Hatching Twitter Book Summary By Nick Bilton

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Hatching Twitter is the fascinating story of four men who changed the face of social media as we know it today.

It chronicles the rise and fall of these individuals, and reveals the defining choices that made Twitter into one of the biggest platforms in the world.

The book not only covers the triumphs and successes, but also delves into the competitive drama between those who were making this trajectory possible.

If you want to learn about how billions of dollars were earned, enjoyed and squandered, then Hatching Twitter is a must-read!

Hatching Twitter Book

Book Name: Hatching Twitter (A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal)

Author(s): Nick Bilton

Rating: 4/5

Reading Time: 28 Minutes

Categories: Entrepreneurship

Author Bio

Nick Bilton is a renowned technology journalist, author and expert.

He has been writing the Bits Blog for the New York Times for many years and is well-known for his observations and insights related to technology, business, culture and the internet.

He's also the author of two books - I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works - which explore how tech affects our daily lives.

His latest book, Hatching Twitter, gives readers a look into the beginnings of one of today's biggest social networking sites.

Nick Bilton offers an intriguing narrative filled with twisted tales, brilliance and characters that make up this historic moment in modern-day history.

The Dramatic True Story Behind The Rise Of Twitter: Follow The Fascinating Journey Of How It Became A Global Sensation

Global Sensation

Many are unaware of the intense drama that took place during Twitter’s creation and rise to success.

Jack Dorsey, with his proclaimed status as the sole founder of Twitter, has long tried to shape the public view of what happened.

But this book punctures his carefully crafted balloon and reveals the true story behind it.

Interesting characters come alive in these sections, giving you a glimpse into what really happened between the founders of this game-changing technology.

Find out who did the most to create Twitter and why they went above and beyond their roles as techies.

Also find out how innovative developers with an entirely different vision managed to build an impressive and profitable business mixing imaginations and ideas from outside of college, something almost unheard-of at that time.

This staff pick gives you a taster of what’s to come: “The story behind Ev and Jack is so captivating!

You can really see which was the good guy or bad one when you read this sections!” Discover for yourself what made such a huge impact on our digital lives through Hatching Twitter Book Summary.

How Evan Williams’ Blogging Platform Launched The Digital Media Revolution

Before founding the iconic Twitter, Evan Williams had already helped to set off a blogging craze with his 1999-concocted website blog: Blogger.

It was built as a side project of Pyra Labs, the business Williams started with a few friends in the Bay Area California.

Designed to allow users who lacked computer programming experience to easily create their own journals or diaries, Blogger quickly blossomed in popularity.

By 2002, Williams had finally managed to hire several more programmers and moved his base of operations from his living room to an actual office-space.

In 2003 Google acquired both Pyra and Blogger for millions of dollars which would play a major role in creating Twitter.

Thus it was through this enterprise that Evan Williams demonstrated his entrepreneurial spirit early on and planted the seed for the world’s future microblogging sites like Twitter.

The Charming Chaos Of Creating Odeo: How A Ragtag Team Of Hacktivists And Jokesters Changed The World Of Technology

When Evan Williams sold Blogger to Google, he needed to prove that he wasn’t simply a one hit wonder.

So when his neighbor and tech enthusiast, Noah Glass, showed up with an idea for an audio blog platform called Odeo, Ev jumped at the opportunity.

He invested $200,000 in the project, which allowed him to take over as Odeo’s CEO.

He was joined by a rag-tag team of individuals – from Rabble (formerly a hacktivist), Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone (known for their creativity) to Noah Glass who brought with him his messy apartment where the team worked.

Though chaotic at times, the group created something innovative – but it had to be saved by more investment capital after running into financial problems – which is where Ev came in.

All these efforts led to the eventual creation of Twitter we know today.

When Desperation Meets Opportunity: How A Risky Move Saved A Failing Startup


By 2006, Odeo was struggling to make it in the audio blog industry.

Despite Ev’s attempts to make his mark on the company and recruit $5 million of investments from investors who believed in him and the idea, the company was still not doing well.

With Ev and Noah constantly fighting about the direction Odeo should take and unable to manage paperwork or make big decisions, Odeo seemed doomed for failure.

But then a few of its employees had an idea for a new way to share their statuses with friends – something that could bring people together and ease loneliness in this age of increasing computer-based isolation.

It came from a LiveJournal feature which allowed people to post short updates on their activities and Jack brought that idea up during a conversation between him, Noah, and Rabble.

The staff liked this concept so much that Rabble took it upon himself to launch it without involving either Ev or Noah – reflecting their frustrations with all their bickering.

This new venture eventually became Twitter – proving yet again that creative ideas are often born out of necessity!

Noah’S Revolutionary Idea Brings Twitter To Life But He Is Fired For His Imprudence

Noah Glass was instrumental in the success of the Twitter concept.

He fully recognized the potential of a status idea, and threw himself into the project with enthusiasm.

His marriage was struggling during this period, but it only seemed to spur him on in creating something that he felt personally meaningful.

He thought up the perfect name for their concept – “Twitter” – and was also central in proposing time stamps for each post made by users.

His idea finally came together after Jack’s first tweet on March 21st, 2006: “just setting up my twttr.”

Unfortunately though, Noah’s excitement cost him his job as his disorderly behaviour became too much for Ev to manage.

At a start-up insiders party, he drunkenly announced what they were working on before it had officially launched – ultimately leading to his firing from the company he started in July 2006.

From Fledgling Idea To Multi-Million Dollar Company: The Success Story Of Twitter

Despite the ultimate success of Twitter, its founders were constantly at odds with one another over who should be leading the company, and which direction it should go in.

This was evidenced early on when the idea of using Twitter to share news started gaining traction.

It was a promising concept, but its potential wasn’t yet universally recognized.

At a Love Parade rave party in San Francisco – where Twitter officially launched – fewer than 100 users joined up.

It wasn’t until Twitter won Best Start-up award at SXSW tech festival that things started to take off.

The idea gained more publicity due to the live tweets shown on screens set up during the event.

The attendees created even more buzz by using it to share knowledge about festival events or announce where they could get free beer – prompting some people to call it ‘flocking’: when a venue is flooded with twitter users following cheap drink offers tweeted online.

As time went on, Jack and Ev’s relationship deteriorated further as disagreement arose regarding Twitter’s development and who should lead its progress.

Jack had been firmly overseeing each new idea from the start – from introducing usernames & 140 character Tweet limit – but Ev had become increasingly distracted with his business incubator Obvious Corporation.

In order to formally settle the disagreement, 70 percent ownership was given to Ev (due to his financing) while Jack would own 20 percent and become CEO; Biz Stone & staff split the rest equally among themselves.

Thanks to this decision, 1 percent of Twitter is now worth $320 million!

Jack Dorsey’s Dismissal Serves As A Lesson: You Can’t Have It All

Jack Dorsey's

The increasing popularity of Twitter had a direct effect on the amount of money it needed to raise in order to keep up with the exponential growth.

As user numbers rose, so did the need for investment.

Yahoo initially offered $12 million, but Twitter’s founders had anticipated a larger sum and declined.

When celebrity endorsements and the news media began using Twitter, even more users joined – yet the site’s original architecture was still intact!

Despite this major problem, positive press generated from the crashes actually made more people curious and added to user numbers.

This influx of new users inspired a number of huge investments in 2008, including $18 million led by CEO Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

Unfortunately, Ev and investors alike were unhappy with Jack Dorsey’s leadership – and their growing impatience led to tensions among all parties surrounding issues related to bill paying as well as his interest pursuing fashion design courses.

At a stalemate regarding Jack’s true focus in life, Twitter decided to fire him from his position as CEO in 2008.

As part of an agreement between Ev and Jack, he retained his spot on the board as Silent Chairman; this decision would come back to haunt Ev later on.

The money Twitter needed to raise as it grew created power struggles that ultimately led to Jack leaving his post as CEO.

Even though he found success outside of Twitter, his firing highlighted how ambition pitted against economics can have real consequences – even among businesses striving for growth support.

The Costly Consequences Of Lying: How Jack Dorsey Lost Control Of Twitter Through Dishonesty

Despite the massive success of Twitter, it was still plagued by boardroom disputes.

This began when Jack Dorsey, one of the creators of Twitter, felt he had been unfairly removed as CEO and replaced by Ev Williams.

He started to spin a story that he was still the founder of Twitter – which gave him an unwarranted level of power over the company.

It didn’t help that Ev enabled this narrative by allowing Jack to keep his Twitter email address and seat on the board.

But Jack didn’t just rely on lies – he used his “founding fame” to gain powerful allies too.

Peter Fenton invested in Twitter after listening to Jack’s version of events, and VP of Engineering Mike Abbot even went to Jack for advice about how to handle Ev’s leadership style!

Eventually, a clash between them became inevitable and it was only then that Ev pulled back from supporting Jack’s false narrative.

Unfortunately, by then it was too late – all these disputes had thoroughly damaged the reputation of Twitter as a stable business entity.

The Growing Power Of Twitter – From Giving Ashton Kutcher More Reach Than Cnn To Enabling U

As Twitter’s popularity grew, so did its influence.

Celebrities and politicos soon realized that Twitter was an invaluable tool for them to gain a level of influence that was unprecedented.

Users were eager to follow in the footsteps of these popular figures, and it wasn’t long before Twitter was gracing TV shows and being discussed on the nightly news.

In 2009, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger held a town hall-style meeting at the Twitter office, cementing this new way of communication between world leaders and influential people with their citizens.

With people like Ashton Kutcher beating CNN in the number of followers gained, it showed just how powerful this medium could be.

These newfound fame and power weren’t exempt from difficult questions and ethical dilemmas though.

During Iranian protests in 2009, the US State Department asked Twitter to postpone maintenance on their site so users in Iran could keep using the platform as a main source of information on what’s happening there, which brought up some major philosophical implications on whether or not Twitter should take political sides, have a stance towards certain events or remain apolitical altogether.

Thanks to celebrities, politicians and policy makers embracing Twitter, its popularity soared along with its influencer status – but those increased responsibilities meant even bigger challenges too.

Ev Williams’ Ignorance Of Underlying Issues Leads To His Unhappiness At Twitter

Ev Williams

As Twitter grew in popularity and size, its CEO, Evan Williams, was challenged to accurately manage the business.

His hands-off approach to leadership was met with criticism by the board who recommended that Ev take on a CEO coach.

Bill Campbell’s first pieces of advice? Don’t hire friends – but Ev ignored him and proceeded to add Dick Costolo as COO.

It proved to be a wise decision as Costolo was able to make premium deals with companies like Google and Bing.

However, concerns remained that Ev wasn’t effectively communicating with the board or senior staff on important decisions.

This only worsened as Ev became increasingly focused on Twitter’s redesign at the expense of overseeing day-to-day activities.

This lack of action could have hurt Twitter as uber-wealthy Bill Gross attempted a takeover with Ashton Kutcher’s help when they threatened to buy many clone accounts together with TweetDeck social media dashboard.

Meanwhile Jack Dorsey engaged in secret meetings scheming for his return and even Bill Campbell turned against him, feeding both parties different stories about Evan Williams’ performance.

Even Dick Costaolo twice met with Jack during this time period cause further suspicion minus Wiliams being willing aware due to his dedication towards the continuing success of Twitter’s overall organization rather than self preservation.

The Power Of Planning: How Jack Dorsey Outmaneuvered Ev Williams To Take Back Control Of Twitter

In a cruel mirror image of how he became CEO, Evan Williams was pushed out of Twitter by a board coup.

It began when Bill Campbell told Ev that the board wanted to make Dick their new CEO due to him being able to focus on revenue and taking Twitter onto the stock market.

Of the seven-member board, Fred Wilson, Bijan Sabet, Evan Hamilton and Peter Fenton had already decided they wanted Ev out- making the final outcome virtually inevitable.

Moreover, the reason why Jack Dorsey’s vote could swing it against Ev was because earlier on, Ev had made Jack a silent chairman – something which had been part of Jack’s plan all along.

In the following flurry of reorganization,Dick took over as interim CEO while Jack was given executive chairman and Ev was reduced to president of product.

The hard truth was that with the Google and Bing deals going through under Dick’s watch – the board felt that Ev couldn’t ensure revenue growth in order for Twitter to take off in its next big step forward.

As such – this put him in their crosshairs; a decision which proved fateful for both parties involved.

Jack Returns To Twitter With A Superstar Image And Grand Visions, But Frustrates His Staff With His Ambitious Ideas

After years of fighting for recognition and influence, Jack once again took the helm at Twitter in 2011.

He arrived as a superstar figure, ready to lead product development as Executive Chairman.

He’d succeeded in cementing his version of Twitter’s history as the dominant narrative by relentlessly working with the media.

Due to Jack’s presence, Ev and his allies gradually faded away – upon realizing that Dick wasn’t taking note of his new product ideas, Ev decided to take a leave of absence, while Biz learned how to leave the company by keeping away from its office space until June 2011 when he officially departed.

Jack continued doing what he set out do; ensure that Twitter follows his vision.

Despite Biz and Ev having established an apolitical culture, due to Jack’s return, President Barack Obama even held a town-hall meeting on Twitter.

Although considered a celebrity among followers of the company outside its walls, within them people weren’t as enthusiastic about him – his constant press tours and shiftiness on product ideas frustrated staff members alike.

However, it didn’t stop him from trying to make sure everyone followed his direction; initiating “Twitter 1.0”, closer to what he originally conceived.

The Challenges Of Establishing A Professional Image: How Dick Turned Twitter’s Fortunes Around


When Dick Costolo took over as CEO of Twitter, he had a clear vision in mind – to take the company from its more immature roots and steer it towards maturity and huge revenues.

To that end, he banned activities such as the impromptu marijuana-smoking session initiated by Snoop Dogg at the Twitter offices.

He also moved the offices to a bigger space with no trace of Ev’s favorite pieces of art: a sign that read “Let’s make better mistakes tomorrow”.

Moreover, Costolo increased Twitter’s revenues through advertising and improved their uptime issue so it nearly achieved 100% consistently.

He even barred some third-party companies access to Twitter users, making sure there would be no threats like what happened when Gross attempted to buy 20% of this app’s subscribers.

These changes helped put Twitter in the stock market where it was valued at $31 billion in 2013!

No longer just a few people sitting in Ev’s living room trying to turn his money into something revolutionary, Twitter had become one of the most powerful companies in the world.

It successfully succeeded under Dick Costolo’s leadership.

Wrap Up

Hatching Twitter is an inspiring story about how a small start-up with big ideas faced countless challenges and managed to become one of the most influential companies in the world.

It provides key insight into the importance of maintaining friendships, even in a fast-paced and ever-changing business environment.

The book also reminds readers to be mindful of creating enemies, because it’s impossible to tell who you may have to work with in the future.

Overall, this book serves as a great reminder that success doesn’t come easy and that it always requires hard work and dedication.

If you are looking for an inspirational read filled with lessons learned from real-life scenarios, then Hatching Twitter is worth checking out!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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