An image of new Twitter owner Elon Musk is seen surrounded by Twitter logos in this photo illustration
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Elon Musk’s hardcore playbook

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Good morning! Elon Musk isn’t exactly shy about squeezing the most out of his employees, and at Twitter he’s using approaches he’s already employed at Tesla and SpaceX. Let’s dive in.

Is this hardcore?

So, you’ve gone ahead and shown about two-thirds of your staff the door . The ones that remain have signed up to work “long hours at high intensity.” Now, it’s time to show them what that looks like.

Elon Musk has a reputation for his love of “hardcore” working conditions. This isn’t his first rodeo, as The New York Times points out in a piece that identifies some key trends through his approaches at Tesla and SpaceX.

  • “A crisis atmosphere and self-imposed austerity gives Mr. Musk the cover to make drastic changes and fire top managers or eliminate large swaths of staff, two former Tesla executives said. It also prepares those who remain to work under extreme conditions to bring about Mr. Musk’s desires, they said.”
  • The overall vibe is one of tight belts, perma-crisis, and a general sense of uncertainty.

Beyond layoffs, Musk is making some early moves at Twitter that appear to be recreating what came before at Tesla and SpaceX in an attempt to set a new culture.

  • Say hello to austerity, tweeps. “Company allowances for employee wellness, productivity, home internet, training and development, Outschool, daycare, and quarterly team activities have all been discontinued,” according to The Verge

All told, Musk appears to be creating an atmosphere of nervous uncertainty at Twitter. High standards, high intensity, and high stakes — with the ever-looming threat of firing employees who don’t toe the line and demonstrate “excellence.” Good luck, tweeps.

This judge wants to teach you crypto

Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui is taking an unusual approach to the way he writes opinions. His rulings have made smart references to "The Big Lebowski," "Dr. Strangelove," and "SNL" parodies of the McLaughlin Group. They also demonstrate a uniquely detailed understanding of how criminals can use cryptocurrency to their advantage — and, more importantly, how they can’t.

Protocol’s Veronica Irwin sat down with Faruqui to ask why and how he does it. Here are some choice cuts.

On learning about crypto:

  • “There was another prosecutor, Christopher Brown [... and …] he had the sense of ‘this is getting bigger, and we should start looking into it.’ Our U.S. attorney at the time, Jessie Liu, had this idea of using financial investigations in a way that was not limited to just white collar crime .... A lot of what we were investigating was related to following the money and so she wanted us to be this multidisciplinary unit.”

On why he’s taking an off-the-wall approach to writing opinions:

  • “We're public servants! And in order for the public to have faith and trust us, they need to understand what it is that we're doing and what we're saying. Humor is one way, not using a lot of legalese is another way.”

On underestimating the technical understanding of judges:

  • “One misconception is that the judges can't understand this technology — we can. And that’s not just judges, it's anybody. People have these views in two extremes. It’s either that ‘crypto is fake, it's not real,’ or ‘it's so technical that you can't understand it.’ And my takeaway, as I’ve discussed and as hopefully comes out in my opinions, is just that crypto is understandable.”

Read more: Judge Zia Faruqui is trying to teach you crypto, one ‘SNL’ reference at a time

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People are talking

Su Zhu, co-founder of the failed crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, thinks the FTX fallout will be bigger than you might expect :

  • “Some industry leaders have said the FTX collapse set the industry back by five years … I think it’s even longer than that — seven or eight years — maybe even longer.”

Michael Weening, CEO of cloud software company Calix, sees the Twitter fallout as a fantastic moment to hire people :

  • "From our perspective this is a great opportunity, as people who would not speak to us before are disillusioned and looking."

Making moves

Chiang Shang-yi is now semiconductor strategy officer at Foxconn. Chiang, previously at TSMC, will report to the CEO at Foxconn, and the role hints at the company’s desire to build chips.

Intel’s Randhir Thakur is leaving the company. Thakur had been managing Intel’s contract manufacturing efforts, but will now “pursue opportunities outside the company.”

China is trying to restaff Foxconn’s factories after a recent exodus of workers, the Financial Times reports. Authorities are turning to villages from across the Henan province to find workers. is cutting salaries of senior execs by 10% to 20%, according to Reuters. The savings will go toward improving benefits for other staff members, and the move is part of the Chinese government's "common prosperity" push.

How did Bob Chapek’s exit from Disney come about? Top execs, including the company’s CFO, went to the board with concerns , the WSJ reports.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is merging with a SPAC called Forest Road Acquisition Corp. II, according to Bloomberg. The deal could be worth $400 million.

In other news

Crypto’s contagion concerns continue to mount. Genesis is trying to raise funds from Binance and Apollo Global Management, the WSJ reports, though a spokesperson said it had “no plans to file bankruptcy imminently." Coinbase shares continue to tumble , though the company says it has no “material exposure” to FTX.

Funds stolen in a hack of FTX are being laundered into bitcoin and ether, CNBC reports.

The Senate will hold an FTX hearing on Dec. 1. Rostin Behnam, chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will be one of the witnesses.

Tech layoffs have H-1B visa holders scrambling to find new jobs before they’re required to leave the country.

Amazon’s warehouse-monitoring algorithms are trained by workers in India and Costa Rica who review camera footage, according to a report by The Verge and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Meta abandoned plans to build a VR fitness app and acquired Within Unlimited instead, according to the FTC, which is trying to block the purchase.

Carl Ichan shorted Gamestop way back in January 2021. He still holds a large position on that bet, Bloomberg reports, but it’s not clear exactly how much it’s worth.

IBM is suing Micro Focus , claiming that the British company copied some of its mainframe software.

Mazda plans to invest $10 billion into EVs, and may also invest in battery manufacturing.

And Domino’s is going electric. Well, it’s trying it out at least — it’s adding 800 Chevrolet Bolts to its pizza-delivering fleet.

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