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Twitter's Growing Pains With Its Business

 4:15 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Twitter's Growing Pains With Its Business [tech.fortune.cnn.com]
Boardroom power plays, disgruntled founders, and CEO switcheroos are clipping the wings of this tech high flier.

There's no shortage of drama at Twitter these days: Besides the CEO shuffles, there are secret board meetings, executive power struggles, a plethora of coaches and consultants, and disgruntled founders. (Like Williams. The day after Dorsey announced his return to the company -- via tweet, naturally -- Williams quit his day-to-day duties at the company, although he remains a board member and Twitter's largest shareholder, with an estimated 30% to 35% stake.) These theatrics, which go well beyond the usual angst at a new venture, have contributed to a growing perception that innovation has stalled and management is in turmoil at one of Silicon Valley's most promising startups, which some 20 million active users rely on each month for updates on everything from subway delays to election results -- and which a growing number of companies, big and small, seek to use to market themselves and track customers.

Interesting piece from Fortune.



 5:19 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Its another fad that will pass. Who will be the next?
Maybe we'll all actually become more productive with our day, LOL


 5:46 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I really don't understand the negativity, Strapworks. I have found lots of useful information on twitter that I would not have found without a great deal of work and effort. I agree, it's not for all.

Back to the topic.

Perhaps Twitter's problem is that they cannot agree on a way forward. Their revenues are slow to come in, and they seem to lack the same innovation compared to all the third party tools out there.


 8:10 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

its via some . C O M (about trouble associated with twitter)
Twitter definetly does not has a proper ROI (though they can).
Politically whats going on in there, cannot be true !

Twitter will not die :)


 9:32 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

To be a player, you have to be big. Big means a lot of users. Having a lot of users means you have to be free. Free means that no one pays you. No one pays you means there is no money coming in. No money coming is a problem. A problem is nothing but an opportunity. An opportunity is good thing. Good things make money.

It will all work out, I'm certain.

Anyone here remember the long gone Pud & F'edcompany of the dot-com boom-bust era? His take on the "free" biz model was his primary riff.


 9:59 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I guess I did come off a little negative. I guess there are some good uses for Twitter.
I probably have a squed vision of Twitter as I see it mostly as either Spam messages (buy this, buy that, look at this company) or people writing random things (I just ate a muffin, I am bored).
For some companies/individuals I could see a benefit. But, you have to admit its like sitting in the middle of Times Square where every sign is talking to you, it can drive you nuts.
I am just one of those people that would rather everyone be outside enjoying each others company instead of conversing through a screen (like I am doing now, LOL).
But, I am a business man also and if any company can grow and make a profit year after year then they deserve respect (I am on 8 years straight of 30%-60% growth).


 11:41 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think growing pains come with the territory. Any time a company tries to support 20 million users, stay relevant and create fresh ideas, they will have growing pains.


 12:30 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Twitter seems more like a utility. It is there, it's free to use, we all take it for granted. Not real sure how they are going to make money from it w/o charging for use.


 8:01 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

@Strapworks, how good Twitter is depends on who you follow. I can currently see:

* A link to a radiation dose infographic: slightly, but not hugely, better than others I have seen recently.
* A link to an article on Google's Q1 earnings.
* A link to a mailing list discussion on usability tests for Ubuntu Unity
* Some updates on Middle Eastern uprisings, for people who are there.
* An announcement that Google Code can now be used to host projects under any OSI approved license, including the Affero GPL which Google has not always been enthusiastic about.

There are some "just ate a muffin" updates, but at 140 characters they are easy to skim past. No spam. I get some spam @mentions, but just a few a week.


 8:41 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree, it's how you use it which is who you follow for how good it is.

I never thought I'd use it but a friend started to.

It's horribly addictive if you leave it open as it fills up so quickly but I can't say I use it to tweet.

I thoroughly recommend @DRUNK HULK


 9:02 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Not real sure how they are going to make money from it w/o charging for use.

Me neither, but we all were saying the same thing about search engines in the 90s - and then came GoTo.com showing how PPC ads could do it.


 2:53 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Twitter does have an ad trial going on and a limited number of companies are involved in it. If they rolled it out they'd have a healthy income stream pretty quickly, i'm sure. The biggest problem I see is the ad becoming an annoyance, and therefore limiting its impact. I already remove the ads from the search because they are too prominent. It needs to be more subtle, imho. That way, people will accept it. If it's too 'in-your-face' it'll become a major annoyance.

What's strange is that as time goes by they have not yet tested much more than we've seen. Perhaps they've tested and we don't know about it.

Biz Stone hits back. [bizstone.com]
The Twitter team is an incredibly dedicated group of people who truly believe they are doing the most meaningful work of their lives. It's also a very small group of people when compared to the other companies Fortune is investigating. We still have under 500 employees—many of them working weekends and nights to fulfill a potential that is palpable. For a long time, we refused to hire a communications group and now that we have one, I'm having fun teasing them about this Fortune article but the truth is, we're long overdue to be knocked down by the press.


 3:12 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

One big problem with Twitter is that they initially positioned it as micro-blogging and it has become so much more than that. As soon as you start using a utility like TweetDeck you start to be able to unleash the power of Twitter.


 5:01 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

sundaridevi, exactly, just like I mentioned, the third party tools have innovated, twitter appreas to have stagnated.


 11:42 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Me neither, but we all were saying the same thing about search engines in the 90s - and then came GoTo.com showing how PPC ads could do it.

True but the thing that people discovered in search is that there was intent to do or buy something when someone was searching. It doesn't seem like there is any (or very little anyway) intent to transact behind the actions of people in social networks or micro blogging sites or whatever Twitter is considered. It is a water cooler, a communication and maybe a research tool.


 5:42 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

sundaridevi, exactly, just like I mentioned, the third party tools have innovated, twitter appreas to have stagnated.

I agree, really I don't know much about any of them except TweetDeck, because I'm not on there that much. But I see Twitter's utility today mostly as more B2B, professional networking, etc. Plus personal soapboxing for people who want attention (which probably is an extremely important attribute if you can figure out how to use it).

I can't imagine my Mom on there, it's just too tweaky to get the most useful stuff, unless as you point out, they bring in some of the best features from the 3rd party tools.

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