Schlagwort-Archive: Twitter

Two Weeks of Chaos: Inside Elon Musk’s Takeover of Twitter

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/11/technology/elon-musk-twitter-takeover.html

Mr. Musk ordered immediate layoffs, fired executives by email and laid down product deadlines, transforming the company.

SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk had a demand.

On Oct. 28, hours after completing his $44 billion buyout of Twitter the night before, Mr. Musk gathered several human-resource executives in a “war room” in the company’s offices in San Francisco. Prepare for widespread layoffs, he told them, six people with knowledge of the discussion said. Twitter’s work force needed to be slashed immediately, he said, and those who were cut would not receive bonuses that were set to be paid on Nov. 1.

The executives warned their new boss that his plan could violate employment laws and breach contracts with workers, leading to employee lawsuits, the people said. But Mr. Musk’s team said he was used to going to court and paying penalties, and was not worried about the risks. So Twitter’s human-resource, accounting and legal departments scrambled to figure out how to comply with his command.

Two days later, Mr. Musk learned exactly how costly those potential fines and lawsuits could be, three people said. Delays were also piling up as managers haggled over which employees to let go. He decided to wait on cutting jobs until after Nov. 1.

The order for immediate layoffs, the ensuing panic and the about-face reflect the chaos that has engulfed Twitter since Mr. Musk took over the company two weeks ago. The 51-year-old barreled in with ideas about how the social media service should operate, but with no comprehensive plan to execute them. Then he quickly ran into the business, legal and financial complexities of running a platform that has been called a global town square.

 

The fallout has often been excruciating, according to 36 current and former Twitter employees and people close to the company, as well as internal documents and workplace chat logs. Some top executives were summarily fired by email. One engineering manager, upon being told to cut hundreds of workers, vomited into a trash can. Others slept in the office as they worked grueling schedules to meet Mr. Musk’s orders.

Twitter, which is under financial pressure from debt and a slumping economy, is now unrecognizable compared with what it was a month ago. Last week, Mr. Musk slashed 50 percent of the company’s 7,500 employees. Executive resignations have continued. Misinformation proliferated on the platform during Tuesday’s midterm elections. A key project to expand revenue from subscriptions hit snags. Some advertisers have been aghast.

Mr. Musk, who did not respond to a request for comment, told employees in a meeting on Thursday that Twitter’s situation was grim.

“There’s a massive negative cash flow, and bankruptcy is not out of the question,” he said, according to a recording heard by The New York Times.

 

Mr. Musk added that they would need to work strenuously to keep the company afloat. “Those who are able to go hard core and play to win, Twitter is a good place,” he said. “And those who are not, totally understand, but then Twitter is not for you.”

 
ImageElon Musk posted a video of his entrance to Twitter headquarters on Oct. 26.
Credit…Twitter, via Associated Press
 
Elon Musk posted a video of his entrance to Twitter headquarters on Oct. 26.

Mr. Musk arrived at Twitter’s San Francisco offices on Oct. 26, toting a white porcelain sink through the glass doors of the building. “Let that sink in!” he tweeted at the time, along with a video of his grand entrance.

Leslie Berland, Twitter’s chief marketing officer, encouraged employees to say hi to Mr. Musk and escorted him through the office. He was seen chatting with employees at the company coffee bar.

But the vibe quickly changed. The next day, Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s chief executive, and Ned Segal, the chief financial officer, were in the office, two people familiar with the situation said. Once they knew Mr. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter was closing that afternoon, they left the building, uncertain what the new owner would do.

Mr. Agrawal and Mr. Segal soon received emails saying they had been fired, two people familiar with the situation said. Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s top legal and policy executive, and Sean Edgett, the general counsel, were also fired. Mr. Edgett, who was in Twitter’s offices at the time, was escorted out.

 
Image
Ned Segal
Credit…Drew Angerer/Getty Images
 
Ned Segal
 
Image
Parag Agrawal
Credit…Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
 
Parag Agrawal

That evening, Twitter hosted a Halloween party called “Trick or Tweet” for employees and their families. Some workers dressed in costume and tried to keep the mood festive. Others cried and hugged one another.

 

Mr. Musk had brought his own advisers, many of whom had worked at his other businesses, such as the digital payments company PayPal and the electric carmaker Tesla. They parked themselves in the “war room,” on the second floor of a building attached to Twitter’s headquarters. The area, which Twitter used to fete big-spending advertisers and dignitaries, was stocked with company memorabilia.

 

The advisers included the venture capitalists David Sacks, Jason Calacanis and Sriram Krishnan; Mr. Musk’s personal lawyer Alex Spiro; his financial manager Jared Birchall; and Antonio Gracias, a former Tesla director. Joining in were engineers and others from Tesla; from Mr. Musk’s brain interface start-up, Neuralink; and from his tunneling company, the Boring Company.

At times, Mr. Musk was spotted with his 2-year-old son, X Æ A-12, at Twitter’s office as he greeted employees.

In meetings with Twitter executives, Mr. Musk was direct. At the Oct. 28 meeting with human-resource executives, he said he wanted to reduce the work force immediately, before a Nov. 1 date when employees would receive regularly scheduled retention bonuses in the form of vested stock. Tech companies often compensate employees with regular share grants, earned over time the longer they stay at the firm.

One Twitter team began creating a financial model to show the cost of the layoffs. Another built a model to demonstrate how much more Mr. Musk might pay in legal fees and fines if he proceeded with the rapid cuts, three people said.

On Oct. 30, Mr. Musk received word that the rapid approach could cost millions of dollars more than laying people off with their scheduled bonuses. He agreed to delay, four people said.

But he had a condition. Before paying the bonuses, Mr. Musk insisted on a payroll audit to confirm that Twitter’s employees were “real humans.” He voiced concerns that “ghost employees” who should not receive the money lingered in Twitter’s systems.

 

Mr. Musk tapped Robert Kaiden, Twitter’s chief accounting officer, to conduct the audit. Mr. Kaiden asked managers to verify that they knew certain employees and could confirm that they were human, according to three people and an internal document seen by The Times.

The Nov. 1 bonus date came and went with no mass layoffs. Mr. Kaiden was fired the next day and marched out of the building, five people with knowledge of the situation said.

As Twitter managers compiled lists for layoffs, Mr. Musk flew to New York to meet with advertisers, who provide the bulk of Twitter’s revenue.

In some advertiser meetings, Mr. Musk proposed a system for Twitter users to choose the kind of content that the service exposed them to — akin to G to NC-17 movie ratings — implying that brands could then target their advertising on the platform better. He also committed to product improvements and more personalization for users and ads, two people with knowledge of the discussions said.

But his outreach was undercut by the departures of two New York-based Twitter executives — Ms. Berland and JP Maheu, a vice president in charge of advertising. They were well known in the advertising community.

Those Twitter executives “had great relationships with the senior-most people at the Fortune 500 — they were incredibly transparent and inclusive,” said Lou Paskalis, a longtime advertising executive. “Those things engender tremendous trust, and those things are now in question.”

 
Image
Leslie Berland
Credit…Xavi Torrent/Getty Images
 
Leslie Berland
 
Image
JP Maheu
Credit…Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
 
JP Maheu
 

Brands including Volkswagen Group, General Motors and United Airlines have said they will pause advertising on Twitter as they evaluate Mr. Musk’s ownership of the platform.

Mr. Musk elevated some managers at Twitter. He tapped Esther Crawford, a product manager, to revamp a subscription service called Twitter Blue. Mr. Musk wanted a new version of the service, which would cost $8 a month and include premium features and the verification check mark that was previously assigned for free to the accounts of celebrities, journalists and politicians to convey their authenticity.

He laid down a deadline: The team must finish Twitter Blue’s changes by Nov. 7 or its members would be fired.

Last week, Ms. Crawford shared a photo of herself sleeping at Twitter’s San Francisco offices in a sleeping bag and an eye mask, with the hashtag #SleepWhereYouWork.

Her message rubbed some colleagues the wrong way. They wondered in private chats why they should commit long working hours to a man who could fire them, according to five people and messages seen by The Times. On Twitter, Ms. Crawford responded to what she called “hecklers” by saying she had received supportive messages from other entrepreneurs and “builders of all types.”

The scope of layoffs was a moving target. Twitter managers were initially told to cut 25 percent of the work force, three people said. But Tesla engineers who reviewed Twitter’s code proposed deeper cuts to the engineering teams. Executives overseeing other parts of Twitter were told to expand their layoff lists.

Twitter executives also suggested assessing the lists for diversity and inclusion issues so the cuts would not hit people of color disproportionately and to avoid legal trouble. Mr. Musk’s team brushed aside the suggestion, two people said.

 

On Nov. 2, employees stumbled upon an open channel in the internal Slack messaging system where human resources and legal teams were discussing the layoffs. In a message seen by The Times, one employee said 3,738 workers could be laid off, or about half the work force. The message was widely shared internally.

That evening, Mr. Musk met with some advisers to settle on the reduction, according to a calendar invitation seen by The Times. They were joined by employees from Twitter’s human resources and staff from his other companies.

Anticipating the cuts, employees began bidding farewell to their colleagues, trading phone numbers and connecting on LinkedIn. They also pulled together documents and internal resources to help workers who survived the layoffs.

One engineering manager was approached by Mr. Musk’s advisers — or “goons,” as Twitter employees called them — with a list of hundreds of people he had to let go. He vomited into a trash can near his feet.

Late on Nov. 3, an email landed in employees’ inboxes. “In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global work force,” the email, signed “Twitter,” said.

Pandemonium followed. While the note said employees would receive a follow-up email the next morning about whether they still had jobs, many found themselves locked out of email or Slack that night, an indication they had been laid off. Those who remained in Slack posted saluting emojis en masse as a send-off for co-workers.

The cuts were enormous. In Redbird, Twitter’s platform and infrastructure organization, Mr. Musk shed numerous managers. The unit also lost about 80 percent of its engineering staff, raising internal concerns about the company’s ability to keep its site up and running.

 

In Bluebird, Twitter’s consumer division, dozens of product managers were laid off, leaving just over a dozen of them. The new ratio of engineers to managers was 70 to 1, according to one estimate.

 
Image
Mr. Musk in New York last Friday, the day after Twitter employees received an email about mass layoffs.
Credit…Andrew Kelly/Reuters
 
Mr. Musk in New York last Friday, the day after Twitter employees received an email about mass layoffs.

As layoffs unfolded, tech recruiters sensed opportunity. Top managers at rival companies such as Meta and Google sent messages to some of the employees being let go from Twitter, said two people who received the notes.

Most of Mr. Musk’s subordinates remained quiet throughout the process. But Mr. Calacanis, the venture capitalist, had been active on Twitter responding to product suggestions and concerns.

Last week, Mr. Musk dispatched a lieutenant to the “war room” to ask Mr. Calacanis, who was there, to cool it on Twitter and stop acting as if he were leading product development or policy, people familiar with the exchange said.

“To be clear, Elon is the product manager and CEO,” Mr. Calacanis later tweeted. “As a power user (and that’s all I am!) I’m really excited.”

By last Saturday, Mr. Musk’s advisers realized that the cuts may have been too deep, four people said. Some asked laid-off engineers, designers and product managers to return to their old jobs, three people familiar with the conversations said. The tech newsletter Platformer earlier reported the outreach.

 

At Goldbird, Twitter’s revenue division, the company had to bring back those who ran key money-generating products that “no one else knows how to operate,” people with knowledge of the business said. One manager agreed to try rehiring some laid-off workers, but expressed concerns that they were “weak, lazy, unmotivated and they may even be against an Elon Twitter,” two people familiar with the matter said.

On Monday, some Twitter employees arrived at work to find that certain systems they had relied on no longer worked. In San Francisco, an engineer discovered that some contracts with vendors that provide software for managing user data had been put on hold or had expired, and that the managers and executives who could fix the problem had been laid off or resigned.

On Wednesday, workers in Twitter’s New York office were unable to use the Wi-Fi after a server room overheated and knocked it offline, two people said.

Mr. Musk plans to begin making employees pay for lunch — which had been free — at the company cafeteria, two people said.

 
Image
Jason Calacanis
Credit…Christie Hemm Klok for The New York Times
 
Jason Calacanis
 
Image
Damien Kieran
Credit…Joshua Roberts/Reuters
 
Damien Kieran

Inside Twitter, some employees have clashed with Mr. Musk’s advisers.

This week, security executives disagreed with Mr. Musk’s team over how Twitter should meet its obligations to the Federal Trade Commission. Twitter had agreed to a settlement with the F.T.C. in 2011 over privacy violations, which requires the company to submit regular reports about its privacy practices and open its doors to audits.

On Wednesday, a day before a deadline for Twitter to submit a report to the F.T.C., Twitter’s chief information security officer, Lea Kissner; chief privacy officer, Damien Kieran; and chief compliance officer, Marianne Fogarty, resigned.

 

In internal messages later that day, an employee wrote about the resignations and suggested that internal privacy reviews of Twitter’s products were not proceeding as they should under the F.T.C. settlement.

Some engineers could be required to “self-certify” that their projects complied with the settlement, rather than relying on reviews from lawyers and executives, a shift that could lead to “major incidents,” the employee wrote.

“Elon has shown that his only priority with Twitter users is how to monetize them,” the person wrote in the message, which was viewed by The Times.

The employee added that Mr. Spiro, Mr. Musk’s lawyer, had said the billionaire was willing to take risks. Mr. Spiro, the employee said, told workers that “Elon puts rockets into space — he’s not afraid of the F.T.C.”

The F.T.C. said that it was tracking the developments at Twitter with “deep concern” and that “no C.E.O. or company is above the law.” Mr. Musk later sent employees an email saying Twitter will adhere to the F.T.C. settlement.

On Thursday, more Twitter executives resigned, including Kathleen Pacini, a human-resource leader, and Yoel Roth, the head of trust and safety.

At the meeting with employees that day, Mr. Musk tried to sound a note of optimism about Twitter’s future.

 

“Twitter can form an incredibly valuable service to the world and be the public town square,” he said, noting it should be a “battleground of ideas” where debate could “take the place of violence in a lot of cases.”

 

 

Werbung

‘I Don’t Really Want to Work for Facebook.’ So Say Some Computer Science Students.

Surprisingly a number of students and generation Y digital natives turn against social media giants.

Computer Science Students.

Image
The Cal Hacks 5.0 competition drew students to the University of California, Berkeley, including, from left, Haitao Zhang, Ingrid Wu and Emily Hu, all students at Berkeley. Some students at the hackathon expressed a reluctance to work for big tech firms.CreditCreditMax Whittaker for The New York Times

BERKELEY, Calif. — A job at Facebook sounds pretty plum. The interns make around $8,000 a month, and an entry-level software engineer makes about $140,000 a year. The food is free. There’s a walking trail with indigenous plants and a juice bar.

But the tone among highly sought-after computer scientists about the social network is changing. On a recent night at the University of California, Berkeley, as a group of young engineers gathered to show off their tech skills, many said they would avoid taking jobs at the social network.

“I’ve heard a lot of employees who work there don’t even use it,” said Niky Arora, 19, an engineering student, who was recently invited to a Facebook recruiting event at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. “I just don’t believe in the product because like, Facebook, the baseline of everything they do is desire to show people more ads.”

Emily Zhong, 20, a computer science major, piped up. “Surprisingly, a lot of my friends now are like, ‘I don’t really want to work for Facebook,’” she said, citing “privacy stuff, fake news, personal data, all of it.”

“Before it was this glorious, magical thing to work there,” said Jazz Singh, 18, also studying computer science. “Now it’s like, just because it does what you want doesn’t mean it’s doing good.”

As Facebook has been rocked by scandal after scandal, some young engineers are souring on the company. Many are still taking jobs there, but those who do are doing it a little more quietly, telling their friends that they will work to change it from within or that they have carved out more ethical work at a company whose reputation has turned toxic.

Facebook, which employs more than 30,000 full-time workers around the world, said, “In 2018, we’ve hired more engineers than ever before.” The company added, “We continue to see strong engagement and excitement within the engineering community at the prospect of joining our company.”

Image
Niky Arora, 19, a student at Berkeley, said she was skeptical about working for Facebook, which invited her to a recruiting event recently. “I’ve heard a lot of employees who work there don’t even use it,” she said.CreditMax Whittaker for The New York Times

The changing attitudes are happening beyond Facebook. Across Silicon Valley, tech recruiters said job applicants in general were asking more hard questions during interviews, wanting to know specifically what they would be asked to do at the company. Career coaches said they had tech employees reaching out to get tips on handling moral quandaries. The questions include “How do I avoid a project I disagree with?” and “How do I remind my bosses of the company mission statement?”

“Employees are wising up to the fact that you can have a mission statement on your website, but when you’re looking at how the company creates new products or makes decisions, the correlation between the two is not so tightly aligned,” said David Chie, the head of Palo Alto Staffing, a tech job placement service in Silicon Valley. “Everyone’s having this conversation.”

When engineers apply for jobs, they are also doing it differently.

“They do a lot more due diligence,” said Heather Johnston, Bay Area district president for the tech job staffing agency Robert Half. “Before, candidates were like: ‘Oh, I don’t want to do team interviews. I want a one-and-done.’” Now, she added, job candidates “want to meet the team.”

“They’re not just going to blindly take a company because of the name anymore,” she said.

Yet while many of the big tech companies have been hit by a change in public perception, Facebook seems uniquely tarred among young workers.

“I’ve had a couple of clients recently say they’re not as enthusiastic about Facebook because they’re frustrated with what they see happening politically or socially,” said Paul Freiberger, president of Shimmering Careers, a career counseling group based in San Mateo, Calif. “It’s privacy and political news, and concern that it’s going to be hard to correct these things from inside.”

Chad Herst, a leadership and career coach based in San Francisco since 2008, said that now, for the first time, he had clients who wanted to avoid working for big social media companies like Facebook or Twitter.

“They’re concerned about where democracy is going, that social media polarizes us, and they don’t want to be building it,” Mr. Herst said. “People really have been thinking about the mission of the company and what the companies are trying to achieve a little more.”

He said one client, a midlevel executive at Facebook, wanted advice on how to shift her group’s work to encourage users to connect offline as well. But she found resistance internally to her efforts.

“She was trying to figure out: ‘How do I politic this? How do I language this?’” Mr. Herst said. “And I was telling her to bring up some of Mark Zuckerberg’s past statements about connecting people.”

On the recent evening at the University of California, Berkeley, around 2,200 engineering students from around the country gathered for Cal Hacks 5.0 — a competition to build the best apps. The event spanned a weekend, so teenage competitors dragged pillows around with them. The hosts handed out 2,000 burritos as students registered.

It was also a hiring event. Recruiters from Facebook and Alphabet set up booths (free sunglasses from Facebook; $200 in credit to the Google Cloud platform from Alphabet).

In the auditorium, the head of Y Combinator, a start-up incubator and investment firm, gave opening remarks, recommending that young people avoid jobs in big tech.

“You get to program your life on a totally different scale,” said Michael Seibel, who leads Y Combinator. “The worst thing that can happen to you is you get a job at Google.” He called those jobs “$100,000-a-year welfare” — meaning, he said, that workers can get tethered to the paycheck and avoid taking risks.

The event then segued to a word from the sponsor, Microsoft. Justin Garrett, a Microsoft recruiter who on his LinkedIn profile calls himself a senior technical evangelist, stepped onstage, laughing a little.

“So, Michael’s a tough guy to follow, especially when you work for one of those big companies,” Mr. Garrett said. “He called it welfare. I like to call it tremendous opportunity.”

Then students flooded into the stadium, which was filled with long tables of computers where they would stay and compete. In the middle of the scrum, three friends joked around. Caleb Thomas, 21, was gently made fun of because he had accepted an internship at Facebook.

“Come on, guys,” Mr. Thomas said.

“These are the realities of how the business works,” said Samuel Resendez, 20, a computer science student at the University of Southern California.

It turned out Mr. Resendez had interned at Facebook in the summer. Olivia Brown, 20, head of Stanford’s Computer Science and Social Good club and an iOS intern at Mozilla, called him out on it. “But you still worked at Facebook, too,” she said.

“Well, at least I signed before Cambridge Analytica,” Mr. Resendez said, a little bashful about the data privacy and election manipulation scandal that rocked the company this year. “Ninety-five percent of what Facebook is doing is delivering memes.”

Ms. Brown said a lot of students criticize Facebook and talk about how they would not work there, but ultimately join. “Everyone cares about ethics in tech before they get a contract,” she said.

Ms. Brown said she thought that could change soon, though, as the social stigma of working for Facebook began outweighing the financial benefits.

“Defense companies have had this reputation for a long time,” she said. “Social networks are just getting that.”

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/15/technology/jobs-facebook-computer-science-students.html

How writing about your own industry makes You an Irresistible Job Candidate

How writing about your own industry makes You an Irresistible Job Candidate?

3231178720_5e2c1c45a8_b
By Alexis Grant
When it comes to standing out online, your best bet is to offer your own original content. Blog posts or tweets that revolve around your unique ideas will make you a standout candidate.

But the truth is, not everyone has the time, writing ability or even confidence to grow a quality blog or social media account, and plenty of people who don’t have a blog still want to move up the career ladder, into more challenging and better-paying positions.

What if there was a way to show the world just how smart you are, without creating your own content?

Well, there is, and it’s a tactic you should seriously consider: sharing other people’s content.

Whether you curate on Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr or all of the above, here are five things sharing content created by others says about you — and why it can move your career forward.

1. You know your industry inside and out.

When you share an abundance of interesting information, people begin to realize you know your stuff. Not only do you know what’s going on, but you understand what’s valuable to people in your industry and what they want to read, which is just as important.

Even if you don’t consider yourself highly knowledgeable on a certain topic — if, for example, you’re looking to change careers and are using your online presence to pivot — you’ll become knowledgeable on that topic as you sift through blogs and tweets looking for quality information to share. In other words, curating content can help you become an authority in your field and help others see you as an authority.

2. You’re innovative.

Not only do you use the latest social tools to share advice and ideas, the information you share is often about your industry’s latest trends and developments, which suggests you’re forward thinking.

Anyone can say in an interview that they like to follow tech trends, but serving your community as a content curator shows the hiring manager you’re serious about learning, brainstorming and innovating.

3. You enjoy helping others.

So many people talk about themselves on social media. You’ll stand out if you get off the soapbox and instead offer helpful, valuable information, giving props to whoever created it.

This is helpful not only to the minions who read your tweets, but also to the industry leaders who wrote the blog post, tweets or updates to begin with, since you’re helping spread their content and ideas. Those thought leaders will likely appreciate your efforts and might even look to connect further with you, which could lead to more opportunities.

See why being generous online is one of the best things you can do for yourself?

4. You’re familiar with the big (and little) players in your field.

Knowing who the thought-leaders are in your field and where they hang out is just as important — if not more — than being in-the-know about innovative developments. Why? Because those people likely are part of those developing trends, or at least talking about them. In many ways, they are the trends.

In their book The Startup of You, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha wrote, “If you’re looking for an opportunity, you’re really looking for people.” Knowing who’s doing what in your industry can go a long way toward helping you take the next step in your career. Curating content is a solid way to keep up with what everyone’s doing.

5. In some cases, you have access to those industry players.

Know what every employer wants more than an awesome, skilled employee? An awesome, skilled employee who knows people. Every one of your connections means a connection for your company.

If you don’t know any of the major players in your industry now, look to create those connections through sharing other people’s content. Your generosity could lead to online conversations with those people as they leave comments on your blog posts or reply to you through Twitter. Really want to get on their radar? Try an email introduction after you’ve mentioned that contact on your blog or Twitter, with the hope that they’ll recognize your name.

If you’re keen to give this a go, you’re probably wondering: What’s the best way to find quality information to share with your growing online community?

Try using an RSS tool like Feedly, organizing tweeps who share valuable information into Twitter lists, and streamlining the sharing process with apps like Hootsuite, Buffer and Twitterfeed. Before you know it, you’ll be the one who people in your industry turn to for all the best information, which makes you that much more marketable.

Have something to add to this story?

Quelle: http://mashable.com/2013/11/23/sharing-other-peoples-content/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-main-link

Twitter Founders Move on to Their Next Big Thing

Twitter-founders

What do you work on after launching one of the largest social networks in the world? It took some time, but each of the three Twitter founders appear to have come up with their own answers to this question.

Ev Williams stepped down as Twitter’s CEO in late 2010 and scaled back his role at the company in the months that followed. He pursued new projects at The Obvious Corporation, a startup incubator that Twitter’s co-founders launched in the mid-2000s, and which served as the original home of Twitter. A few months later, Biz Stone announced that he too would be stepping away from day-to-day duties at Twitter and joining Williams at Obvious to focus on new projects.

Since then, the two Twitter founders and their team at Obvious have helped launch several startups including Medium and Branch, and have worked with or invested in a number of other promising startups like Neighborland and Findery. The underlying goal all along, according to Williams, was to use Obvious to figure out what he and Stone wanted to work on next.

„We rebooted Obvious in 2011 with a vague plan,“ Williams wrote in a blog post this week. „We started investing, incubating, and experimenting to figure out what worked and what we wanted to do at this stage in our careers; we just knew we wanted to work together do stuff that mattered.“ Now, nearly two years later, Williams says he and Stone have settled on their next projects. 

Williams says that he is now spending „about 98%“ of his time working on Medium, the publishing platform that Obvious announced a year ago.

Williams says that he is now spending „about 98%“ of his time working on Medium, the publishing platform that Obvious announced a year ago. Just like Twitter before it, Medium has been spun out from Obvious, and is now said to be operating as its own company, with a staff of about 30 people.

Stone, meanwhile, has committed himself to working on a new mobile startup called Jelly, which is also affiliated with Obvious. Details of the project are still vague, but Stone suggested in a blog post earlier in the week that it will be a free app that helps people „do good,“ and which will take up most of his time. „Personally, Jelly will command my full attention aside from some advisory roles elsewhere,“ he wrote.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s third co-founder, remains involved with the social network’s business operations, but most of his focus is outside the company. In October, Dorsey wrote on his personal Tumblr that he only works at Twitter on Tuesday afternoons. He spends the rest of his time running Square, the mobile payments company he co-founded in 2010 and which is now valued at more than $3 billion. As if Square isn’t enough of ambitious follow-up to Twitter, Dorsey has repeatedly expressed an interest in eventually running for mayor of New York City.

Whether these projects become the Next Big Thing like Twitter is unclear, but for each of Twitter’s founders, they represent the next big thing in their careers — and that may be just as important.

Quelle: http://mashable.com/2013/04/07/twitter-founders/