🪦 Why Elon Killed Twitter

The reasons behind the re-brand and hot startup ideas in the branding space to check out for your next name change

☕️ Welcome back to Napkin Notes: your weekly newsletter that tips founders with startup ideas 10x what you tip waiters with cash 🍷

We’re just pulling your leg. We know if you’re reading this, you’re already in the top 1% of tippers b/c of the all ventures you’re starting, scaling and selling.

So sit down, bring over the salt and vinegar chips, and let’s dive into our last newsletter of July ☀️

Our Menu For Today 🍽

  • 🗞 News Round-Up in Case You’re Chilling @ The Cabin

  • 🆇 WTF Happened to Twitter and Who the Hell is “X”

  • 💭 Shaan Puri’s Checklist for Big Ideas (steal it here)

  • 💡 Startup Ideas to Build in the Branding Space

  • 🐦 Tweets of the Week

📰 News Round-Up: Twitter turned into 𝕏. Barbie & Oppenheimer had a $ucce$$ful weekend. Footballer Mbappe got a $776m contract offer. ChatGPT just launched to Android users. TikTok’s launching an e-commerce biz. Alphabet (Google’s parent co) crushed earnings day with revenues of $72B. It’s the last Friday of July and our CEO’s about to have a baby in 3 weeks 🎉

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Enough water cooler riffing, let’s get this tailgate party started.

🆇 Where’s Twitter & Who the Hell is “X”?

While you were chilling on your friend’s boat listening to Tiësto last weekend, Elon was scheming a re-brand for his $44B side project the world once called Twitter. 🐦

If you didn’t hear, the tweety bird’s been retired. And the new name for the platform of 450 million monthly users is now “X”.

Before you throw your hands up, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and talk about other billion-dollar brands that have changed their name with no major change to their market dominance.

  • 👟 Blue Ribbon Sports became Nike: $167B 2023 Market Cap

  • 🥤 Brad’s Drink became Pepsi: $264B 2023 Market Cap

  • 💌 Matchbox became Tinder: $42B 2021 Market Cap

  • 💻 BackRub became Google: $1.64T 2023 Market Cap

  • 🛒 AuctionWeb became eBay: $26B 2023 Market Cap

  • 📲 Cadabra became Amazon $1.315T 2023 Market Cap

  • 🆇 And finally, Twitter is now X

The bottom line: changing your name shouldn’t majorly influence your likelihood of success if you continue to execute and provide value for your customers.

And if “X” can provide value to its user base with:

  • 80% less staff

  • taking it private

  • a hefty goal to become America’s super app

  • and a new name that ruffles copyright feathers with Zuck,

What’s to stop them?

Better yet, if they can do it even when articles claim the re-brand of Twitter threw $4-$20B of brand value into the garbage 🗑, power to them.

You see, what most forget is that Elon Musk has been long on the letter “X” longggg before this week’s media flurry. This tweet by Walter below does a great job at showing that.

A few reasons that point to why Musk chose “X” for Twitter.

  • The original name of Paypal was “X.com” when it was founded in 1999

  • Elon bought the domain back from Paybal back in 2017 (with the hopes to use it later) and now x.com redirects to Twitter for this grand reveal

  • Musk also told Walter Isaacson on Oct 2022, a journalist shadowing him for a biography, that [he was] very excited about finally implementing X.com as it should have been done [in the Paypal days]”

  • Articles also point out that the letter “X” is synonymous with the Tesla Model X, SpaceX, his new AI firm xAI and the name of his 2 children, X Æ A-Xii and Exa Dark Sideræl

Bottom line: this name change wasn’t an eXistential crisis, more so an eXcellent opportunity to hatch a new plan to make X.com into the super app he’s been dreaming about since 1999.

Context: With Threads nearing 120m users and X’s negative cash flow from of a significant drop in ad revenue partners, time will tell if Elon can spin this super app idea of becoming North America’s WeChat into reality.

On the note of big ideas, we came across a handy decision framework tool by the My First Million Podcast we wanted to share with you.

💭 Steal Shaan Puri’s Decision Register

Even if the majority of us aren’t re-branding billion-dollar companies, we still all have our own set of big decisions to make:

  • 📝 Do I sign papers with a new co-founder or build solo?

  • 💸 Do I raise VC Capital or keep bootstrapping?

  • 📩 Do I refer 3 friends or 30 friends to the napkin notes newsletter?

To land on the best decision, our friend Shaan uses his own “decision register”. So he can look back on it years in the future and see if he made the right call.

Since Shaan’s a BIPB (build-in-public bestie), he open-sourced his framework for everyone to steal.

So the next time you have a tough decision to make:

  • Go to the sheet

  • make a copy of it

  • jot down your answers

  • and batta bing, batta bomb

You’ve got a perfect audit of the final decision you should make. So you can quit worrying and get back to buildin’.

💡 Startups to Build in the Branding World

🏀 Founder Alley Oops of the Week

Like the newsletter? You’ll love the goodies you get after sharing it with a friend.

🐦 Tweet of the Week

Duolingo’s SM manager with the beautiful snipe.

💚 The Kernal Fam

P.S. Looking for the best niche to build a software startup idea? We made a list of 500 trending ideas. Grab it here.

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