So Twitter is being sold to an individual.
Our favorite Very Rich South African Guy is only interested in owning businesses that are in the middle, that become part of the infrastructure, that allow conveyance of things from point A to point B, that earn a constant flow of cash by rent seeking wherever possible.
- PayPal: initially in the middle between Ebay users and their banks; now accepted at most sites
- Tesla: You buy the car, but they are still in the middle of your life with their monopoly service contract
- SpaceX: the middle layer of many NASA-funded missions; currently the only commercial taxi cab to the ISS
- The Boring Company: the middle infrastructure between locations underground; see also: Hyperloop
- Starlink: the middle link in your satellite connection to the Internet, if you’re one of the millions of under-served living outside of urban centers
- Twitter: although it is a destination site, it is still in the middle of so many conversations, news releases, media, language studies, automation, AI research, etc.
Each parcel, connection, transaction, and byte transferred exacts a toll. It’s a smart move if you want passive income. Like a landlord, or a bridge operator. And I hate it.
So this is my only hot take. Whether we can trust the guy or trust that the orgs beneath him will damp his influence remains to be seen. Last thing we need is a rich tyrant with a hand on the power switch, or worse, using that gatekeeping power to change the conversation while still collecting tolls.