How the Fourth Richest ...


I had a hunch this was going to happen.

While the media trumpeted the arrival of Warren Buffet on Twitter, I wondered aloud if he would have staying power.

To help his onboarding process – communicating in staccato-like bursts can throw off the most brilliant of minds – I even crafted 20 evergreen tweets that Warren could stockpile and use as he got the hang of the social media platform.

It didn’t help.

After an encouraging start of two tweets in two days, Warren has gone “twark” (new word blending Twitter + dark) even with a third tweet surfacing last week.

Warren Buffet Twitter

How could this happen?

How could Twitter bamboozle a man who in spite of his wealth still enjoys Cokes, a good steak and Dilly Bars?

I considered the time demands on Warren. Every time a financial institution goes “kaboom” – a fairly regular occurrence these days – it can prompt Warren to whip out his abacus and go into number-crunching mode for days.

I also considered the possibility that he’s not comfortable with the social media platform. His first tweet was promising with a touch of assertiveness, “Warren is in the house.” Unfortunately, his second tweet defaulted to barking out orders, “Read my new essay on why women are key to America’s prosperity.”

After hypothesizing enough to fill 20 linear feet of white board, I wondered if this might be a “rich guy” thing.

With this in mind, our crack research team captured the Twitter accounts of the four individuals who join Warren (4) in rounding out the Forbes list of the five richest humans in the world: Carlos Slim (1), Bill Gates (2), Amancio Ortega (3) and Larry Ellison (5).

Carlos Slim Helu Twitter


Bill Gates Twitter


Amancio Ortega Twitter


Larry Ellison Twitter


When you lay out the five Twitter accounts side-by-side, a pattern emerges (I think they call this “small data” analysis).

With the exception of Bill Gates, we find four of the five richest men in the world absolutely struggle with Twitter.

It does appear to be a rich guy thing.

Knowing “celebrity” endorsements deliver cachet to the Twitter brand, I have an idea to turn this around.

I’m thinking Jack Dorsey should ask Bill Gates to conduct a webinar on Twitter best practices specifically for the Forbes Billionaires Club. Such a move seems fitting in light of Bill’s essay last week, “Three Things I’ve Learned From Warren Buffett.”

It’s time to give back.

And Warren, my offer still stands. I’d welcome serving as your “Carol Loomis” for Twitter.


  • Dude Stro

    “I don’t know why I’m wasting my time twittering the hours away when I could actually be investing or donating to something more beneficial,” said Warren Buffet when asked (via phone / conversation, i.e., REAL “social” [interaction] media).

    It probably went something like that.

    What’s the purpose, and who does non-social media benefit (“social media” = one-way posting of statements, misspellings, links, self-aggrandizement, and criticism of others [Source: 80% of tweets from professional athletes, movie and TV “stars”)?

    Well, Warren wondered the same thing. And it’s not like Bill Gates gets his point across in 140-characters. Don’t get me wrong – I think what Bill and Warren are doing to improve parts of the world should be applauded. But there’s no insight in reading 140-characters about it.

    It’s like the old Bob & Ray comedy schtick about hobbies when they bring on the editor of, “Wasting Time Magazine.”
    (example of Bob & Ray:

    “Stop wasting time twittering away about nothing. Get out and change the world.”
    — At least that’s what I’d say if I was Warren Buffet.

    • hoffman

      I hear you.

      No question making money, keeping those pesky shareholders happy and doing his part to make a better world put enormous demands on Mr. Buffett’s time.

      But if you’re not going to make the time to do something right, don’t do it.

      If you’ve changed your mind about Twitter now concluding it’s not worth the time, no problem. This could be your fourth tweet followed by taking down your account.

  • Some guy

    This might be how Warren Buffet would interpret you giving him advice:

  • hoffman

    You’re probably right.

    Tom Hanks in a classic role.

  • Lorenzo

    Looks like not much has changed in the last year.

    There’s a broken link on “Three Things I’ve Learned From Warren Buffett” – http:// is missing.

    • hoffman

      Thanks Lorenzo.

      Will fix the link tomorow.

      And yes, Mr. Buffett is still trying to find his rhythm on Twitter.


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