Extremely Hardcore: Inside Elon Musk's Twitter (Hardcover)

Extremely Hardcore: Inside Elon Musk's Twitter By Zoë Schiffer Cover Image
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"Zoë Schiffer has written the definitive book on perhaps the weirdest business story of our time. A fast-paced and riveting account of a hilarious and tragic mess."
— Matt Levine, Bloomberg Opinion “Money Stuff” columnist

“the bird is freed”
- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022

When Elon Musk took over Twitter, commentators were rooting for the visionary behind Tesla and SpaceX to succeed. Here was a tough leader who could grab back power from Twitter’s entitled workforce, motivate them to get “extremely hardcore,” and supercharge Twitter’s profit and potential. And it was all out of the goodness of his own heart, rooted in his fervent belief in the necessity of making Twitter friendlier to free speech. "I didn’t do it to make more money,” Musk said. “I did it to try and help humanity, whom I love.”  

Once Musk charged into the Twitter headquarters, the command-and-control playbook Musk honed at Tesla and SpaceX went off the rails immediately. Distilling hundreds of hours of interviews with more than sixty employees, thousands of pages of internal documents, Slack messages, presentations, as well as court filings and congressional testimony, Extremely Hardcore is the true story of how Musk reshaped the world’s online public square into his own personal megaphone.  

You’ll hear from employees who witnessed the destruction of their workplace in real-time, seeing years of progress to fight disinformation and hate speech wiped out within a matter of months. There’s the machine-learning savant who went all-in on Twitter 2.0 before getting betrayed by his new CEO, the father whose need for healthcare swept him into Musk’s inner circle, the trust and safety expert who became the subject of a harassment campaign his former boss incited, and the many other employees who tried to save the company from their new boss’s worst instincts. This is the story of Twitter, but it’s also a chronicle of the post-pandemic labor movement, a war between executives and a workforce newly awakened to their rights and needs. 

Riveting, character-driven, and filled with jaw-dropping revelations, Extremely Hardcore is the definitive, fly-on-the-wall story of how Elon Musk lit $44 billion on fire and burned down Twitter. It’s the next best thing to being there, and you won’t have to sleep in the Twitter office to get the scoop.

About the Author

Zoë Schiffer is the managing editor of Platformer, where she covers Twitter, X Corp., and Elon Musk. Previously, she was a senior reporter at The Verge, where she reported on the labor movement in Silicon Valley. Her work has been featured in New York, San Francisco Chronicle, and Vox. She’s appeared on CNN, NBC, CNBC, and the BBC.

Praise For…

"Schiffer offers a detailed look under the smoke-filled hood... deploying a crisp, matter-of-fact style to excellent effect."
The New York Times

“Schiffer … has become one of the most indispensable chroniclers of the chaos inside [Twitter].”
The Washington Post

"Extremely Hardcore by Zoë Schiffer, is a sharp and deeply sourced fly-on-the-wall account...It’s also packed with original reporting; Schiffer single-handedly broke a great deal of news on Twitter’s inner workings herself."
Financial Times

"Zoë Schiffer has the wonderfully gossipy and perfectly timed story on what's happening in the company formerly known as Twitter. As much as this book is of the moment, it's also a story of the ages, one of hubris, hero worship, and ultimately, the destruction of a company that should have been a public good." 
Bethany McLean, coauthor of The Smartest Guys in the Room, All the Devils are Here, and The Big Fail

“It used to be said that Twitter was like a clown car that drove into a goldmine and fell in. Zoë Schiffer’s incredibly written and astonishingly reported book about the Musk era of the world’s craziest company tells the story of a man who took the clown car, strapped a rocket to the back of it, and then slammed it into a wall at 100,000 miles an hour. You simply won’t be able to put this book down.”
Nick Bilton, author of American Kingpin and Hatching Twitter

“Twitter was an extraordinary idea that, thanks to incompetent management, never lived up to its promise. Then Elon Musk bought it. Zoë Schiffer’s brilliant book exposes...the malicious idiocy of Musk and his sycophants." 
Roger McNamee, tech investor and author of the NYT bestseller Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593716601
ISBN-10: 0593716604
Publisher: Portfolio
Publication Date: February 13th, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English