"I'm happy this idea has taken root; I hope it thrives "
Evan Williams helps the world answer the question "What are you doing?" Twitter, the tiny, free world-changing app Williams helped launch, has become a vital connector of people and communities (as well as a fantastic way to keep up with Shaq and Demi Moore).
Before Williams worked on Twitter, he was part of a previous revolution in mass communication, Blogger, while working at Google. He left Google in 2004 to launch the podcasting service Odeo, and Twitter spun out from this in 2006 as a side project based on an idea of Jack Dorsey's.
"On May 31st, 2000, I signed up with a new service called LiveJournal. I was user 4,136 which entitled me a permanent account and street cred in some alternate geeky universe which I have not yet visited. I was living in the Sunshine Biscuit Factory in Oakland California and starting a company to dispatch couriers, taxis, and emergency services from the web.
One night in July of that year I had an idea to make a more "live" LiveJournal. Real-time, up-to-date, from the road. Akin to updating your AIM status from wherever you are, and sharing it. For the next 5 years, I thought about this concept and tried to silently introduce it into my various projects. It slipped into my dispatch work. It slipped into my networks of medical devices. It slipped into an idea for a frictionless service market. It was everywhere I looked: a wonderful abstraction which was easy to implement and understand.
The 6th year; the idea has finally solidified (thanks to the massively creative environment my employer Odeo
provides) and taken a novel form. We're calling it twttr (though this original rendering calls it stat.us; I love the word.ed domains, e.g. gu.st
). It's evolved a lot in the past few months. From an excited discussion and persuasion on the South Park playground to a recently approved application for a SMS shortcode. I'm happy this idea has taken root; I hope it thrives "Jack Dorsey