Today’s article in the New York Times describes Twitter in full Whitewater immersion: growth outpacing hiring, appointment of a COO (to inject process), buying experience and knowledge by hiring others who have made it through Whitewater to Predictable Success.It’s almost like the dot-com era redux – shortened Early Struggle, deep Fun, and hitting Whitewater with virtually no revenue.
Twitter’s continued growth and success now depends entirely on what happens next to their internal culture. They’ve established the market, but further growth means finally generating substantial income. Generating income means enforcing discipline and adherence to process. Twitter’s founders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone will find this a great challenge, as they are deeply associated with the current (and past) ‘Fun’ culture.
If they have any sense, ‘Ev and Biz’ will go further than today’s appointment of Dick Costolo as chief operating officer, and will emulate Larry Page and Sergey Brin (founders of Google) who presciently hired Eric Schmidt as CEO and to bring ‘adult supervsion’ to the deeply Fun-oriented Google.