In a no-holds-barred interview, Peter Thiel, one of the early investors of Facebook, openly criticized micro-blogging social media site Twitter and claimed that its employees smoke pot. He also made mention of the management and how it's performing "horribly wrong."
"It's a horribly mismanaged company -- probably a lot of pot-smoking going on there. But it's such a solid franchise it may even work with all that," said Thiel.
Thiel didn't give any basis of his judgment on Twitter or any evidence that it is indeed mismanaged. It should be noted, however, that since Twitter had its debut as a public company in November last year, it began to struggle with management issues. The resignation of COO Ali Rowghani in June is surrounded with rumors that there are tensions involved with other high-ranking employees. The company eventually appointed a new CFO the following month.
Thiel's allegations are definitely not the first ones that were thrown against Twitter. Nick Bilton, New York Times reporter, recounts in his book "Hatching Twitter" that the 140-character based site staged a pot-fueled impromptu cafeteria party. CEO Dick Costolo, fumed with anger, decided that it's time for Twitter to grow up.
Thiel places the blame on the founders of Twitter and how they have shaped badly the company's working environment culture. He adds that the company, which is now worth over $27 billion, may be too late to make a change.
"One of the paradoxes is when you have a business model as good as Twitter -- where you have 140 characters, no one can copy it, no one can compete -- you can be screwing a lot of other stuff," said Thiel. "The management can be B+. Maybe some people come in at 10:30 and leave at 5PM. It feels like it's vastly underperforming its potential."
Thiel doesn't believe that the company could do much better. He doesn't feel confident that the CEO can shake things up. "You'd have to fire everybody and start over," he suggests.
Jason Goldmand, former VP of Twitter, sent out his reactions in a tweet. "Yo but how high were you when you decided to go live on an ocean platform."
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo decided to keep his composure and gave out a subtle tweet as a response to Jason Goldman. "Working my way through a giant bag of Doritos. I'll catch up with you later," says Costolo.
Thiel didn't single everything out at Twitter. He also gave out some unpleasant remarks on Uber and Apple. He was skeptical of the company's Apple Pay and Apple Watch and didn't believe that they would create a major impact.