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The Founder of Twitter and his Place In Social Media History By John Erzen and Bhatti Murti
Biographic Information• Born on Nov. 19, 1976.• Grew up in St. Louis, Missouri.• Attended high school at Bishop DuBourg High
Biographic Information• Attended college at Missouri University of Science and Technology.• Then transferred to New York University at age 18 to study and work for a company whose website he had hacked.
Milestones and Achievements• At an early age, before he hit 10 years, he started studying maps.• While in St. Louis, as a youngster, he taught himself how to do computer programming and transfer maps to a screen.• He then added dots on the screen and then moved them around. Initially they didn’t have any meaning, so he started looking for meaning.• He used data available in public domain such as movement of ambulances and police cars, and plotted the data into the dots, providing meaning to the dots.
• In 2000, while in Oakland, Dorsey started his company to dispatch couriers, taxis, and emergency services from the Web.• In July 2000, applying his map-reading skills and dispatching, he developed the idea for a Web-based real-time status/short message communication service.• From this and his interest in text messaging, Dorsey partnered with Biz Stone (co-founder and creative director of Twitter) and built a prototype of Twitter in two weeks.• March 21, 2006 - Dorsey and Stone co-founded “Obvious” which ultimately became Twitter.
• The tipping point for Twitters popularity was the 2007 South by Southwest Interactive conference. During the event, Twitter usage surged from 20,000 tweets a day to 60,000.• In 2008, he was named to the MIT Technology Review TR35 as one of the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35.• In October 2008 – Evan Williams became CEO of Twitter and Dorsey became chairman.
• In March 2011 – Dorsey went back to Twitter as executive chairman, focusing on product development.• In 2009, he co-founded service firm Square, where he is now the CEO. Square allows anyone to easily accept payment by credit card. Importance of Square? It can make anyone a merchant.• Dorsey outlines three core takeaways from his experiences: 1. Draw: get your idea out of your head and share it; 2. Luck: assess when the time (and the market) is right to execute your idea; 3. Iterate: take in the feedback, be a rigorous editor, and refine your idea.
Importance in the Industry• In 2008, Twitter was used extensively by Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain to update supporters. (GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney and Obama continue with the practice for 2012 polls).• Obama first disclosed VP nominee on Twitter.• News of the Mumbai terrorist attacks (2008) and the landing of the UA plane on the Hudson River first reported on Twitter (2009).
• In June 2009, Twitter rose to prominence during the Iranian presidential polls, and the protests that took place following Mahmoud Ahmedinajad’s claims of victory. US requested Dorsey to delay Twitter maintenance work, so protestors could keep tweeting.• Companies make money off Twitter. For instance, Dell took to Twitter when it was still in infancy in 2007, and by 2009 disclosed it recorded $6.5 million in Twitter-driven sales.• Google, Microsoft, and Facebook have all reportedly been vying to buy the company for more than $8 billion.• In December 2011, company was valued at $8.4 billion.
Where is he Now?• Dorsey, 35, lives in San Francisco.• His assets estimated at $650 million.• Experian ranks Twitter number two among social media sites, behind Facebook, with 182 million total visitors (April 2012).• Square now processes more than $11 million in transactions today and Square payments are accepted on Facebook.• Dorsey runs two separate companies – Square and Twitter – remaining hands-on at both the firms.
Origin of the Name Twitter?Hear it from Dorsey himself: We wanted a name thatevoked what we did. We wanted something that wastangible. And we looked at what we were doing and whenyou received a tweet over SMS, your phone would buzz. Itwould jitter. It would twitch. And those were the earlynames, Jitter and Twitch. And neither one of them reallyinspired the best sort of imagery.http://youtu.be/NNQgF0qvPBE
Dorsey: Little Known Facts• In 2000, he dropped everything to pursue a career in botanical illustration.• Later studied for a year to become a certified massage therapist.• Subsequently enrolled in fashion designing.• Had nose ring and earrings on both ears but removed them as Twitter went mainstream.• Likes ballet and Prada products.• His dream job? Mayor of New York City!