Caterpillar and Butterflies

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.

This isn’t about X or whether Twitter is dying because of Elon Musk’s random decisions.

But the fact that an entrepreneur is willing to stake it all for his/her vision, irrespective of what the market says, is something to be pondered upon.

X vs. Twitter

What’s clear is that X is not Twitter.

FYI: The product definition of X is completely different from Twitter

You might disagree with Elon or Linda (the CEO of Twitter X), but none of us have seen X or can even define X at this point, so saying that ‘Twitter is over because there is X’ is almost saying that the caterpillar is over (because we haven’t seen the butterfly).

You have to let go of the caterpillar to bring the butterfly.

Twitter is the caterpillar

  • Limited audience size
    Twitter currently has 353.9M active users annually and 237.8M active users daily. While Facebook roughly had 2.98 billion monthly active users at the beginning of 2023. Instagram is a little less as there are currently over 2.35 billion monthly active Instagram users.
  • Limiting format (text)
  • Bad at monetization (do i have to say the words?)

There is a hidden butterfly inside Twitter – loyal user base, is the source of all breaking news; but it needs to break out from its current avatar and move to a different orbit. 

Is it going to be X? Well, your guess is as good as mine.

Pretty much 90% of startups today are caterpillars, refusing to transform into a butterfly, holding on to their sunk costs.

There are no soft pivots

I am in the middle of a big pivot and I have nothing but a lot of respect for Elon for being out there, challenging everything out there and ignoring the naysayers.

Great life is all about hard decisions, hard pivots.

If you aren’t burning the bridges, you aren’t really pivoting.

Many a times startup founders end up believing that a soft pivot, a partial pivot is all they need to move to the next orbit – keep the best of what worked in the past, let go of what didn’t and inject what might work best in the future.

Going by that, butterflies would have looked completely different.

Soft or partial pivots do not help. 

Thank you Elon for showing us how to take tough decisions.

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