Posted by Tom Foremski - June 29, 2011
Earlier this year I predicted that Twitter co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone wouldn't be around for long. How did I do this?
It was simple:
I looked at how much each of them used Twitter. The answer was not a lot, just one or two Tweets a day.
Also, when I saw them speak at a Commonwealth Inforum event I was shocked at how little insight they provided into Twitter -- another sign that they weren't engaged with the business and the product.
Twitter Comms Chief Sean Garrett spun my take by saying that Twitter is not about Tweeting but about reading. Apparently Messrs Williams and Stone read a lot of tweets. Bullshit. If you are reading tweets you are also re-tweeting and they did little of anything on Twitter.
Biz Stone is leaving to join Ev Williams at Obvious Corp. an incubator, reports Bloomberg.
I like the Twitter service and I like the Twitter founders and team -- despite my harsh criticism of Twitter threatening to leave San Francisco unless it got big tax breaks. But I'm worried if Twitter's management knows what it's doing.
The company now has no full-time founder - Jack Dorsey is doing double duty and has his hands full with Square -- which just raised a new round of financing: $100 million.
If there is anything I have learned about successful startups it's that it's important to have a founder or someone senior in management that has the passion to lead the rest of the team. I don't see that at Twitter. I'm worried that in its bid to find a lucrative business model it will do some dumb things and mess up an excellent service.
My advice to Twitter management is: stay out of the way -- we like it the way it is.