Chris Sacca Thinks Twitter is Way Too White, and It’s Costing Him Money

Dorsey, interim CEO of Twitter and CEO of Square, goes for a walk on the first day of the annual Allen and Co. media conference in Sun Valley
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter.
Photograph by Mike Blake — Reuters

Twitter’s best frenemy is at it again. Thursday at the Collision Conference, Chris Sacca, one of the social media platform’s largest early investors, let loose a bit of a tirade about the company’s unfulfilled potential. It was, to put it mildly, less nuanced than his now-notorious 2015 deconstruction, and included comparisons of the company to a drug-addicted teenager.

But Sacca’s most cutting comments may have been those addressing the company’s problem with diversity. Twitter, Sacca pointed out, has a disproportionately high number of black users, and they generate some of the platform’s most important moments.

“Twitter is ‘Black Twitter,’” he said. “That’s where the hashtags happen . . . where the excitement is.”

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And yet Twitter has no black board members who could help the company better serve (and, yes, profit from) those users. As of 2014, only about 3% of Twitter’s employees were black or Latino, and a former black engineer recently went public describing the persistent roadblocks to diverse hiring in the company. Last year, in a move that can only be accurately characterized using words not printable in this publication, the company hired a white man as their new head of diversity.

Sacca wasn’t preoccupied with income inequality or racial justice—his point was that this is yet another way Twitter (TWTR) is leaving money on the table.

“There is a greed case for diversity…diverse perspectives bring us into markets we didn’t know existed.” Of course, as Sacca acknowledged, lack of diversity is a problem that goes well beyond Twitter (TWTR), or even Silicon Valley.

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Of course, Sacca being Sacca, his freewheeling comments returned to a much broader issue—Twitter’s continued inability to capitalize on its wealth of buzz, conversation, and data.

“Twitter is just a series of missed opportunities,” he said. “Twitter has all of the world’s best information…and it has it faster than anyone else on the planet. And they do the worst job of getting you that.”

This, in case you’ve forgotten, is a company in large part responsible for making Sacca a billionaire.

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