Hatching Twitter - Deepstash
Hatching Twitter

Hatching Twitter

Nick Bilton

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What's Twitter ?

“Twitter was originally conceived as a mobile status update service— an easy way to keep in touch with people in your life by sending and receiving short, frequent answers to one question, ‘What’s happening?’

The perfect equilibrium of two different ways of looking at the world:

"The need to talk about yourself, compared with the need to let people talk about what was happening around them."

One could never have existed without the other. That balance, or battle, had created Twitter.

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Evan Williams (Ev) - Blogger, Twitter, Medium

Ev released the diary Web site to the world. He called it Blogger, a word that had not existed until then. He believed it would allow people without any computer-programming knowledge to create a Web log, or blog. 

He had a vision for Blogger, where anyone could have their own blog, the equivalent of their own online newspaper. 

“Push-button publishing for the people.” It was Blogger’s motto.

Google bought Blogger for Tens of millions of dollars. Ev became famous.

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Noah Glass

Noah was writing an application called Odeo or audio blogger, that allowed anyone to post voice-based posts to blogs from a phone. 

As soon as Ev started cashing out his Google stock, Noah asked if he would invest a few thousand dollars to help kick-start the idea. 

Ev agreed to finance more of the project but only on one condition: that Ev become CEO. 

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Jack Dorsey- Twitter, Square

Jack was hired as a freelancer almost immediately and fit into the culture of Odeo seamlessly. He had a hacker mentality, no degree, and a love for programming. 

The site they had just unintentionally launched hoped to be the Web’s central destination for podcasts. All of this would be completely free. 

In that brief moment podcasting, which had been the entire company thesis for Odeo, had become a simple add-on for Apple.

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Status could make people feel “less alone.”

Noah was trying desperately to sift ideas out of the employees to save the company. Jack mentioned his “status” concept. 

In a small snippet of text, people could note if they were available, in a meeting, or just busy, so their online friends knew their whereabouts. 

It was about connecting people and making them feel less alone. Noah said

Then Apple’s entering the podcasting fray had placed one hundred nails in the Odeo coffin

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Hatching Twitter 🐣

Noah’s vibrating phone led him to think of the brain impulses that cause a muscle to twitch. So he continued flipping through the tw’s in the dictionary. Twister. Twist tie. Twit. Twitch. Twitcher. Twitchy. Twite. And then, there it was.

A verb. Twitter. Twitter. Twittered. Twittering. Twitters. - “The light chirping sound made by certain birds.”

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"Just setting up my twttr"

“What are other use cases?” Dom asked. “My mom could use it too,” Jack said, so she could see what he was up to. 

On March 21, 2006, at 11: 50 A.M., Jack tweeted, “just setting up my twttr,” 

  “Oh this is going to be addictive,” Dom wrote. “Wishing I had another sammich,” Biz wrote. “Lunch,” Jack typed. “checking out twttr,” Ev said. “Oh man, this twitter tickles my nose,” Jeremy said.

And that was it. A spark of life. Tweets. 

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Noah Resign

Noah was also becoming paranoid about Ev.

Ev explained Noah . “ I don’t think we can work together well on it.” 

Ev ordered Noah to resign from Twitter.

Noah faced with no other choice and no one in his corner, Noah resigned.

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140 Characters

 Jack had also made one of the most important decisions for Twitter to date: limiting the length of tweets. “We’re going to standardize this at 140 characters. 

Ev dictated that Jack would be CEO. Biz, Jack, and Ev would be cofounders. Goldman would be the vice president of product. 

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Jack Distracted By His Hobbies

There was one person who was not Jack’s biggest fan: Ev. He believed Jack didn’t work hard enough. Wasn’t in the office enough. Was distracted by his hobbies. 

Jack had also started a new ritual called Tea Time: a weekly event for Twitter staff that was held on a Friday afternoon to discuss the company’s latest news. 

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Jack's View Vs Ev's View Of Twitter

A simple status updater( jacks view) in 140-character posts was too ephemeral and egotistical to be sustainable.

A news updater(Ev’s view) in 140-character spurts was just a glorified newswire.

Though they didn’t realize it, the two together were what made Twitter different. 

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Jack Vs Ev

April 2008 Jack fired Blaine in an attempt to show Ev his control of the company. 

Blaine had been the core programmer of Twitter, and without him Jack had no idea how to fix certain issues.  

Ev pulling on one end, Jack on the other, Biz trying his best not to get caught in the middle. 

The board members knew they had to find a new role for Jack or let him go immediately. 

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Jack Was Fired

Ev took a deep breath and replied. “Yes. I want to be CEO. I have experience running a company, and that’s what Twitter needs right now.” 

“Jack’s out,” he said. “The board met. This is the final decision. They want me to be CEO, and Jack will become chairman,”

Ev was the majority shareholder. Jack was not. 

Jack said “This is my company; you can’t take my stock away.” 

Ev calmly responded: “This isn’t your company. It’s done.” 

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REVENGE

Jack had another side project too: REVENGE. Unlike Noah, who was doing his best to forget and forgive the betrayal by his friends, Jack ran in the opposite direction, unable to flush the resentment he felt toward Ev, the board, and now Biz too, out of his mind. 

Each time he read an article where Jack Dorsey wasn’t acknowledged as the creator of Twitter, his blood temperature rose a degree. 

Ego affected them all: Noah, Jack, Ev, and Biz. They were all driven by it. 

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Ev, Jack, Biz ,Noah - Co-founders

Jack had the germ of the idea, of people sharing their status,

Noah’s vision of a service that could connect people who felt alone, and a name that people would remember, Twitter,

Ev’s financial support and Silicon Valley fame,

Biz’s ethical stance on protecting and standing up for people who used the service,

Without any one , Twitter would never existed.

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Oprah And Ev Interview

The producer explained that Ev would be interviewed by Oprah— in front of seven million viewers. This would all follow Oprah sending her first tweet on live television. 

“Hi, it’s Friday Live and I’m on Twitter for the first time,” Oprah said cheerfully. 

“How’d it come to light?” Oprah asked. “My cofounders, Biz and Jack, are supergeniuses,” 

Noah had watched in disbelief as he realized he’d been completely erased from the Twitter story.

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Inventor Of Twitter

Biz was starting to grow frustrated , as Jack would often tell people in these interviews that he was the “inventor” of Twitter; the sole creator of an idea that actually had many creators. 

 “But I invented Twitter,” Jack said. “No, you didn’t invent Twitter,” Ev replied. “I didn’t invent Twitter either. Neither did Biz. People don’t invent things on the Internet. They simply expand on an idea that already exists.” 

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Determined To Be A Independent Company

At that point Ev had received more offers to buy Twitter than he could count. Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, a former vice president, celebrities, and rappers had all made overtures toward Twitter, and each time Ev had said no. 

But it wasn’t about the money for Ev, it was about protecting the sanctity of Twitter and giving a voice to the people who used it.

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Campbell The CEO Coach

“Campbell is the real deal,” “He’s coached Eric Schmidt, Larry and Sergey, and Steve Jobs. He’s a fucking legend.” Ev agreed to the meeting. 

What’s the worst thing I can do as CEO to fuck the company up?” Without skipping a beat, Campbell responded: “Hire your fucking friends!” 

Ev also reasoned that his friends would never betray him. ( But his close friend betrayed him 👇)

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First Revenue Of Twitter

 In December 2009, Dick had been instrumental in striking a deal with Google and Bing to make the nearly forty million tweets being sent across the site each day viewable on their respective search engines. In exchange Google had agreed to pay $ 15 million to Twitter. Microsoft would hand over $ 10 million. Twitter would collect $ 25 million total. 

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Steve Jobs 2.0

Jack experimented with Jobs’s round glasses and cloned the mantra of a daily uniform.

He copied many of Jobs’s decisions.

Jack heard that Jobs didn’t consider himself a CEO but rather an “editor.”

Soon Jack started referring to himself as “the editor, not just the CEO” of Square.

Jobs was notorious for denying access to reporters. He had trained the media to behave exactly how he wanted them to— when he spoke, they listened, which was his best magic trick of all.

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The Moment Jack Had Been Waiting For

Mike Abbott, who was vice president of engineering at Twitter, 

“I need your help,” Abbott told Jack. “We have no direction at Twitter, and I don’t know where the company is going.”

The problem was Ev. He was still unable to make a decision. He communicated infrequently with the board and senior staff 

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Ev Was Fired

Campbell said “The board doesn’t wasn’t you to be CEO. They want you to step down. They want you out.” 

He explained, the company needed a new type of CEO who could focus on revenue and take Twitter public. 

Ev had no idea whom to trust. How long ago had the board decided to fire him? Could they fire him? After all, Ev still owned the largest majority stake in Twitter 

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Jack Dorsey Revenge

Jack had been behind it all. Moving chess pieces, ten moves ahead. This was Jack’s revenge. 

Like Jack two years earlier and Noah two years before that, Ev was officially out of a job at Twitter. And like his two cofounders, he was completely powerless to do anything about it. 

Like Jack in his “silent” chairman role, Ev was now a “silent” product director

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Billionaire Throws Up Into Garbage Can

But Biz was genuinely confused. “I don’t understand how they can just throw away this guy’s entire career,” “Don’t these people (investors) have feelings?” Although Biz was a cofounder of Twitter, he had never really had much power at the company. He had never understood what drove the “money guys.” (Investors)

Ev had known all along that it had never been about the money. A billionaire still throws up into a garbage can. 

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A Banished King Returning From Exile

Ev set off to Hawaii with his family— a vacation. While away, sitting by the pool, thinking about the psychological trauma of the past several months, he realized he didn’t really have a role at Twitter after all. He had been fired without being escorted out of the building. 

After discussions with Dick and the board, Jack had arrived back at his castle in late March, a banished king returning from exile. 

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Spiritual leader” of Twitter- Noah Glass

All of the early employees and Odeo investors we talked to also agree that no one at Odeo was more passionate about Twitter in the early days than Odeo’s cofounder, Noah Glass.

“Some people have gotten credit, some people haven’t. The reality is it was a group effort. I didn’t create Twitter on my own. It came out of conversations,” . “I do know that without me, Twitter wouldn’t exist. In a huge way.” Noah told in a interview

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CEO of Twitter and Square - Jack Dorsey

As the media’s Next Steve Jobs, jack was too big and too powerful for anyone to dent his version of history that had appeared in thousands of press outlets. He started spending more time with celebrities. 

Biz was the last cofounder to leave. On June 28, 2011, he announced that he was leaving a day-to-day role at Twitter. But really he was leaving because he didn’t have a day-to-day role. His collaborators were already gone. 

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Biz Stone

Biz bank account, which once began with a negative symbol, now ends with seven zeros. When people ask Biz about his wealth, he tells them that money rarely changes people; it often just magnifies who they really are. The majority of the money Biz make goes to the Biz and Livia Stone Foundation (a nonprofit they founded that gives money and support to organizations that make it easy for anyone to help students in need) and a number of animal-related sanctuaries. 

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Jack Won But Lost His Friends

By 2013, with a net worth of a billion dollars, it might seem like Jack had “won.” But to some of the people who knew him when he arrived at Odeo eight years earlier, it seemed quite the opposite. Back then he had joined the company as a quiet young programmer in search of friendships and a mentor. But he lost friends when he used those same people as a ladder to climb to the top. 

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Pain Of Betrayal

Ev sat down with his wife and they asked each other the following questions: How can we raise our children to never act this way? How can we raise them to be honest and caring? They came up with two solutions.

First, When his kids grow up, they will be responsible for giving it away to charities, organizations that exist to try to make the world a better place.

Second, they would develop a weekly schedule to adhere to, ensuring that family comes before anything else.

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Earlier Lives

A couple of years before that they’d been just nobodies:

Jack with blue dreadlocks, wheeling a stroller around Berkeley, a hacker nanny sleeping on couches.

Biz, who was afraid to fly on airplanes, juggling credit cards to pay the rent with fifty thousand dollars in debt.

Ev living in a six-hundred-dollar-a-month garage atop someone’s home, riding a borrowed bicycle to work across dirt roads to a tiny cubicle, where he sat silently each day. All lonely and alone, searching for something. 

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CURATED BY

prince_rahul

"A good curated idea should be like a girl's skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest."

HATCHING TWITTER: A True Story of Money,Power, Friendship and Betrayal..

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