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Posts Tagged ‘@jack’

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Joins Disney’s Board Of Directors

Twitter's Jack Dorsey Joins Disney's Board Of Directors

Jack Dorsey is going places.

As if co-founding Twitter and being CEO of Square wasn’t enough, Dorsey has now joined Disney’s board of directors, which also includes Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

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Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Ranks 11th Amongst 50 People Who Changed Our Lives In 2013

Twitter's Jack Dorsey Ranks 11th Amongst 50 People Who Changed Our Lives In 2013

2013… it’s been a hell of a year. Certainly for Twitter, which has gone from strength-to-strength in the past 12 months, celebrating a successful IPO in November and now boasting more than 230 million active users.

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With @Ev AWOL, Is @Jack Putting The @Noah And @csshsh 2006 Twitter Dream Team Back Together?

This is nothing more than idle speculation.

(In fact, I’m not even sure if it’s as qualified as that.)

But here we go. There’s been a lot of negative buzz about Twitter this week, and a good chunk of it came from the ‘betrayal’ expressed in Business Insider’s interview with forgotten Twitter co-founder Noah Glass (which we documented here).

Here’s a thought: what if this story was leaked to prepare the way for the triumphant return of Glass and early days Twitter developer Florian Webber? What if Dorsey, now he’s returned to a position of power at Twitter, has decided to put the old team back together?

Baseless? Perhaps. Unsubstantiated? Maybe. But here’s the thing: both Glass and Webber are back in San Francisco today, right now, and Dorsey has just hooked up with one of them.

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Jack Dorsey Returns To Twitter As Executive Chairman

Last week we speculated about the return of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey to the network in a greater role, since he stepped down as CEO five months ago.

Today those rumours have been confirmed with Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Dorsey himself announcing his position as Executive Chairman of Twitter.

Dorsey will continue as CEO of his other startup, Square – which according to a spokeswoman at Square remains Dorsey’s “top priority” – but Jack will now begin overseeing product at Twitter within this new role.

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"The Tale Of Twitter Begins In 1984, In The Bedroom Of An 8-Year-Old Boy In Downtown St. Louis…"

And so begins an interesting account in Vanity Fair of Jack Dorsey (@jack), the co-founder of Twitter, and writer of the first-ever tweet.

Dorsey’s other venture, Square, the electronic payment service that allows anyone to accept credit card payments via their smartphone, is already processing $1 million in payments each and every day. But it’s the history of Twitter, and Dorsey’s relationship with fellow co-founders Biz Stone and (notably) Evan Williams that is of most interest.

Williams had expected his business to be a directory of podcasts. But when Apple incorporated one into iTunes, Odeo’s plans went out the window. In full reset mode, Williams asked his staff for new ideas, and Dorsey laid out his vision for SMS texting had just begun to take off in the U.S., so the time felt right. “Meanwhile, I was still doing this fashion thing,” remembers Dorsey. “I had about 10 classes where we built, from drawings to construction, skirts. Pencil, asymmetrical, mini. I wanted to make jeans, but you start with skirts because they’re easy. Then Twitter started taking off–and I never got to pants.”

Inside Odeo, Dorsey worked closely with several others on the project, then called “twttr.” Biz Stone, Dorsey’s close friend, did the design and user interface. Stone, aged 32 at the time, had written books on blogging and worked on projects that enabled extra-short posts. Like all great ideas, Twitter had many cooks, but no one disputes that the initial brainstorm grew out of Dorsey’s singular obsession. Shortly, they had a working product, and Dorsey authored the first tweet, cogent and Dorsey-esque: “Inviting co-workers.”

Odeo launched Twitter in July 2006, but it wasn’t until the following March that the world took notice. That’s when thousands of participants at the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference, in Austin, spontaneously began using it to swarm. The best parties that year were the ones people learned about on Twitter. The Twitter feeds defined the event for tech cognoscenti, and at Odeo it became apparent that Twitter ought to be spun off as its own company.

Williams had been struggling with Odeo’s investors and eventually bought the company back from them. Twitter seemed promising, but the firm was drifting. Employees were grumbling. Williams didn’t want to run Twitter, but instead to turn Odeo into an incubator for multiple businesses. He needed a C.E.O. But Dorsey, who had headed the venture so far, was just an engineer initially hired as a contractor. “I thought, It’s a risk, because he’d never even been a manager,” says Williams. “But Twitter wasn’t a huge deal at the time, and I thought, He has the vision. He’s got the technical chops. Let’s put him in charge.”

Dorsey got serious. “I took my nose ring out after our first round of financing,” he says, matter-of-factly. Twitter raised $5 million, largely from a single V.C. firm, Union Square Ventures. But managing a new company from Odeo’s wreckage was daunting. “Suddenly I became the boss of all my peers in a very damaged culture,” says Dorsey. “The morale was low.”

Twitter usage continued growing quickly–too quickly. Dorsey and his staff struggled to keep the service from going down. Looking back, Dorsey admits he was a flawed manager: “I let myself be in a weird position because it always felt like Ev’s company. He funded it. He was the chairman. And I was this new guy who was a programmer, who had a good idea. I would not be strong in my convictions, basically, because he was the older, wiser one.” Dorsey did a poor job explaining where he wanted the company to go.

“It just got a lot bigger a lot faster than anyone expected,” says Williams. “A year and a half later we’d raised $20 million, and the servers were crashing every day It wasn’t so much that the ship was sinking, but more ‘Great job, Jack–we’ve got to up our level of experience and lay some foundation for a much bigger organization.’ ” Others say the two were barely speaking by then, and in October 2008, Williams took the C.E.O. job for himself. Dorsey became chairman, but was no longer an employee.

He was devastated to be ejected again from a company that was building a product he’d conceived. “It was like being punched in the stomach,” he says in a rare moment of candor on the subject. Fred Wilson, who had joined Twitter’s board, puts a more benign spin on the breakup: “Ev and Jack are a little like John and Paul. They made great music together for a while, but then they both kind of got ambitious about things and didn’t see eye to eye anymore.”

Head on over to Vanity Fair to continue reading about who Dorsey reveres for design inspiration (no surprises), his ambitions for Square, and the lessons he learned about what went wrong, for him at least, at Twitter.

(Source: Vanity Fair.)

Now Verified On Twitter – @Ev And @Biz (@Jack Shunned Once Again)

The verification system on Twitter is a nice idea but it still hasn’t been implemented correctly. There are good reasons why celebrities, public figures and brands should be first in the queue to get verified accounts, but there are also very good reasons why everybody should be offered the seal of approval from Twitter for their account, too, famous or otherwise.

We’re all real people. Well, aside from the millions of bots, copycats and imposters. And that‘s exactly why we all need to be verified. It would be easy enough to do – just let us verify our accounts with a bank card. If you don’t want to share this information, or don’t care about being verified, then you’d just opt out. Everybody who did care would opt in. Simples.

Still, to their credit, the Twitter three (Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey and Evan William) have taken their sweet time about getting their own accounts verified, waiting patiently whilst everybody else – even people nobody has ever heard of – got the badge ahead of them.

And while I like the idea that they kept on applying but the tech team at Twitter were routinely marking their applications as spam, Williams (@ev) and Stone (@biz) finally got themselves verified.

Which just leaves Jack Dorsey (@jack), who still hasn’t been deemed worthy of the badge.

And don’t forget – this comes just a few days after he was left out of the Twitter team’s #9 placing in Vanity Fair’s most influential people list.

He’s got to be a little pissed – he’s a Twitter co-founder, after all. Time to get even, Jack – go ahead and loosen the height control on Biz’s chair.

PS. @rickastley is now official, too. You know what to do.

Happy Birthday Twitter (Four Years Old Today!)

Twitter turns four today. Co-founder Jack Dorsey made the first tweet on March 21, 2006, at 8.50pm (PST).

Happy Birthday Twitter (Four Years Old Today!)

Note the status number at the end of the URL of that tweet – twenty. Status numbers tell us the actual number of the post on the system. Wonder what happened to tweets one through nineteen? Maybe the content was so racy and damaging that they were quickly pulled before Twitter went live?

(Or, perhaps more likely, they were used for testing purposes.)

Happy birthday Twitter!

With The World Watching, Twitter Gets Caught With Its Pants Down

Out of nowhere, and at the peak of its powers, Twitter suddenly seems really, really amateur.

You’ve probably heard that TechCrunch is privy to hundreds of confidential Twitter documents. No doubt you’ve seen the reaction to that news. And maybe reading the first leak, a proposal for a Twitter TV show called Final Tweet (which may well be the dumbest idea for a name since Shafted), made you want to curl up and die. You’re not alone.

With The World Watching, Twitter Gets Caught With Its Pants Down

But this is all just hype. The real problems are on Twitter itself. The network seems to be developing another major issue pretty much every week. We still haven’t had a resolution to the replies fiasco. An enormous number of users are still not showing up on Twitter search. For the past week, many innocent people have been randomly suspended. We’re all following people we didn’t want to.

And Twitter isn’t doing anything about it – at least, nothing that’s working. Of course, a big part of this issue is their lousy PR – instead of focusing on being timely and prompt in letting users know that they’re aware of all of these issues, especially when they’re ongoing, they’d rather talk about tractors.

Create a successful business, and and growing pains are inevitable. But Twitter is now three years old. Calling it a ‘start-up’ is beginning to sound daft. The service has a level of coverage in the mainstream media that rivals anything else on the internet.

You don’t see this stuff happening on Facebook. And here’s the rub – even if you did, we wouldn’t be as aware of it because Facebook as a mass-communication medium sucks in comparison to Twitter. It’s difficult on Facebook to reach beyond your immediate network of friends; the ripple effect on Twitter makes this really easy. Theoretically, and thanks to the re-tweet mechanism, one update can reach every single person. Or about 23 million people, if you want to get picky.

Which of course for those of us who use the service is one of the best things about it. For Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams, and their team, it’s also one of the worst.

Is Twitter Like 'Lost', And They're Just Making It Up As They Go Along?

Yesterday I had a blast at the Media140 conference, London’s first micro-blogging event. The crowd was enthusiastic and intelligent, and there was some excellent discourse amongst the panellists and speakers, and some great queries were raised (and in some cases, answered, at least in part).

I suspected that for some of the journalists present there was as much fear as there was excitement about the micro-blogging platform and its potential and ramifications for the newspaper industry (as well as the individuals therein, hence the concern), and this is certainly understandable. Principally because Twitter, the entity and the network, and their own plans and ambitions, are unknown quantities.

I’m a huge fan of the television series Lost. As of this moment it’s my favourite show on TV, and quite possibly all-time, too. The show sizzles with exceptionally groundbreaking, innovative content, and has and will continue to have a huge influence on the industry.

The thing is, like many fans (and, indeed, critics), it’s hard to shake the feeling that they might be pulling a bit of a fast one on us – that they’re just making it all up as they go along. The sixth and final season begins later this year – unless the last few episodes are absolute world-beaters, even if they’re not ‘winging it’ week-to-week and had an A-to-Z plan from day one, a lot of people are going to feel really cheated. It will still feel like they didn’t have a clue; that they just got lucky.

The cast of Lost, with the Twitter co-founders, Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey

This, too, is my worry for Twitter – that the founders, Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, completely fluked into something that became popular and influential, but now don’t really have any idea what to do with it. I was chatting to some folks at the Media140 after-party yesterday and the majority are apprehensive about Twitter’s plans. We’re concerned that the time and effort we’ve invested into the service is exponentially increasing the risk of it not paying off, both in a monetary and philosophical sense. Reward, after all, comes in many forms, and we’re all making deposits into the network.

The key questions for both Twitter and Lost remain: where is this all going? And will we like it when we get there?

“The Ultimate Goal Is To Become A Very Broad-Reaching Utility.” ~ Biz Stone

Biz Stone interviews well. He seems a likeable guy and generally says the right things. In this video he talks about the value of Twitter, and makes good points about how even the most vapid tweets have the potential to become hugely significant; from lead to gold, if you will, borrowing his comparison to alchemy.

Which is all well and good. But the quality and impact of tweets on the network doesn’t actually have anything to do with Twitter themselves. They just provided the platform – all of the content is generated by us (and their 47 employees, few of which, somewhat disturbingly, seem to have much idea how to use the service). We could all be tweeting about cures for cancer, or we could all be tweeting about what we had for lunch. While the intellectual capacity of the former has a far greater value for Twitter (and the world) than the latter, the end result – the data – is not something Twitter can actually control. It’s either going to be of great value, or it’s not.

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