part of the world’s richest man’s professional life is revealed.
Private messages exchanged with those around him immerse us in his process when he conceives an idea.
The messages were released by the Delaware Chancery Court as part of the proceedings between the two parties.
The revelation of these private messages is undoubtedly one of the reasons which pushed the billionaire to to put back on the table its offer to acquire the platform for $44 billion. And to demand that Twitter (TWTR) drop his lawsuit in exchange.
You can read them here.
Here are the messages Musk exchanged with billionaire friends about Twitter.
Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter
Jack Dorsey, is the CEO of fintech Block, formerly Square. He co-founded Twitter and was still CEO until 2020. He’s on Musk’s phone as JackJack.
He wrote on March 26:
Dorsey: “Yeah, it needs a new platform. It can’t be a business. That’s why I left.
What should it look like?
Dorsey: I believe it needs to be an open source protocol, funded by some sort of foundation that doesn’t own the protocol, just advances it. Kind of like what Signal did. It cannot have an advertising model. Otherwise, you have a surface that governments and advertisers will try to influence and control. If he has a centralized entity behind him, he will be attacked. It’s not a complicated job, just doing it right will make it stand up to what happened to Twitter.
Musk: Super interesting idea
Dorsey: I’m off Twitter in mid-May, then completely out of business. I intend to do this work and make up for our mistakes. Twitter started as a protocol. It should never have been a business. It was original sin.
Musk: I’d like to help if I can.
Dorsey: I wanted to talk to you about it once it was all clear, because you care so much about yourself, you understand its importance, and you could definitely help immeasurably. Back when we brought in the activist, I did my best to get you on our board, and our board said no. It was around this time that I decided I had to work my way out, as hard as it was for me.
Musk: Do you have a moment to talk?
Dorsey: I’m about to go to dinner, but I can do it for a minute.
I think the main reason is that the board is just very risk averse and saw you adding as more risk which I thought was completely stupid and backwards but I only had one vote, and 3% of the company, and no dual-class shares. Installation difficult. We can discuss more.
Musk: Let’s talk more
Musk and Dorsey had several other exchanges.
Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle
Ellison texted Musk on March 27.
Ellison: Elon, I’d like to chat with you in a day or two…I think we need another Twitter.
Musk: Do you want to talk now?
Ellison: Of course.
On April 20, Musk wrote to Ellison asking if he wanted to help fund the operation.
Musk: Are you interested in participating in the Twitter deal?
Ellison: Yeah… sure.
Musk: Approximately how big in dollars? I’m not forcing you to do anything, but the offer is oversubscribed, so I have to reduce or kick out some participants.
Ellison: A billion… or whatever you recommend
Musk: Whatever works for you. I would recommend maybe $2 billion or more. This has very high potential and I’d rather have you than anyone else.
Ellison: I agree he has huge potential…and that would be a lot of fun
Sam Bankman-Fried, Founder and CEO of Crypto Platform FTX.com
On April 1, SBF as he is nicknamed in the crypto community, sends a message to Musk.
SBF: Nice to meet you Elon – Happy to chat about Twitter (or other things) every time!
Maybe we can talk later today? I am in Germany.
SBF: I’m on EST – could I speak between 7 and 10 p.m. German time today?
April 14 SBF writes to Musk again. That day, Tesla’s CEO announced a solicited $44 billion bid to acquire the platform.
SBF: Btw Elon – I’d love to talk about Twitter. Also an article on how blockchain + Twitter could work.
The two billionaires had been put in contact by Will MacAskill, professor of philosophy at Oxford. MacAskill talks about SBF to Musk on March 29 as a possible financial partner in a possible acquisition of Twitter.
MacAskill: Hey, I saw your poll on Twitter about Twitter and free speech. I don’t know if that’s what you think, but my collaborator [crypto investor and FTX CEO] Sam Bankman-Fried for a while was potentially interested in buying it and making it better for the world. If you would like to talk to him about a possible joint effort in this direction, his number is [redacted] and he’s on Signal.
Musk: Does he have huge amounts of money?
MacAskill, March 30: It depends on how you define “huge”! He’s worth $24 billion, and his early employees (with shared values) bump that figure up to $30 billion. I asked how much he could in principle contribute and he said “~$1-3 billion would be easy ` $3-8 billion I could do ~8-15 billion is possibly possible but would require funding.
If you were interested discuss the idea and he said he would be there to meet you in Austin.
Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn
On April 27, two days after Twitter accepted Musk’s acquisition offer, Hoffman offered to put the billionaire in touch with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Hoffman: Great. I will put you in touch with Satya
Hoffman: Elon, Satya: as stated, this connects you via text and phone
Hoffman: It’s way beyond my resources. I assume you are not interested in venture$.
Musk: There’s a lot of financial support, but you’re a friend, so I’m just letting you know that you would get priority. VC money is fine if you will.
Hoffman: Very cool! OK- If I were to assemble $, what size could you make available?
Musk: Anything you want. I’m just going to reduce some more.
Musk: I will need to know the approximate amount by next week
Hoffman: What would be the biggest $ that would be acceptable? I looked at our LPs, and I have a strong demand. It could be nice!
Musk: 2 billion dollars?
Hoffman: Great. Probably doable – let me see.
Musk: Maybe less if easier. The round is oversubscribed, so I just have to tell other investors what their allocation is ideally at the start of next week.
Musk: Should I put you in touch with the Morgan Stanley team?
Hoffmann: Yes, please. Especially with terms etc. I know Michael Grimes, btw.
Musk: Feel free to call him directly
Hoffman: Alright. – I’ll do that. (Trying to simplify your extremely busy life.)
Musk: Morgan Stanley’s deal team is really excellent and I don’t say such things lightly.
Hoffman: Indeed! I took LI public and contract MSFT-LI with them!