Twitter's Origins: Rivals, Missteps, Booze

Tale of rivalries has few heroes: Seth Fiegerman

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 5, 2013 10:21 AM CST

(Newser) Hatching Twitter, a new book by New York Times journalist Nick Bilton, details the history of the site—and it's got enough rivalries, mistakes, and friendships cast aside to be made into The Social Network 2. As Mashable reports, Twitter began as an idea drunkenly related by engineer Jack Dorsey to the founder of a podcasting startup. That founder, one Noah Glass, joined with Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone to begin work on the new social media site that started as a side project.

Each of the co-founders contributed essential ideas to the project, but that didn't prevent divisions from forming. Dorsey and Williams didn't like the way Glass was running things, so they ousted him; afterward, he struggled to keep in contact with his onetime friends. Dorsey became CEO, but he lacked experience, and at the first event for the site, he got drunk and was hospitalized, Mashable notes. After Williams took over, Dorsey and investors eventually took the position away from him. "Yet throughout these transitions, there was one constant: Twitter kept growing," writes Seth Fiegerman, noting that Biz Stone seems like the book's only "noble" figure. Click for his full review.

Then-president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, right, writes a Twitter message as co-founders Evan Williams, left, and Biz Stone watch at the Twitter office in San Francisco, Wednesday, June 23, 2010.
Then-president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, right, writes a Twitter message as co-founders Evan Williams, left, and Biz Stone watch at the Twitter office in San Francisco, Wednesday, June 23, 2010.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
In this Feb. 2, 2013, file photo, a smartphone display shows the Twitter logo in Berlin, Germany.
In this Feb. 2, 2013, file photo, a smartphone display shows the Twitter logo in Berlin, Germany.   (AP Photo/dpa, Soeren Stache, File)
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