You can tell a lot about a person from the accounts they follow on Twitter, whether they’re using the platform to get intel on the latest hot startup, track trends in Web3, see rise-and-grind affirmations, or just read up on celebrity gossip. To get a glimpse into the mindset of a dozen leaders in business and tech on Twitter, we took a look at the kinds of accounts they follow and then mapped out some commonalities between them. Of course, in the same way a retweet isn’t an endorsement, following someone doesn’t mean the follower is fully on board with all their opinions, but it does offer insight into who many business leaders are listening to, and the information they value on social media.
Trying to define the philosophies of Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey? Their follows aren’t much help. From leftist intellectual Cornel West and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to alt-right figure Mike Cernovich and GOP wunderkind Ben Shapiro, they’re just window-shopping in the marketplace of ideas.
Pershing Square Capital’s Bill Ackman and A16z founder Marc Andreessen (who follows a staggering 20,600 accounts) share an interest in the usual suspects (investors and entrepreneurs) but also both follow defense journalist Paul McLeary, World War II historian Guy Walters, and pseudonymous account Jomini of the West, which tweets battlefield updates about Ukraine.
The poster boy of contemporary follow-ratio inequality, Tesla CEO Elon Musk boasts 102.8 million followers yet follows only 122 accounts himself, including Tesla, Dogecoin, Rick and Morty, and his mom, model Maye Musk. (Somehow he also shares nearly a third of his follows with Palihapitiya.)
As prominent billionaires who put a lot of effort into their philanthropic agendas, these three follow accounts that underscore their engagement in public affairs—world leaders, U.S. politicians, other humanitarians like chef José Andres, and NGOs that include the United Nations and World Health Organization.
Venture capitalist Freada Kapor Klein, of Kapor Capital, and Project Include founder and former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao follow many of the same people—largely BIPOC entrepreneurs and activists focused on bringing equity to tech and Web3, such as Earthseed founder Ifeoma Ozoma, Kindred Ventures cofounder Kanyi Maqubela, and Google Ventures’s Candice Morgan. Pao also follows more than 200 of the same accounts as Ohanian, suggesting overlap interests despite their strained history.
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