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The blog post that put Twitter into play

Friday, 12 June, 2015

Last Wednesday, venture capitalist Chris Sacca wrote a lengthy post (circa 8,500 words) titled What Twitter Can Be. Yesterday, Twitter’s chief executive Dick Costolo said he’s quitting and co-founder Jack Dorsey will step in as interim CEO. So what did Sacca say? Well, he urged Twitter to be bolder: “It needs to place more bets with potentially oversized payoffs. It needs to question aspects of Twitter it has taken for granted. It needs to operate with smaller teams that require less permission to make change happen. Twitter can afford to build the wrong things. However, Twitter cannot afford to build the right things too slowly.”

The options facing Dorsey now are limited. He can tweak the strategy Costolo outlined last November, or he can be bold, as Sacca advises, and dumb Twitter down while filling the feeds with ads. Or he can sell the company. Either way, the choices are stark and the Twitter that we’ve come to know and love is about to change dramatically, and for the worse. Sacca and his fellow investors want a payday and they know where the money is to be found. One does not have to share his vision or like his motives, but his honesty deserves admiration:

“For example, Twitter NBA could build off of the company’s fantastic relationship with the league and include a focused and live-driven stream full of the very best Tweets and the instant-replay video content under the company’s existing Amplify deal. NBA fans would be thrilled to use that app while the game is on and the ease of advertising in that app would generate plenty of money to share back with the content partners. The same approach would work for the biggest global soccer and cricket leagues as well as the WNBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL. Twitter should consider integrating a fantasy partner like Draft Kings as well to make it a must-open app. While there are a number of fantastic mobile experiences for hardcore fans, no one has built the perfect live-action companion app for casual sports viewers. Twitter has the best shot at it.”

“All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born,” tweeted W. B. Yeats, who was born 150 years ago.


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