Monday, June 28, 2010

I work for Twitter now

I work for Twitter now.


Twitter is an amazing company that provides an amazing service to the humankind. I see it as a fundamental new modus of communication that's quickly becoming part of the global human culture. Whether the earthquake in Haiti or the post-election uprising in Iran, Twitter has proven to be a reliable and prompt medium for getting the latest news on what's happening in the world, directly from the people most involved in the events. (While simultaneously still allowing you to to tell your friends what you had for breakfast, of course.) I appreciate its singular focus on doing one thing right, and that it managed to remain simple to use. Twitter is experiencing a 16% month-over-month (that's exponential!) traffic increase, and I'm very excited at the prospect of throwing my weight behind making it able to cope with this welcome challenge. The company is chock full of extremely bright people that I will no doubt be a delight to work with, and maybe some of their awesome will rub on to me too...

I want to change the world for the better and make a positive influence on people's lives. Often, the most significant changes are the ones people don't even notice, because they make Things Work As They Are Supposed To. How big a change? I have no idea yet, but it could be vital. If it makes the difference between a smooth operation and a Fail Whale for someone caught in the next civil unrest who's using a momentarily available internet connection to let his family know he's okay, it can mean the world to them.

I appreciate Twitter's open-source fostering culture. Today, the barrier to entry for influencing lots of people's lives is actually pretty low. It's called Open Source Software, and it's easy to participate and create serious value. I count that for every hour I spent on my OSS projects, I saved in thousands of man hours to my users, a number that will keep growing until the last of my code goes out of use (will be a while...). The value leverage is just insane. I just never figured out how to make it pay the bills, so I can't devote myself 100% to it. Twitter plays great in the OSS ecosystem, so I hope that I'll be able to create value in two streams: improving Twitter through the OSS it relies on, and as a consequence, improving the said OSS.

"So are you moving to Bay Area?"

Yes. We're working on my visa, and once that's approved (hopefully around October), I'll move with my wife and children to San Francisco to join the company in person. Until then, I'm working remotely from home in Hungary. I'm absolutely thrilled at the prospect of living there, and I'm very much looking forward to this new adventure.