Entrepreneurs at Twitter: Building a Brand, a Social Tool or a Tech Powerhouse?
(8 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
Twitter has become an incredibly popular micro-blogging service since its launch in 2006. Its founders have ambitious plans for the service, and are backed by hundreds of millions of dollars of venture capital funding, which values the company at $3.7 billion in 2011. Twitter seems to attract a diverse audience of users, such as political organizers looking to disseminate information to their followers; businesses looking to reach out, in real time, to potential customers; and social users. The company charges consumers nothing for its service. By 2011, competitors have emerged, some of whom are financially strong. It remains unclear - at least to some observers - whether the company will ever make money from its service.
This case has been written for use in a range of courses such as entrepreneurship, information systems, strategy, and marketing. This case can be used to illustrate several key concepts and issues, including the following:
- The distinction between a “bright idea” and a “business opportunity” in new venture creation. The distinction is hard to see early on in rapid-growth Internet companies like Twitter, which deliberately grow their user base before looking to monetize.
- The nature of serial innovators and serial entrepreneurs, as exemplified by Twitter’s founders.
- The ability of marketing “evangelists” and open-source platforms in technology start-ups to attract attention that raises awareness and increases adoption rates.
- The challenges and opportunities faced by corporations looking to leverage social networking media such as Twitter.
- Ways in which new “free” web-based start-ups like Twitter can generate revenues from their large number of followers; also, the difficulty of commercializing without alienating loyal customers on whom the company depends.
United States, 2010
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