March 21, 2016

Happy Birthday Twitter

Nine years ago — less than a year after the first tweet — I sent cover letter that I’m still proud off:

Virtub/Buzzword Cover LetterVirtub/Buzzword Cover Letter

Not only did it open the door to a summer and fall internship, but I don’t cringe when I reread, unlike so many other things from back then. In the context of Twitter, I feel pretty smug about my prediction:

Everyday I get people to use Backpack, 30boxes, Democracy and Pando. I’m also sure Twitter is going to reach the tipping point soon. But I still understand why some of my favorite tools, such as or flickr, can’t be sold” in a simple enough way so that the average user gets excited and use it.

To appreciate how difficult it’s to still be relevant — or alive— after 10 years, we just need to check up the other services I mentioned:

  • Backpack: Frozen in time. Basecamp is alive and well, but I was sure its little brother was going to make it.
  • 30boxes: Zombie. Site is there, but service was beaten by Google Calendar.
  • Democracy (Miro): My naiveness at play. Bitorrent didn’t decentralize video sharing as much as I expected.
  • Pando: Dead. I didn’t fully understand how Dropbox would change the model.
  • I see dead apps. It’s dead, it just doesn’t know it yet.
  • Flickr: Dead man walking.

So there. I manage to congratule Twitter by talking about myself… which is basically how I use Twitter.


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