Quora question: What was it like to invest in early Twitter?
Marlene Breverman stashed this in Twitter
"While we were talking, he said, “By the way, as part of the agreement, I am going to experiment with some stuff we have been working on with a side project. We are trying to decide what to call it. Some are saying “VoiceMail 2.0,” and others say Twttr.” I asked “What does Twitter do?” Ev said “You say what you are doing in 140 characters or less.” I said “…then what happens?” He said. “That’s it. That’s all it does.” I asked, “What is the roadmap?”, Ev said “There is no roadmap.” I continued, “What is the revenue model?” to which Ev replied “There is no revenue model.” So finally I asked “Ev—why do you think this is even a product, not to mention a real business?”"
Mike Maples describes being an early investor in Twitter. KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS
And yet, he invested.
”To which I said, "OK, I want to invest in Twttr, even though I think you should add back the vowels.” He said that if he ever raised money, he would let me, and he kept his word.” Expensive vowels.
Okay but WHY did he want to invest in Twitter?
Why did he think it was a good thing to invest in?
Doesn't sound like there was much logical reasoning involved: Evan Williams tried and tried to make a go of it. One day he called me and said “look, we don’t have a business. I’m going to give the investors their money back.” I was very insistent that he not give it back to me. I thought, the word “venture” is contained in the word adventure, and it comes with the territory. You win some; you lose some. But he insisted, and I accepted.
Ev said something I’ll always remember. He pointed out that when he invented Blogger, they got over 1 million users. But podcasting was harder for people. You had to record audio and put it up in a podcasting directory. What if you took the total 180 degree opposite approach and made blogging super easy by enabling micro-blogs? What if 10 million people did micro-blogs instead of 1 Million? “If that happens, then the burden of proof will be on the people who are negative.” To which I said, "OK, I want to invest in Twttr, even though I think you should add back the vowels.” He said that if he ever raised money, he would let me, and he kept his word.
He added back the vowels too.
The burden of proof is not on the negative people in Twitter. They seem to be everywhere.