Jack Dorsey: How Twitter’s Co-Founder Found Success


Jack Dorsey is a web developer and businessman who is best known as the co-creator, co-found and CEO of Twitter.

Early Life

Born in 1976, on November 1976 in St. Louis, Missouri, Jack Dorsey had his first experience with programming when he was a 14-year-old kid. He coded a few programs for firefighting services and dispatching taxis. According to rumours, when Jack heard taxi drivers communicating and updating each other on their whereabouts, the idea of Twitter popped into his brain.


How Twitter Came to Be

After moving away from St. Louis in the early 90’s, attending college and trying out other business ventures in the tech industry, Odeo Company, a venture that sought to help internet startups, hired Jack. Unfortunately, Odeo started facing financial difficulties and significant ideological shifts in 2006. This made Jack’s boss tell him to consider splitting his team into groups and have each of them working on developing new products. Soon enough, Jack will tell the world about a concept he had that would enable people to share what they are thinking on the internet.

Jack’s proposal was to utilize a special program that relied on the short messaging system (SMS), allowing users to send messages to people on their friend’s list. (this is why Twitter initially had the 140 character limitation). After several weeks of coding, Jack and his team invented Twitter as well as the logo with the bluebird.


The Tweet that Started it All

Jack Dorsey himself made the first Tweet on March 21, 2006, when he wrote on his Twitter profile: “just setting up my twttr”. In June 2006, Twitter was fully available to the public for the first time. Unfortunately, Americans at the time didn’t think the microblogging service was relevant.

All of a sudden, Odeo, the company that was helping out Dorsey and fellow young programmers, ran into major financial problems. This forced Jack to think of ways to come up with the necessary funds to keep Twitter going independently of Odeo just a month after launch. Luckily, Fred Wilson offered to sponsor Jack and serve as Twitter’s strategic consultant. On top of providing the funds to keep Twitter going, Fred also made management contributions that led to the success of Twitter.


How Twitter Became Popular

After 2007’s South by Southwest Film Festival, Twitter hit the mainstream when the staff put up several screens that displayed messages from Twitter users in real time. By doing this, Dorsey and his team upped the number of daily tweets from 20 to 60,000. The Billionth tweet was sent in May 2008, a year later. The service started developing rapidly after this, and due to its market capitalization, it managed to reach a benchmark of $1.5 billion.


How Twitter Generates Revenue

About 85% of the revenue the service makes is generated through online advertising. Companies or individuals can advertise on the website using one of three ways: promotion of trends, promotion of entire accounts and promotion of a message that appears on a person’s timeline.


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