Welcome to another edition of Business Twitter, where we collect the best tweets to come out of Silicon Valley so you don’t have to. This article is part of a newsletter — if you want a weekly Business Twitter roundup sent to your inbox every Friday, subscribe here.
This week: Jeff Bezos blasted off into space in a remarkable phallic rocket, then wore a cowboy hat on television. Jokes aside, critics focused more on Bezos’ tone-deaf comments rather than his fashion sense. Also: investor Frank Rotman’s take on VC FOMO, a beginner’s guide to crypto, and an open call for the best account in FinTwit.
1. Bezos blasts off
This week’s most talked about story was out of this world: Of course it’s Jeff Bezos going to space. The galaxy’s richest person took off in a Blue Origin rocket on Tuesday, dominating media outlets, and Twitter, for the rest of the day. While much of the press was glowing, the tweets weren’t. Since the sheer number of tweets about the event are too great to include in one place, here are some highlights:
Disney VP Dan Linden shared a video of Bezos speaking during a post-launch press conference, specifically the moment when Bezos spoke those now-infamous words: “I also want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to the video, writing, “Yes, Amazon workers did pay for this — with lower wages, union busting, a frenzied and inhumane workplace, and delivery drivers not having health insurance during a pandemic.”
Dan Price tweeted, “Jeff Bezos added $1.745 billion to his net worth since he went to space so he literally could have dumped a billion dollars out of his spaceship and still gained more money in the last 36 hours than 23,000 Amazon warehouse workers will make all year combined.”
2. VC fueled by FOMO
Founding partner of QED Investors Frank Rotman drew some heavy criticism when he wrote the following tweet, which he described as an “unpopular opinion”: “Crazy funding rounds and hyperbolic narratives crafted by Founders have created FOMO everywhere in the VC ecosystem. FOMO fuels the crazy funding rounds and rewards Founders with hyperbolic narratives.”
To clarify his position, Rotman wrote a Twitter thread explaining how the value of the biggest companies only growing bigger has contributed towards the “crazy funding.”
“The number of listed companies has also been on a steady decline with big companies becoming bigger and smaller companies disappearing through mergers and failures,” he wrote. “At peak, there were over 7,000 listed companies on the US exchanges and the number today is less than 4,000.”
Despite the critics, many agreed with Rotman. Garry Tan called the thread “great” and added: “I think we are entering a new period of 3X to 5X growth in R&D and new technology innovation. I’m optimistic. Not all of it will work. But when it works it will be amazing.”
3. Crypto for beginners
Twitter designer Paul Stamatiou is a self-described crypto beginner. To help out others who might be too intimidated to get started, Stamatiou created a thread with some useful tips.
Stamatiou also wrote about his experience getting into crypto and the problems he still has with it, namely its high energy usage, confusing platforms that require a lot of background knowledge, and a lack of transparency on crypto sites. Still, he became an avid user.
“While I had heard bits about things actually being built on top of the blockchain, I had naively assumed that for the most part, the crypto buzz was purely around speculative asset investments for Bitcoin/Ethereum/etc itself,” he wrote. “The risky stuff you're told to avoid. I couldn't have been more wrong.”
4. The best of FinTwit
It’s hard to round up the best minds in the world of finance on Twitter, partly because there are so many of them, and partly because many don’t have a huge following. Edwin Dorsey, author of financial newsletter The Bear Cave, decided to hold an open call for a list of “75 must-follow FinTwit accounts that share real research.”
Names immediately came flooding in via replies — here are some standouts: MicroCapClub founder Ian Cassel (@iancassel), Collaborative Fund partner Morgan Housel (@morganhousel), Bloomberg news columnist Matt Levine (@matt_levine), and many, many more.