June 22

How to deal with a CEO with… ideas

It seems as if Elon Musk is getting closer and closer to completing his acquisition of Twitter, despite signs that he may actually want out of the deal. Soon enough, one of the platform’s most influential users will be at the helm of the company. Earlier this week, Musk held a virtual town hall meeting with all Twitter staff, and he covered all sorts of topics – including potential layoffs, his stance on remote work, and heck – even whether or not he’s seen evidence of aliens.

But as a product person, one thing especially stood out to me: Musk suggested that there ought to be an “irony” label for tweets so people can indicate that their tweet was meant to be ironic.


I bet in our lifetime, we have all had that boss at least once. You know, the one that will commandeer a product meeting just to share feedback about a feature that his wife’s uncle – “who is a really smart guy” – came up with. Or while on vacation, he had this realization of where the product roadmap ought to go. Clearly, Musk is that boss. It doesn’t matter if there are literally people brought into the company to focus on things like solving customer problems and setting product strategies. Musk… has some ideas.

But how do you deal with these types of bosses?

The Muse wrote a post in the past about how to deal with bosses who have bad ideas. Spoiler alert – one of the solutions is simply doing nothing at all and just keeping your mouth shut. As a product person, I don’t know if I could live with myself if I just blindly accepted a truly bad idea, though. Could you?

Completely unrelated, but if you haven’t perused the Product Collective Job Board in a while – now may be a good time to do so! *irony*

Mike Belsito

About the author

Mike Belsito is a startup product and business developer who loves creating something from nothing. Mike is the Co-Founder of Product Collective which organizes INDUSTRY, one of the largest product management summits anywhere in the world. For his leadership at Product Collective, Mike was named one of the Top 40 influencers in the field of Product Management. Mike also serves as a Faculty member of Case Western Reserve University in the department of Design and Innovation, and is Co-Host of one of the top startup podcasts online, Rocketship.FM. Prior to Product Collective, Mike spent the past 12 years in startup companies as an early employee, Co-Founder, and Executive. Mike's businesses and products have been featured in national media outlets such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, NPR, and elsewhere. Mike is also the Author of Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of us, one of the top startup books on Amazon.


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