Twitter co-founder steps back for new venture

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone announced on Tuesday that he was scaling back his involvement in the micro-blogging company to concentrate on a new venture.

The 37 year old said in a post on his personal blog that he was relaunching The Obvious Corporation, the company which spawned Twitter, with fellow Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and a former Google colleague, Jason Goldman.

“Our plan is to develop new projects and work on solving big problems aligned along a simple mission statement: The Obvious Corporation develops systems that help people work together to improve the world,” Stone said.

Williams, who stepped down as Twitter’s chief executive last year, already announced in March that he was reducing his role at Twitter. He remains on Twitter’s board of directors but is not involved in day-to-day affairs.

Williams’ work prior to joining Stone at The Obvious Corporation included the founding of Pyra labs, which was responsible for the creation of early blogging service Blogger. He is also credited with playing a significant role in popularising the blog format.

Stone, who founded Twitter in 2006 with Williams and Jack Dorsey, said he will “continue to work with (Twitter) for many years to come.”

But, he added, “I’ve decided that the most effective use of my time is to get out of the way until I’m called upon to be of some specific use.

“I’ll still commit part of my time to hands on help with Twitter wherever and whenever I can be of assistance,” Stone continued.

Prior to Twitter, Stone also helped create and launch the blogging-based social network Xanga and was a part of Williams’ Blogger team. Speaking about the growth of Twitter, Stone said that he and his colleagues had, for five years, “focused on Twitter as it grew from a “useless” toy to a particularly informative global phenomenon with amazing potential”.

In a message on The Obvious Corporation’s website, Stone, Williams and Goldman said they were not ready to divulge details about their upcoming projects.

“We are not ready to discuss specifics except to say that our thesis is building systems that help people work together to improve their lives and the world,” they said.

They also said they were looking for engineers, designers and a “few multi-talented business people.”
Twitter is currently led by Dick Costolo, who replaced Williams as chief executive in October of last year, and Dorsey, who returned to the company in March as executive chairman to head its product team. –(AFP)



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