18 July 2016

Vanity Fair: “Twitter is Betting Everything on Jack Dorsey. Will it Work?”

If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed about Dorsey since I first met him, a decade ago, it’s his ability to think big. He isn’t exaggerating when he says that he wants people to check Twitter each morning as if they were wondering whether they needed an umbrella. When I asked him how he’s going to get there, Dorsey said that he plans to double down on what the company is best at, which is being the platform where people weigh in on live events. “If you were to describe what Twitter is,” he said, now moving on to his second beef taco, “it’s live news, entertainment, sports, and chat.”

I asked him if he worried that Mark Zuckerberg has lately been using that same word—“live”—on his earnings calls, noting that this is also Facebook’s new focus.

“Yes”, he said candidly. He did very much.

Nick Bilton

It’s certainly healthy to be concerned with Facebook’s plans when you’re in direct competition, but I wouldn’t spend to much time worrying. Facebook has a habit of shifting direction every couple of months, depending on the current whim of its users – just look at the number of standalone apps they launched only to abandon months later, at the number of times Facebook has ‘reinvented’ news. That’s what makes Facebook both so successful and so average at the same time. If Twitter has great products it will attract people no matter what Facebook does. But maybe I’m biased since I’m already one of those people who checks Twitter almost every morning to see what’s happened in the world since I went to sleep.

Jack Dorsey at Twitter headquarters
Dorsey leans in at Twitter headquarters. Photograph by Art Streiber.

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