$2.3 billion on short messages: how the head of Twitter earned his fortune

In 2006, the dropout programmer Jack Dorsey founded Twitter microblogging service, which became one of the most popular social platforms. Now Dorsey leads two IT-corporations and has a fortune of $2.3 billion.
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closed childhood

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is now often compared with Steve Jobs. As the founder of Apple, the ideas of the author microblogging service its partners, Evan Williams and Biz Stone in 2008 was fired from his own company. As Jobs founded after the dismissal of animation studio Pixar, Dorsey has created a parallel business - service of mobile payment Square then, which is now estimated at $ 6 billion when the company started having problems, the shareholders had to invite Dorsey in managerial positions, as well as shareholders of Apple Steve Jobs: last. Twitter founder week after a seven-year hiatus, he took over the company.

Dorsey was born in 1976 in a Catholic family with Italian roots. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. St. Louis, which at that time were based aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas and telephone Southwestern Bell, considered a technologically advanced city. It was there that was located underground cult edition online magazine Phrack hackers.

Mother instilled Dorsey love for drawing, most of all he liked the portraits. "I drew a lot of people, mostly in pencil. Inthen I realized that by nature I am an observer "- later recalled Dorsey. Over time, the drawing has given way to a new passion: a boy fell in love with everything that was related to transportation: trains, cars, trucks, bicycles, fire brigades and ambulances. The walls of children's bedrooms Dorsey were papered with maps of the city. Most Dorsey drew a detailed map of New York. "I looked at all these intersections, trying to understand how they work. It seemed that this system can not work, but because it worked "- recalled Dorsey. Subsequently, he returned to this experience, when it became a programmer and worked, including creating their own interactive maps.

The future billionaire had other unusual hobbies. In 2013, the transfer of 60 Minutes on CBS TV channel, he said that the idea of ​​Twitter have put his talks truckers, taxi drivers and police, which he caught on the receiver of his father-ham. In all of these frequencies were exchanged short messaging functionality. "They kept telling each other where they are, what they do and toud sent. When there were mobile phones, I got the idea that we can now tell all these things and these messages can see the whole world ", - said Dorsey.

Dorsey attended a private Catholic school. According teenage classmates, he does not particularly stand out. Since childhood, the boy had a speech impediment. The program 60 Minutes, he said he still has difficulty communicating in person with people. "I can sometimes permanently silenced. I know that it confuses people: they do not understand what I was thinking at that moment. I'm not good at talking face to face, it's not a natural thing "for me - confessed Twitter founder.

Difficulties in communicating with people later became one of the reasons that led to the dismissal of Dorsey of Twitter in 2008. As Fortune magazine wrote that the board was unhappy with the fact that the CEO of the company misses a meeting with investors, but it regularly sends to pay a six-figure bills sent by SMS.

In 1984, eight years my father gave the son of the first IBM PC, and three years later - Macintosh. Washington University in St. Louis providedwishing to access their computer networks, Dorsey and used them to access the Internet. He did not get out of the clock chat for programmers. So he learned to programming language C, and wrote a program that graphically simulated traffic on city streets. "This is a thrill - recalled Dorsey. - I forgot about the dream food. I was just happy when I finally created something that allows me to see the city as a whole. " That's when he woke up the desire to translate the virtual plane of what is happening in the real world, he admitted later Dorsey.

All friends of youth Twitter founder remembered his interest in the Internet, which most of them at the time had only a vague idea. Local companies, including Mira Digital Publishing, is already in full use the World Wide Web. One of its employees was a regular at the cafe Dorsey mother. One cup of coffee, he mentioned that his company really need programmers. Marcia Dorsey introduced a client of his 15-year-old son, who a year before had to write a program to control the transportation routes used inincluding local taxi pool.

Mira Digital Dorsey took the summer as an intern. After completing a few tasks entrusted to it, Dorsey offered to the business owner to develop business on the Internet. He agreed and additionally hired programmers, who were subordinate to the teenager. So Dorsey opened the makings of a manager.

Simultaneously Dorsey perfected his program for the construction of routes: he planned to earn on it, running with his brother velodostavki service. But the business was closed due to lack of customers.

Twitter in numbers

The $ 20.17 billion estimated market capitalization of Twitter on the New York Stock Exchange on 8 October

316 million - Number of Twitter active users per month

500 million new tweets appear every day

64.04 million subscribers in the United States President Barack Obama

4.13 million Twitter users are subscribed to the blog of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

4.1 thousand. People working in more than 35 company offices around the world. In Twitter there is an office in Moscow

More than 35 languages ​​supported service

The $ 2.3JPL assesses the state of Dorsey Forbes magazine

In 30 years, Dorsey became Twitter CEO

Source: Company data, Forbes.

Babysitter and programmer

In 1995, Dorsey graduated from high school and enrolled at the University of Missouri (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology), where he studied mathematics and programming. He did not abandon the development of its first program and the second course came across on the Internet at the company's dispatch Dispatch Management Services Corp. (DMSC). DMSC have had an office in New York, and the Dorsey thought it was fate. He cracked the corporate section of the website of the New York company, I found him e-mail DMSC founder Greg Kidd and wrote him a letter. Dorsey described the top manager, he hacked into the site, how to eliminate the vulnerability, as well as about the project and the desire to work in DMSC. Soon he took a job at the Manhattan office of the company, while Dorsey transferred to and from New York University.

In 1998, Kidd and Dorsey decided to improve dispatching software, but do it in a different company. Kidd resigned and Dorsey dropped out for a semester before receiving a bachelor's degree. In late 1999, they interruptedrayutsya in Oakland (CA) and open his own firm dNET. But business partners did not go, and the dot-com crash in 2000, did not survive.

In 2002, at the age of 26 years, Dorsey had to return to his native St. Louis. "I felt like a failure", - he said. At home, he wrote to his father, who had by then opened his own business selling instruments for spectral analysis, began to study botanical illustrations. But to live a long time he could not without programming. In 2005, Dorsey returned to California to Kidd agreeing to questionable job - to look after the young daughter of the former partner for a room in his house and food. At night he went to program.

Once in a cafe in San Francisco, Dorsey saw the well-known internet entrepreneur Evan Williams, who had already sold a Google web service Blogger. In addition, he was one of the founders of Odeo podcast platform. Dorsey persuaded Williams to take him to work at Odeo, but soon Apple introduced the iTunes podcast with the service, and hung over the company closing a threat. Hoping to change the course of Odeo, Williamsannounced programming marathon, during which employees can work on everything they wanted. Top manager expected that the team will come to an idea that will give us new impetus.

Dorsey offered to create a platform that would allow him to find out whatever it is that at the moment your friends, see their status and share them with short messages. The idea of ​​such a program came to him in 2000. Then he called her Stat.us. Colleagues offering a new service called Jitter ( «jitter") or Twitch ( «twitching"), but in the end the choice fell on Twitter ( «twitter»). Williams bought the domain of the same name, a busy Web site about birds, for $ 7.5 thousand.

In October 2006, Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Dorsey, and other members of Odeo formed Obvious Corporation and the company acquired Odeo and all of its assets, including Odeo.com and Twitter.com, and in 2007, Twitter has become a separate company.

All are going to Twitter

The resource was started as a research project for internal use, for nine years, it has become a global service with the audience 316 million active users per month, includingof which - the heads of state, the pop star, scientists, human rights activists and journalists.

Twitter - it's not just an online blog and news source, but also a powerful mobilizing tool, without which it can not do any great social protest - from Iran to Belarus.

Take-off, dismissal and return

Twitter came at an opportune time. In 2006, Facebook is gaining popularity Embed user function "status", encouraging them to talk briefly about what they're doing at the moment. The number of phones connected to the Internet grew, and soon made it possible for Apple iPhone users choose convenient for them browser and post tweets, without paying for SMS.

Triumph had a service at South by Southwest festival in 2007. The company has appointed several visitors to the event with their "ambassadors" of their tweets displayed on large plasma screens in the foyer of the conference center. After the festival, the number of tweets in a short time has increased from 20 thousand. Per day to 60 thousand.

In 2007, 30-year-old Dorsey became CEO of Twitter. He gave us the momentum, but under his leadership,It started when a problem with the product, and with frames.

"Jack - a smart guy, he knows how to develop the product, - said one of the ex-Dorsey colleagues. - But then he was not ready for the post of CEO ». Dorsey was passing through a difficult transformation from engineer to senior management, and it hurt to establish a working process. Companies were required new specialists, but recruitment of new staff is stalling. In his first year as CEO Service constantly "fall", and he believed the board of directors, Dorsey has been unable to establish its technical support. In addition, the council was irritated that the CEO is constantly left work early for classes on yoga, knitting and garment modeling. In autumn 2008, Evan Williams, Dorsey wrote the now famous message: "You can be a fashion designer, or you can be the CEO of Twitter. You can not be in both. " In October of the same year, Twitter's board of directors sent Dorsey resigned, leaving behind him the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Twitter was headed by Evan Williams. "It was clear that Evan wants to become the CEO of, and everyone understood that it would bebetter, "- said another former colleague of Dorsey. In the next four years, Dorsey and Williams almost did not communicate, and first had to learn the bitter lesson of many talented programmers - not everyone is the author of the idea is possible to keep your business.

A year after the dismissal Dorsey founded startup Square Inc., provides services in the field of mobile payments. After the last round of investments in which the company raised $ 150 million, Square valued at $ 6 billion - one of the highest capitalization for the Silicon Valley.

In June 2015, Twitter made an unexpected announcement: Dorsey appointed acting the general director of service, instead of who replaced Williams Dick Costolo, who prematurely resigned. Announcement caught by surprise not only market participants, but also many service top managers, told NYT sources in the company. Costolo, a former comedian and pop engineer, tried to instill in us a more open atmosphere of cooperation. He built the advertising business Twitter, but Costolo frequently criticized for rapid decisions in isolation from a clear strategy, and he could not effectively solves problems with the products, which hindered the attraction of new members. That is what analysts say today the main challenge facing the company. In the second quarter of 2015. Monthly Twitter audience has increased by only 2 million, to 304 million users, while the corresponding figures Facebook and Instagram are steadily growing. And Dorsey has always been considered the best in the grocery segment, and it was he who helped turn microblogging service into a global platform. "Jack is able to accelerate the release of new products", - said Robert Peck, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, in his time to predict ambulance Costolo resign.

In the market there are rumors that Dorsey talks about Twitter and Square merger. The deal would give the microblogging service's own e-commerce platform, which the company was unable to create on their own.


November 7, 2013 Twitter held an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, placing 70 million shares at $ 26 per share and raised $ 1.8 billion - almost as much as nine years earlier attracted the Google, which has become a model of successful public Internet companies.

StoaBridges Twitter, based on the offering price and the size of the share capital amounted to more than $ 14 billion, and taking into account the shares that have been issued under the employee compensation plans -. more than $ 18 billion from the point of view of the individual Twitter financial performance was evaluated prohibitively expensive. According to University of Florida finance professor Jay Ritter, Twitter capitalization of the IPO 33 times higher than the revenues of the company for the last year - so impressive multipliers never seen even in "the era of the dot-com" in 1999-2001.

2014 the company completed with revenues of $ 1.4 billion and a net loss of $ 578 million.

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