Hatching Twitter (Book Summary)

September 18, 2020

The Characters

  • Ev - pretty prolific, coined blogging, basically just a nice guy that wanted to do good by his friends
  • Noah - the forgotten founder…what are the odds he’s across the street
  • Jack - portrayed as bitter, vengeful and small
  • Biz - another nice guy that doesn’t feature too prominently despite being around for most of the book

Big takeaways:

  • The idea was a joint effort and benefitted from many folks’ input, but it was essentially a glorified hackathon project that came out of a previous company’s failure
  • The idea of a status updater was heavily infuenced by AOL Instant Messenger’s away messages. As a big AIM user in elementary/middle school, I enjoyed this throwback reference.
  • Don’t hire your friends. The book is pretty categorical about this, and pegs it as a key weakness of Ev’s.
  • The money guys will clean house if they feel their investment is at risk.
  • Be careful about to whom you give a board seat.


  • More focus on Dorsey’s time at Square. Clearly, he’s not a fluke and Square likely had a big impact on convincing people that he was ready to run a company again. There’s very little said about Square’s success though.
  • More recent updates. The book was published in 2013 but ends in 2010-ish. Clearly a lot has happened since then, namely Jack’s triumphant return as CEO. The book hints at this, but it would be interesting to see how Bilton would treat Jack given all that’s happened since.

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