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News : Innovation Last Updated: Mar 31, 2011 - 7:56 AM

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey returns; Says idea dates from when he was eight years old
By Michael Hennigan, Founder and Editor of Finfacts
Mar 30, 2011 - 2:59 AM

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Jack Dorsey, co-founder of the Twitter micro-blogging site, is returning to the company he co-founded in 2006 (Twitter was spun out into a new company in April 2007) to make the idea he says he had from when he was eight years old, more mainstream.

Dorsey who is 34, is looking to challenge Facebook's dominance in advertising among social media companies, he told students at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism on Tuesday.

"We have a lot of mainstream awareness, but mainstream relevancy is still a challenge," Dorsey said, according to a report on the lecture from The Wall Street Journal.

To that end, Twitter will have to become "more approachable so that people can get into it immediately and it's extremely relevant right away," he said at Columbia, according to Bloomberg.

The current issue of Vanity Fair says Dorsey "found himself working for a San Francisco software start-up called Odeo, which was going nowhere. One day he proposed an idea to his boss based on a notion that Dorsey had been noodling over for years. He was fascinated by the haiku of taxicab communication - - the way drivers and dispatchers succinctly convey locations by radio. Dorsey suggested that his company create a service that would allow anyone to write a line or two about himself, using a cell phone’s keypad, and then send that message to anyone who wanted to receive it. The short text alert, for him, was a way to add a missing human element to the digital picture of a pulsing, populated city."

"With Twitter, it was an idea I had when I was eight years old and started developing when I was 14," he told The Economist in a video interview.

Dorsey told students at  Columbia that, after a few years away from Twitter that he has spent leading another startup Square, he's returning to head up Twitter's product development while maintaining his role at the other company.

"I live and breathe these companies," Dorsey said, and suggested that they are fundamentally similar in that they operate as utilities for consumers. "I see Twitter as a pure utility, like electricity or water," he said.
"It's as good as how people want to use it."

Dorsey touched upon his business model for Square, which provides consumers an attachment to their tablets (e.g iPad) and smartphones that enables them to handle credit card transactions simply and in some cases for a smaller fee than the established system. "Square is enabling people to start a service or a business immediately," he said.

Dorsey in 2008 was replaced as CEO of Twitter by another co-founder, Evan Williams (founder of Blogger.com). The two are reported to have had personal differences. The third co-founder of Twitter is Biz Stone.

Williams was replaced as CEO by a former Google manager, Dick Costolo, last October.

Dorsey will become executive chairman of the 450 person company.

Twitter messages are limited to 140 characters and Jack Dorsey has 1.6m people following his tweets.

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© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

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