Hatching Twitter A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal
The November 2013 IPO made billionaires of three of Twitter's original four founders - Ev Williams, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone. But it's been a bumpy road. Co-founder Noah Glass was kicked out of Twitter in 2006. Jack Dorsey was removed as CEO in 2008,but came roaring back in 2011 as executive chairman. Ev (who was turfed as CEO in 2010) and Biz are no longer involved with day-to-day operations at Twitter.
Odeo: Where It All Began
The four came together at startup Odeo, a podcasting company. But when Apple announced it was adding podcasts to iTunes, in June, 2005, they realized that they had to find a new idea.
Jack had created a crude prototype in early 2000 of a "status" idea," and introduced it to the others at Odeo. They'd already talked about a way for friends to follow one another on an online messaging platform, but they hadn't figured out what kind of messages
the friends would share. Jack's "status idea" was the answer, and the new project was called "Status" at first. Then Noah came up with twttr, which evolved to Twitter.
Conflicts From the Start
The story of Twitter is rife with conflict and behind-the-scenes disputes. Noah was the first to fall - he was pushed out because Jack didn't want to work with him. As the company grew, Jack was named CEO. But after a while, Ev and the investors felt he was out of his depth and was demoted. Next up as CEO was Ev. But then the new investors and senior Twitter execs met secretly with Jack, concerned about Ev's leadership flaws, and Jack was back in. Today, only Jack is still involved with day-to-day operations.
From playing a central role in the Iranian uprising to tweeting from space, it's been a wild ride for Twitter. As for the founders: Noah Glass made little money. He says he may try another startup one day. Biz Stone and his wife have started the Biz and Livia Foundation. Ev Williams re-opened Obvious Corporation after leaving Twitter. And Jack Dorsey is growing Square, his mobile payments company, into a multibillion dollar business. He may be named CEO of Twitter again, and thinks about becoming the mayor of New York.
By Nick Bilton