As Twitter turns its attention toward real revenue and “official” Twitter applications, I asked Chris Sacca for some insight.
Sacca is an angel investor in more than two dozen startups, including both Twitter and the URL shortener bit.ly (highlighted in a widely-read Biz Insider piece titled: “Here’s Who Just Got Screwed by Twitter”). He weighed in on whether third-party Twitter developers really are cooked.
What did you think of Business Insider’s round-up? Is there room for small players to coexist alongside Twitter or is it now the case that if Twitter can build it, they will?
Business Insider has attained a level of sensationalism that I can’t take seriously as journalism any more. Just look at how many times they retweeted their own article today.
The ecosystem developers have the lead right now. They have innovated faster than Twitter and they will continue to do so. They are smaller and nimbler and have the freedom to take more chances.
Twitter will keep improving its core product. They would be irresponsible not to. But, the good developers will sustain their lead and users will choose to use products from those developers because of their superiority.
This “putting companies out of business” stuff is just inflammatory. The best developers are excited to see what new features will be announced in tomorrow’s API talk and know they will move to introduce those to the public faster than Twitter itself can.
The other thing to keep in mind is something I expressed in a Tweet last week: Every Twitter client is a Twitter app. Not every Twitter app is a Twitter client. Meaning, though Twitter clients are core to the Twitter experience, some of the most exciting innovation is being done apart from the clients using Twitter’s OAuth credentials, Twitter’s follower graph, and Twitter’s fire hose.
By the way, for the record, I am still investing actively in the ecosystem. I have Twitter-related companies like bit.ly, Posterous (and its post.ly product), and PollEverywhere in my portfolio and I will invest in many more such companies in the near future.