It seems that everyone that uses Twitter is an armchair Twitter CEO. Lat year I wrote about the tech/web blogging phenomenon of ‘ Armchair Entrepreneurs ‘. I wrapped it up with :
There are at least 10,000 armchair Twitter CEO’s. Shit, if I was Twitter CEO I would have sold out $600 million ago to Facebook or floated a small IPO at the time, bought Bit.ly, Tweetdeck and Stocktwits.
Some people hate the phenomenon but I love it. It makes me smarter at running my business and advising other entrepreneurs. We have real-time playbooks.
Because I love broadcasting my insane thoughts, Twitter became the platform for me. If my audience stays here along with the potential to be discovered and discover new people, I will. I can’t control that. I want Twitter to succeed, but I also am conflicted. It’s like my mother-in-law driving off a cliff with my new 4g iphone that I never backed up….
I also love talking stocks all days and because Twitter was unreliable, we built Stocktwits. That’s my platform now for broadcasting to both Stocktwits and Twitter as we push to and pull from Twitter.
I guess the best question about the value and need of Twitter is the pain that would be caused if it were gone tomorrow. For me, if Twitter were gone tomorrow, I would miss the musings of a few hundred people that I follow, but so many companies would step up fast and a new leader would quickly emerge. Stocktwits would still be Stocktwits.
I asked Soren, my partner who has managed the buildout of Stocktwits to chime in and he wrote me this:
I think it’s pretty clear that there will be more then one Twitter. If fact, the world already has more then one. We here at StockTwits built our own messaging platform so that we could control our own destiny, as well as add vertical specific features and functionality that Twitter won’t and shouldn’t add.
More will follow this path:
1) It isn’t terribly challenging to build your own platform. Technology exists today that didn’t exist when Twitter build it’s platform. MongoDB, Cassandra, Hadoop, RabbitMQ, node.js, Redis, and on and on have all either been created or vastly matured since Twitter build the foundation of it’s own platform.
2) Twitter is still having problems keeping it own platform running. Personally, I see no excuse for this at this point. Facebook has faced far greater scaling challenges with basically none of the problem that still plague Twitter.
3) Twitter’s moves to “fill holes”. All of these moves make perfect sense for Twitter from a business perspective and that’s why I don’t buy the ‘I’m shocked!’ meme. The heart of the issue is that Twitter is trying to be both a service and a platform and that’s a very hard line to walk. Again, Facebook has pulled this off, but Twitter is in a far different position. 70% of it’s content is coming from API developers. I’m not sure what the Facebook numbers are on this, but I can’t imagine that it’s close to that high. Twitter IS a platform whether or not they want to admit it.
Given these issues, it seems to me that an open, federated network platform for real-time status updates is all but guaranteed. The platform needs to be agnostic, stable, and free from the burden of monetizations. To be honest, I’m puzzled on a daily basis that it’s not already here.
What say YOU! ….