[messengers] Twitter and bike messengers

Date: 28 Apr 2010 14:11:20 +0200
From: Joe Hendry <messvilleto@xxxxxxxxx>

When Jack Dorsey Met Fred Wilson, And Other Twitter Tales
(Book Excerpt)
Jack Dorsey (a.k.a. @jack in the lingo of the Twitterverse)
founded Twitter, the social networking and microblogging site where
users—Twitterers—post very short (140 characters, tops) updates known as
tweets. The concept for Twitter came out of Jack’s lifelong fascination with
mapping the real-time movements of people and things within complex
environments. “Since I was very small, I’ve been fascinated by how cities
work,” Jack told me in his typically straightforward way. “I always got really
excited when I thought about visualizing them, specifically around maps. What
would you place on a map to show how a city worked?”


In St. Louis,
where he grew up, Jack first noticed the existence of something he found
magical: couriers. “I loved couriers. You had this transfer of physical
information happening throughout the city and the world. Someone picking up the
package, putting it in a bag, going somewhere, taking it out of the bag, giving
it to someone else. I thought that was so cool. I wanted to map it, to see that
flow on a big screen. When I did some research into how courier systems worked,
I found that there was a parallel information transfer that was digital, and it
was called ‘dispatch,’ which was just a coordination effort.”


Jack so loved the idea of digitally mapping interactions
around a city and the notion of couriers as a physical manifestation of these
interactions that he decided to start a bicycle courier service of his own at
the age of sixteen. “I put my brother and me on bikes, just so I could write
the dispatch software. [A self-proclaimed computer geek, Jack taught himself to
code software at a young age.] We quickly found out that St. Louis had no need for bicycle couriers at
all. But I really enjoyed writing the software and getting to the point where I
could map and visualize the work.”




more: http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/27/jack-dorsey-fred-wilson-twitter-book-excerpt/#ixzz0mObeEtLV



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