Twitter is one of the most popular social media platform on the market. The company has a current value of $24.6 billion, and has 330 million users active monthly. A company of that size has had its fair share of controversies and a dark beginning. You might have heard of Jack Dorsey, current CEO of Twitter, however, you might be unaware of the person who actually created the company; Noah Glass. This is the story of how the actual founder of Twitter was betrayed.
The Twitter team originally comprised of Noah Glass, Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, and Biz Stone. Evan and Noah had built a company Odeo, which was meant to be a podcasting platform. However, when Apple announced that the iTunes built into every iPod would have a podcasting platform, Odeo was no longer relevant. Evan Williams, Odeo’s CEO at that time asked the company team to start thinking of ideas that could help the company pivot.
The employees formed groups among themselves, and the brainstorming began. Noah Glass found himself with Jack Dorsey, who he had really begin to admire a lot. Jack Dorsey was an employee hired by Evan William for Odeo. During the brainstorming sessions, Dorsey came up with the idea of building a platform where people share what they were doing. Noah really loved the idea, hence they began working on it. On February 2006, the company officially saw the idea. Noah came up with the name “Twttr”, which was later changed to “Twitter”.
If you go to Noah’s twitter profile right now, his bio reads “I started this”, referring to his role as the founder of Twitter. With a measly 41.5K followers on a platform that he built himself, why is Noah Glass unrecognized and erased from the history of Twitter?
Early investors and employees time and again refer to Noah Glass as the actual founder of Twitter. Even though Jack Dorsey came up with the idea, no one was more passionate about the project than Noah. Also, Evan and Biz did not share the same enthusiasm.
Noah drove the vision and pushed the idea forward. He poured all of his energy and time into Twitter. As the idea of Twitter grew, differences between Evan and Noah began to arise. The company had split into two groups, Twitter and Odeo. Also, reports suggest that Noah wanted to take the Twitter project separate from Odeo and become CEO. He felt Evan did not want him in the company anymore. Noah shared his concerns with Dorsey, whom he thought he could trust. Dorsey acted like he was sympathetic with Noah. However, it was actually Dorsey who betrayed Noah. He wanted Noah fired, and threatened to leave the company if that did not happen. Dorsey also left Noah’s name out of interviews that he gave. He did not give him the founder credits. In conclusion, Dorsey was removing Noah’s name from the existence of Twitter.Tweets by noah
Evan felt threatened by a growing idea leaving his grasp, and hence fired Noah from Twitter in 2006. He ended up running the company, and not Noah, because he had power and money. The move shocked everyone, as they all knew and agreed that Twitter would not exist without Noah. Noah’s exit saw him leave with a little cash and even little stock. When Twitter went public, it made Dorsey and Evans millions, however, Noah only made a few pennies off it.
He went on to describe the complete betrayal in the following words.
“I felt betrayed by my friends, by my company, by these people around me I trusted and that I had worked hard to create something with. And I was a little shell-shocked. I was like, ‘Wait…what’s the value in building these relationships if this is the result?’ So I spent a lot of time by myself. And working on things alone.”
Read the exclusive interview with Noah Glass here.
Twitter’s success gave Noah peace because his passion project found fame, and became one of the most popular platforms on the web. He was happy about that. What do you think of this betrayal? Do you think Noah should have done things differently to secure his position? Do you think Evan and Dorsey should have at least fairly compensated Noah for his contributions? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.