From professional mountain biker to sportswear mogul, Victoria’s Rob Fraser has made a name for himself as the founder of Outway Socks. But now, a tweet trying to put a value on the old saying “time is money” has thrust him into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
“Social media is a powerful tool,” Fraser said in an interview on CHEK News Thursday. “I’m not blind to the power of it and so it’s certainly in this case went viral for the wrong reasons.”
Fraser’s controversial tweet came after his flight to Vancouver was cancelled. Trying to show the value of time, Rob said the cancellation cost him $10,000, which he broke down further in a 15-line tweet claiming that his time is, indeed, worth money — an eyebrow-raising $5,000 per hour.
My flight to Vancouver was cancelled and it cost me $10,000 to take the ferry instead.
Hold up… $10k for a 90 min ferry?! 🤯
Well, sort of.
To ferry from Victoria to Vancouver costs $160 and 3 hours 15 minutes of my time. ⛴️
To take a sea plane costs me $220 and 1 hour 15…
— Rob Fraser (@robbfraser) April 18, 2023
“What I was essentially just trying to articulate was that I think time is invaluable, we don’t get it back, it’s finite and I think that’s where it got out of touch,” he explained.
However, his message that time is money didn’t quite hit with other Twitter users, leading to a tweet torrent of criticism.
The tweet quickly went viral, garnering five-million views and thousands of negative responses.
“I went to bed and woke up and it got picked up and screenshotted and posted to Reddit,” Fraser recounts. “That was the moment where I was like, ‘oh.’ It was certainly an unintended consequence.”
I used to have this mindset, but if you take it to extreme it can suck the joy out of your life: the price of doing most things becomes too high to enjoy doing them.
— Denis Zgonjanin (@DenisZgonjanin) April 18, 2023
how much did writing this tweet cost
— Kem Pepper (@whitehiphopcop) April 20, 2023
Fraser said that he now sees how the post could have been misinterpreted and given the chance, he would definitely change the wording.
“I mean if I came across my own post I think I would agree, it didn’t come off great and it’s also why I’ve left it up,” says Fraser. “In entrepreneurship and everything I’ve done, I aim to learn from my mistakes and I want to reflect.”
The Vancouver Island businessman will now need to recover from the PR stumble by pulling up his socks, and moving on.