Forget the press hovering outside the company’s headquarters on Market Street. Forget the fact that many employees would likely go on to become millionaires, and a select few investors and Twitter founders would become billionaires. The company’s official message, stressed inside and outside Twitter’s walls, was that the IPO was just business as usual for Twitter employees.
The company’s official message, stressed inside and outside Twitter’s walls, was that the IPO was just business as usual for Twitter employees. The reality is that it would never really be business as usual again at Twitter.
Three months after the IPO, Twitter released its first earnings report as a public company. While it beat Wall Street estimates for earnings and revenue, investors focused on the slowing user growth. During the final quarter of 2013, when everyone seemed to be talking about Twitter, the social network added just 9 million active users globally and only 1 million new users in the U.S.
The abrupt shift in investor sentiment for Twitter the company soon affected the way publications covered Twitter the product. Suddenly outlets began eulogizing Twitter. Would it ever emerge as a mainstream platform? Was Twitter doomed?
Inside Twitter, with the buzz of those IPO celebrations already a distant memory, top execs worked to prove that the social network was still on the road to 1 billion users — even if that required changing some of the fundamentals of what defined Twitter during its first eight years.
Twitter has always succeeded in spite of the people running it. The startup cycled through several CEOs in its first years. The team behind it clashed about whether to make Twitter more focused on news or status updates. One by one, each of Twitter’s four founders eventually left the company. Yet, the social network kept growing. Read more…