The sad story of Twitter

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:

I hardly know what to say. It’s like a lottery winner who later goes bankrupt. Twitter had such a fantastic opportunity. I recall, 5 years ago, when TechCrunch faced criticism for running so many stories about Twitter, but Michael Arrington defended the stories by saying that Twitter was important. And it could have been important. But now it is just fading away, thanks to mismanagement. They never should have gone after ad money. They should have built an eco-system around their API.

And yet, here is some criticism that is 100% wrong:

I think the disaster that is Twitter is a product of its culture. If you read the history of the business, it started with a group of people who really arrived in the business quite randomly. There wasn’t much thought given to building a balanced team or a strong culture. Effectively, twitter was an accident that came out of another business.

Most worryingly, the founders couldn’t agree on what the purpose of Twitter was, and illuminatingly people in this discussion still don’t have a clear idea of its purpose. Is it a news broadcast system, to follow current events? Or is it about sharing your personal life with your friends?

Almost all startups pivot, so the fact that Twitter pivoted should be a compliment, and not an insult. The early Twitter team was savvy and flexible. They saw their original idea failed, and they changed direction. Which was brilliant. It’s the more recent leadership that has failed.