SAN FRANCISCO — Jack Dorsey’s return to Twitter as CEO was followed by a rapid series of changes: a big product rollout, 8% layoffs, and a plan to share one-third of his stock with employees.
Will he succeed in revitalizing the company, which risks getting left in the has-been heap of social media companies?
USA TODAY reporters and guests Justin Kan and Deldelp Medina discuss the steep challenge facing the Twitter co-founder in this week’s Tech Deep Dive podcast, as well as the impact of Facebook’s expanded search function; the intense fighting in San Francisco over Airbnb; and why it’s no surprise to some that Amazon’s cloud services is a big deal for the company’s profits.
About Twitter: “I think Jack’s got a pretty hard job. I hope for the best and expect the worst,” said Kan, founder of gaming video site Twitch.tv, now owned by Amazon, and a partner at Y Combinator, which invests in and fosters early-stage start-ups. “He has this founder morale imperative to make big changes, so he can probably do it better than anyone else, but it’s hard.”
“A company’s only as good as the founder or CEO for me. Having watched how Jack as a person has evolved over the past years has been fascinating,” said Medina, CEO and founder of Avión Ventures, a start-up accelerator aimed at Latina entrepreneurs. “What gives me hope is that he is going to figure out what Twitter needs to be and how it needs to happen. Having someone with clarity of vision of who they are is helpful to build a great product. Especially if they have people who are loyal.”
As for Amazon, which reported a 78% rise in sales in its cloud services division and $521 million in profit, the runaway success of the division is no surprise to anyone running a start-up: Amazon’s nearly the only game in town.
Listen to the full podcast with reporters Elizabeth Weise, Marco della Cava, and Jessica Guynn.
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