I have always wanted to work at Twitter but never actually thought about it until Akash Garg reached out a few months ago1. Yes, this is a post announcing that I have joined the flock at Twitter. I signed up for Twitter exactly six years ago in January 2007 as user #624,6832.
Almost 25,000 tweets later, it's obvious to me that Twitter is my online identity. It's the only online property where you can really get a sense of who I am and my personality.
I remember when Twitter was gaining steam in 2008. I was invited to speak at a TTI/Vanguard conference in Rome3. It was my first speaking gig ever and they had booked me for a 45 minute speech. I only had 15 minutes prepared. Fortunately my talk evolved into a discussion about Twitter — everyone kept asking what it was and how they could use it.
Since then it has permeated the daily lives of over 200 million active users. It was even the topic of a 30 page paper for a course I took at Georgia Tech.
I work as an Experience Designer on the Growth Team, lead by Nancy Broden. It's rather surreal to work just feet away from design leaders I have been following online for years like Doug Bowman, Mike Davidson and Josh Brewer. I'm a designer but I also have a dev environment setup to help with implementation. That's the perfect mixture in my eyes.
Why this role? Well, after 5 years of startups (yes, this is my first real job) there's one thing I want to get better at — growing products. Being informed about knowing why things failed or worked well and running a myriad of experiments or usability studies to find the best performing design.
My mind was blown last week when I was shown how many experiments the growth team frequently runs and pushes out to a percentage of the userbase. Whenever an experiment is completed, owners write up the results for all to learn from. No more design via hunches.
Twitter is becoming a big company but I feel like I know everyone from following them on Twitter. Read more about working at Twitter from Mike Davidson and Doug Bowman. I'd like to give a big thanks to everyone I bugged for advice during this process: Gabor Cselle, George Zachary, Eric Florenzano, Eric Maguire, Eoghan McCabe, Sanjay Parekh.
What about Picplum?
Akshay and I have both moved on to full-time jobs, with Akshay joining the new Live Nation Labs, but Akshay will still be actively maintaining and developing Picplum in his spare time. I will remain onboard in an advisory role. We're looking for folks to help run Picplum — from marketing to customer support. Drop us a line if you'd like to hear more.
2 I was an Odeo user and remember first hearing about twttr but initially avoided signing up then as as I didn't have a robust SMS cell plan and twttr was initially very SMS-oriented. I even blogged about the launch of twttr.
3 The first day I got there I ended up meeting and having lunch with Aaron Swartz and Nicholas Negroponte.