Twitter Co-Founder @Ev: On to Startup #3
If there was any room left for speculation left, let it be clear – Twitter co-founder Evan Williams has decided to further “scale back” his role at the company. Reports came out a month ago that the former CEO had been rather absent from the halls of the company’s headquarters in San Francisco and today Williams confirmed his lessening role.
Why is Williams making the move? He says that Twitter is in “capable hands that aren’t [his]” and that he’s ready to move on to the next big thing.
Williams stepped down from his position as CEO six months ago, handing the reigns over to Dick Costolo. He says that, upon stepping down, his “mind started to wander” and he realized that Twitter had reached the same state that Blogger had when he left it behind.
When I took the CEO job, there were many who didn’t think Twitter would last this long. Today, even the naysayers have begrudgingly accepted it’s not disappearing anytime soon. I have the utmost confidence that, like Blogger, Twitter will grow an order of magnitude more (even though that’s a much taller order, given its size already). The momentum is just incredibly strong, critical mass has been reached, and the dark days of imminent technical meltdown are over.
Of course, while those “days of imminent technical meltdown” may be over, the company has recently re-entered choppy waters in its efforts to monetize. Over recent months, the company has taken to a more stringent enforcement of its terms of service, causing developers to question how loyal it is to the ecosystem that helped it rise to its current status.
Williams’ departure comes on the heels of the company’s declaration that perhaps developers should not focus any further effort on building clients, as it plans on moving in that direction, and recent, high-profile (though temporary) closures of several alternative clients. It also comes at the same time as fellow co-founder Jack Dempsey rejoins the company as a part-time director of product.
What’s next for the two-time founder? Startup number three, of course, though Williams is tight-lipped on the details. He says that he will remain on Twitter’s board of directors and help any way he can, but that there are other problems to solve.
“Now that Twitter is in capable hands that aren’t mine, it’s time to pick up a whiteboard marker and think fresh. There are other problems/opportunities in the world that need attention, and there are other individuals I’d love to get the opportunity to work with and learn from,” writes Williams. “While I doubt I’ll get so lucky a third time, as my good friend Biz Stone likes to say, “Creativity is a renewable resource.” Let’s see what happens.”
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