One of my favorite business books is Founders at Work, Stories of Startups’ Early Days, by Jessica Livingston. I like it so much because you get the actual stories from the founders, including the doubts, mistakes, failures, dreams and hopes instead of creative management theories you find in other business books.
This story from one of the people who was there when Twitter was born is equally interesting. Dom Sagolla was Twitter user #8 and sitting next to @jack when he first described “I want to have a dispatch service that connects us on our phones using text.”
This story, titled “How Twitter Was Born“, is interesting because you get a sense of how these ideas are born. There were no consultants, spreadsheets or wireframes. It was just a couple of skilled developers, desperate for a solution that would save their start-up from going bankrupt and a whole lot of testing. Twitter launched unofficially on March 31st, 2006 and really started taking off in march 2007 after winning an award at SXSW.
Illustration: original 2006 ‘Twttr’ design. Click image for large version.