The Original TWEETER — Jack Dorsey — comes to SFSU

Filed in Guest Post , Twitter 16 comments

Hawks can TWEET, can't they?

Hawks can TWEET, can

Jack Dorsey is a REGULAR GUY whose idea is revolutionizing the way the world communicates

**GUEST POST** Cody Ramlan is a San Francisco State senior whose taken several courses with me and has, like me, caught the Social Media Fever. Agreeing to guest “host,” he told me that he now intends to take his future into his own hands through the many resources available on the Internet.

Twitter is only as valuable as you make it

Jack Dorsey created Twitter in 2006 and remains dedicated to continually refining it, but he took some time from his busy schedule Thursday, April 30, to talk to Shari Weiss’ PR class at San Francisco State.

“Twitter sparks interaction”

“The Future of Advertising is all about discovery.”

The class spent well over an hour asking questions and gaining inside knowledge from the currently most talked about entrepreneur on the planet.

My favorite fact was that it only took $10,000 of marketing expenses to create the word-of-mouth that has made Twitter today’s Sensation. This is a testament to the culture Jack encourages in his company — making a product that sells itself.

Where the idea of Twitter first started in Jack’s mind:

Twitter’s 40 employees do this by listening to users and building a platform that supports what people want. However, Jack emphasized that it is important to know when to say NO in order to make a successful product because some requests may be too specific to benefit enough of an audience.

Is Twitter merely a fad? Jack’s response was that it is only as valuable as you make it. He believes that it was created with the flexibility to become a utility of life and that one day people will take it for granted like email.

Since Twitter doesn’t currently turn a profit, we wondered about the business model for the future. Many ideas are being considered including “verifications” involving companies and celebrities. No matter how they will monetize, Jack made it clear that his goal was to never force advertising on users.

Friendfeed an aggregator, and Twitter is not. It’s more of a communication tool:

In fact, he said that the future of advertising is all about discovery and introductions. “If you start with that and lead to a conversation, you will have the respect and attention of your audience, which is a much more productive form of relaying a message,” he said.

How Twitter has grown . . . since Jack was 16:

Twitter’s vision includes evolution through listening to users, and after hearing Jack’s discussion with us, I have no doubt that his company will be around for a long time to come.

by Cody Ramlan

Videos embedded by Shari — once I found out how to do it.

Next post: Is Facebook a WASTE OF TIME?

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   1 May 2009
Tags : , , , , , ,
May 1, 2009
9:59 pm
#1 sharisax :

Here’s the online San Francisco State Express news coverage of Jack’s visit:

May 5, 2009
6:05 pm
#2 sharisax :

Eat your heart out, Brendan.
But I must give credit where credit is due. Your having a blog AND a Twitter account inspired me to follow suit. Thanks!!!

May 7, 2009
4:22 pm
#3 sharisax :

Hey, James, thanks for updating ME and other readers. And BTW, James’ blog has a great story about the campus walk that he and John Paul took around San Francisco State before Jack Dorsey spoke to our PR class.

May 2, 2009
7:46 pm
#4 Ann-Marie Pawlicki :

I thoroughly enjoyed Jack’s visit and it was very interesting to be in his presence…almost surreal. Just knowing what he does and how he got started with everything is amazing. His life calls for day-to-day action to continually refurbish his company and make it the best it can be for ALL the users. The key note that stuck with me was when he was talking about the future of his company and how success in his eyes will be when the world user Twitter as second nature. That honestly is a different way to think about it but it makes perfect sense. When you reach that status, then you know you have reached a standard in the online world.

May 2, 2009
8:22 pm
#5 Stephen Giusti :

Yeah, Jack Dorsey is one amazing guy, and really down to earth, too. Twitter will definitely become something of its own in our common day to day language. The word “tweeted” will become a regularly used verb, such as “googling.” I really like how Jack came into a small PR class out of all the universities in the country, that shows how connected he wants to stay with his audience, which is basically everyone. I am willing to bet he would do it for any other class at any other education institute because he is that type of person who will actually listen and answer questions that anyone might have, no matter how big he becomes as an icon.

May 2, 2009
10:35 pm
#6 jeanette barlow :

Listening to Jack speak was very interesting. I very much enjoyed how humble he was and how easy he made it seem to create a business. The most important statement I got from Jack is the fact that he is always listening to his consumers. It is really that simple to create a great business, just listen to what people are saying and then try and give it to them. Understanding your consumer and making sure they are staying happy is the main goal for Twitter and it seems like only a handful of businesses feel the same way. It is sad because without those consumers, that business has no money and then the employees have no jobs. It is important for companies to remember that and also to remember to think like Jack. How can he make his ideas work properly for his consumers? That should be the Number One question in business.

May 3, 2009
2:57 pm
#7 Nancy Hayes :

Firstly, thanks and congratulations to the sutdents for securing Jack as a guest and for your thoughtful questions of him.

I was struck by Jack’s ” learn to just say no” advice. It is a particularly mature point of view for a “young” development team.

Saying “yes” to too many feature requests has been the downfall of many software development projects. There are major product features that have been added in response to the request of one major or influential customer and which turn out not to be needed by the bulk of the customer set. There have been some products which have become overwhelmed by such added features, resulting in complex products which are difficult to maintain.

May 3, 2009
3:09 pm
#8 sharisax :

Thanks, Nancy, for your comment AND your attendance at our class. One hugely valuable result of Jack & Gang “saying NO” is that Twitter remains a very useable site, yet, with enough flexibility that Tweeters can make use of it in any number of ways.

May 7, 2009
3:14 pm

So I was reading the other day that Twitter is teaming up with MTV to use Twitter to chat live with viewers. They are launching a new live show this summer, like TRL but more talk show based. Apparently they will be sharing the ad revenue.

May 5, 2009
2:16 pm


First off, it is AWESOME that you started blogging! Secondly, Jack Dorsey came to your class… no fair! I guess I graduated too soon!


May 7, 2009
4:25 pm
#11 sharisax :

You know, Zahid, you and I and several million current Tweeple love Twitter, but lots of the very newbies, especially Tweeters who only started because of Oprah and Ashton, are falling off the Twitter wagon. And, for sure, if they had to pay, many more would fall off the wagon. Jack told us that his vision is to have Twitter as commonplace as email, and we all use email for free. If we had to pay . . . hmmmm, probably would not be such casual use.

May 6, 2009
3:26 pm
#12 Jack Stein :

So is Jack making any money?

May 6, 2009
3:29 pm
#13 sharisax :

Hi Jack, in answer to your question, Jack Dorsey told us that the Twitter group is considering many different business models to generate income, but for the time being they are funded purely by venture capitalists. He didn’t tell us how much money he takes home . . . and we neglected to ask.

May 7, 2009
12:20 am
#14 Zahid :

@Jack There is an interesting article at:

Talks about how twitter can/might be making money in future. Most of us will be able to use twitter the way we currently do, for free.

Corporate brands and others might have to pay some money to get better tools and features on twitter plus ability to monitor their reputation.

Sorry, comments are closed.

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