Rakesh Agrawal’s PayPal-trashing tweet disaster — and the subsequent chicken/egg story of whether he quit or was sacked — was a slightly surreal turn of events for a company whose most explosive story over the last six months has been whether a notorious corporate raider was going to get his way and unbundle it from eBay (he didn’t).
To be honest, I don’t think the incident told us much about PayPal or Rakesh Agrawal that we might not have deduced on our own. Agrawal does not mince words in public forums and on Twitter — it’s kind of his thing. In fact it’s not even the first time he’s trashed PayPal.
And — shocker — in large corporate structures you have people who loathe each other. And they don’t waste much time stabbing each other in the back over it.
The scandal highlighted something else, however: for all the stories about how Twitter doesn’t seem to have as much reach as, say, Facebook, and that it seems to suffer from a growth problem, it still matters.
At the end of the day, Twitter is still a game changer, a platform that, if or when something happens on it and it’s big, it will make people jump, and things move.
Rakesh unceremoniously trashes PayPal where? On Twitter. World reacts.
And where does PayPal put its own statement dismissing him? On Twitter, too.
(Okay, maybe he quit already. PayPal wouldn’t acknowledge that he did. This is a corporation, with formalities and all that.)
Monday, May 5, is the expiration date for the Twitter’s lock-up, when employees and other shareholders, who have been prevented from selling their post its IPO, can now do so.
This may end up being the case, but for all the ground that the company has not managed to cover in its business so far, it has demonstrated that it is a must-read here.
(Alexia owns Twitter shares; I don’t but I still agree with her.)