Jason Goldman - The Silent Partner
Twitter comes from a large family. Beyond Williams and Stone, there's the third founder, Jack Dorsey, the golden boy of Silicon Valley who mused recently on 60 Minutes about becoming New York's mayor. There were two engineers who helped Dorsey build the prototype for Twitter in 2006, who were dismissed in short order. And after ousting Dorsey from the top job in 2008, Williams turned it over two years later to the current C.E.O., Dick Costolo.
Also absent from the table, and, largely, from Twitter's public profile, was Jason Goldman. An office manager at Williams' previous startup, Goldman worked his way up to run product development at Twitter. He claimed a seat on the company's board (as did Williams and Dorsey, but not Stone), oversaw a team of 40, and remains a meaningful stakeholder. When Goldman stepped downfrom Twitter in 2010, after overseeing the expansive redesign that became "New Twitter" (and transformed Twitter into a fundamentally different type of company), he joined Williams and Stone in rebooting the Obvious Corporation, which had initially incubated Twitter. This time, the three are partners. Yet on the Charlie Rose segment, he was nowhere to be seen — or heard about.
"He engineered a kind of behind-the-scenes, Wizard of Oz role for himself," Stone told me of his friend. The 36-year-old Goldman, by all counts, has intentionally maintained a low profile. When we met earlier this year, for two lengthy conversations, it was at the urging of Josh Miller, the 22-year-old C.E.O. of Branch, where Goldman serves on the board. But then it's not as if paparazzi are beating down Goldman's door.