Cupcakes at Twitter…Dinner With WordPress…No Excuses Not to Start a Web Business

It is pretty negative out there and I really want to get outside the negativity that even I have been doling out over the last few months.

Yesterday was Twitter’s third birthday. In the next year, WordPress (the publishing platform I use for this blog) will turn 5 and their founder Matt Mullenwag, will turn 25 (give or take a year).

Friday was one of those fun days to be a web entrepreneur. I flew from New York to San Francisco Friday morning for my first flight on Virgin airlines. In this era of negativity and anger that will continue to sizzle, Friday was a day to be reminded of all the great things we are capable of if we keep trying and adapting.

I was joking about wifi, but holy shit, what a difference something small like that makes in flying. First off, the wifi worked better than any other hotel. More importantly, Virgin made flying seem civilized again. I have been harping on the greatness of airlines lately as they relate to BANKS, and Virgin is great whether the banks had sucked major balls or not.. Richard Branson is British, but his methods are a throwback to what has made America great entrepreneurs.

It is a shame that our country’s capital will go wasted in ether, when we could have outfitted the country in new commercial aircrafts and created a new generation of increased productivity that civilized flight would bring. We need to be aware of the mess, but focused on what we can do to survive in the new reality.

Soren and I did not have an appointment at Twitter, but Caroline made some time for us. Soren picked up some cupcakes (the ‘Fail Whale’ icing ones are missing :) ) and we headed over.

I have no company secrets to divulge just some thoughts about Twitter and the tour. Twitter, in my opinion is WAY underemployed for the opportunity at hand. We could argue all day about the size and scope of the opportunity, but that is not for this post. Just to handle the flood of new users, celebrity lawyer complaints about fake Twitter accounts and ‘third tier’ actors and entrepreneurs (CalacANUS) begging to be on the recommended list, and the hiring itself, Twitter is buried.

As an entrepreneur and investor, I smell gigantic opportunity. With their open API, what they can’t handle, WE CAN.

The nerds and wannabe ANALysts pick apart the company, but after touring the Company and using the product loyally the last two years, when the revenues do come, they will pour in and dwarf the costs of running the business. I am ecstatic that so many of the armchair entrepreneurs are not trying to partake in the Twitter ecosystem because they should and therefore it is easier for those of us that do. That will not be the case forever or maybe even in 2010.

With the offers that Twitter has likely had, it is amazing that they remain independent. I have a reputation as a ‘flipper’ and it is unlikely that I would have had the nerve to stay independent through such a growth spurt. One big lesson I took away is that I won’t rush Stocktwits. I will also stop worrying about what Twitter WILL do for revenue. Let them worry.

Ev and Biz were not in the office so I did not get to meet them, but everybody was friendly and it was cool that most were well aware of what we were doing with Stocktwits.

On Friday evening, Tony Conrad of True Ventures invited Soren and I to his home for a get together with his partners and other entrepreneurs. Om Malik , Sarah Lacy (Congrats on new TechCrunch job), Tony Schneider (prtner at True and CEO of WordPress)and Matt Mullenwag (WordPress founder) were at a table with Soren and I.

Worpdress is in different position that Twitter. Both Companies have approximately 40 employees, but WordPress does not just have revenue, they ARE making money. WordPress’s employees are scattered around the globe, whereas Twitter’s are packed inside one location. Both Companies have most likely had large buyout offers and for reasons I can only speculate, have turned them down. It is likely that Twitter, despite having no revenue or profits, is valued more than WordPress at the moment and maybe forever. Oh well.

Both Companies have created massive ecosystems of small and large business opportunities for entrepreneurs and that should be our focus.


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