My daily readings 04/15/2011

    • “We back great entrepreneurs and Flipboard is that and also in an obviously unique position to solve a problem of media consumption in the digital age,” he said. “The sky is the limit. Or more precisely it is the best environment to consume curated real-time content for Twitter and Facebook, because of the user experience and social endorsement integration with the content.
    • I think he wanted to set up an incubator company at the time. Obvious was supposed to be something different than what it is today. Obvious was supposed to be this umbrella company where they had multiple projects. Like an incubator. And he stopped until Twitter became one of those things. 
    • NG: That’s true. Ev had lots of enemies at Blogger before we even started Odeo. A lot of them come from necessity. They come from ego too, of course. He had to shut down the company. At Blogger he had to let everybody go. Then they got bought by Google, and that doesn’t make anyone happy. The people he had to let go right before this massive thing happens.
    • Unless you sort of beat them over the head with it, they were never going to see the value in it. They saw it as a distraction from what they had invested in. They had invested in Odeo, and here I was telling them this thing is great, this is where we should be going. They’d say, “What about Odeo?”
    • NG: [Odeo] was in turmoil, honestly. Investors were not really happy with what was going on. Ev, who was CEO, was not really happy with the company with growth and the direction it was going. We were sort of looking for something else. We were looking for a backup plan. We had a certain amount of money and we had a team in place. We just started experimenting with stuff.
    • I spent a lot of time early on building a mechanism that would facilitate growth that we saw and facilitate sharing like what we see happening now. Initially, the product was growing because of the social aspect between people. The idea that police departments or fire departments are using it to give updates on the city, that was something we built into it in the very beginning as a concept. A lot of that stuff was hashed out early on
    • NG: Yes. Of course he did. Ev is very shrewd. He’s a very shrewd businessman, and he’s had a lot of practice. He’s had lots of failures in the past. He’s had some big failures in the past. That’s his business – to isolate and spot value where it is.

      There’s a difference between between fanatical – and I hate to say that I was fanatical – but to be extremely passionate like I am or being very super rational and calculated like he is. Evan and I are two different polar opposites. I am very passionate about certain things and I will get passionate about certain things I believe in. I’ll speak passionately and I’ll wave my arms and I’ll jump up and down and I’ll use energy to prove my point or create momentum around an idea. Whereas he’ll sit down, think about it, write it down, walk away. He’ll write a paper on it, come back and say, “This is my opinion.” He’s very calculated.

    • “I felt betrayed by my friends, by my company, by these people around me I trusted and that I had worked hard to create something with. I was a little shellshocked. I was like, ‘Wait…what’s the value in building these relationships if this is the result?’ So I spent a lot of time by myself. And working on things alone.”
    • On the one hand, by early as the summer of 2006, there was already plenty of evidence that some users found Twitter impossibly addictive. Evan Henshaw-Plath says he remembers one Odeo employee racking up a $400 SMS bill. So many users sent so many texts that Odeo eventually agreed to pay employee texting bills. Noah Glass says that, early on, mobile carriers told him they’d never seen so much SMS activity then they did with Twitter.
    • In his letter to Odeo’s investors, Williams wrote this about Twitter:

      By the way, Twitter (, which you may have read about, is one of the pieces of value that I see in Odeo, but it’s much too early to tell what’s there. Almost two months after launch, Twitter has less than 5,000 registered users. I will continue to invest in Twitter, but it’s hard to say it justifies the venture investment Odeo certainly holds — especially since that investment was for a different market altogether.

      Evan proposed buying back Odeo investors’ stock, and, eventually, the investors agreed to the buyback. So Evan bought the company – and Twitter. The amount he paid has never been reported. Multiple investors, who had combined to put $5 million into Odeo, say Evan made them whole.

    • Most echoed the sentiments of James Hong, the cofounder of and an Odeo angel investor.  Hong told us, “Obviously, I wish what happened hadn’t happened. There was a dark period where I didn’t want to hear about Twitter.”
    • “If there’s ever any litigious stuff in the air,” says this investor, “it will be: How much did Evan know about the user engagement and numbers of Twitter at the time of buying it out?”
  • The first coverage of twitter. Fun

    tags: Twitter

    • But then, in the fall of 2005, “the shit hit the fan,” says George Zachary, the Charles River Ventures partner who led the firm’s investment in Odeo.

      That was when Apple first announced iTunes – which included a podcasting platform built into every one of the 200 million iPods Apple would eventually sell. Around the same time, Odeo employees, from Glass and Williams on down, began to realize that they weren’t listening to podcasts as much as they thought they would be.

      Says Cook: “We built [Odeo], we tested it a lot, but we never used it.”

    • “I got the impression he was unhappy with what he was working on –  a lot of cleanup work on Odeo.”

      “He started talking to me about this idea of status and how he was really interested in status,” Glass says. “I was trying to figure out what it was he found compelling about it.”

    • One day in February 2006, Glass, Dorsey, and a German contract developer Florian Webber presented Jack’s idea to the rest of the company.  It was a system where you could send a text to one number and it would be broadcasted out to all of your friends: Twtt
    • Everyone agrees that original inkling for Twitter sprang from Jack Dorsey’s mind. Dorsey even has drawings of something that looks like Twitter that he made years before he joined Odeo. And Jack was obviously central to the Twitter team.

      But 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.

      “It was predominantly Noah who pushed for the project to be started,” says Blaine Cook, who describes Glass as Twitter’s “spiritual leader.”

    • Zachary says Glass told him, “You know what’s awesome about this thing? It makes you feel like you’re right with that person. It’s a whole emotional impact. You feel like you’re connected with that person.”

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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