Last week was filled with many ups and downs for the social networking website, Twitter. First, the surprise exit of Dick Costolo, the chief executive of Twitter and then the return of the co founder, Jack Dorsey but not as the chief executive, he returned as the interim executive until the Twitter board can pick a new head.
Does this story reminds you of anyone, well if it does you are surely one of the many who are fans of the one and only, iMan, Steve Jobs. So before Costolo or Jack Dorsey, let’s first talk about Mr. Jobs.
Jobs was ousted by the board after his failures and brutal struggle with John Sculley but was brought back after both Sculley and Gil Amelio failed miserably. Those were dark times for Apple, working with its arch rivals Microsoft and then taking a $150 Million stock investment from the company.
At that time, Jobs was brought in to save the company and everything that happened next is history. He not only did save the once drowning company but also turned it around and since then, he has been and inspiration for founders to return triumphantly to ‘save’ their brands.
It’s been very hard of not to think about this story after the events of the past week. Costolo who owns hundreds of millions of dollars of twitter stock made it clear that he wanted to resign by the end of the year but the scrutiny by the investors for not being able to add users quickly enough made him step down from his post of chief executive as of July 1st. We all know he will be replaced by another co-founder of the company Jack Dorsey who recently has been gaining popularity as the CEO of the payments company, Square.
Though it seems to the most rational choice but many eyebrows were raised and for valid reasons as well. Firstly, Jack Dorsey is already running a prominent tech firm and if you think running one big company is not difficult enough think about running two at the same time. But let’s take a look on a person who completed a similar feat as well. Yes, you guessed it right, Jobs who simultaneously ran Pixar and Apple for nine whole years.
Well it is also the matter of whether or not can Dorsey replicate the success Jobs had with Apple but our new interim executive says, that he has a good leadership team at both the companies and he has a spent an ample amount of time for both the firms and looks to continue splitting his time amongst the two.
Dorsey was previously ousted by Evans William who is also a co-founder of the company and is also on the Twitter board. At that time Jack Dorsey was the head of the technical side but severs were going down every day and even he himself admits that he was a flawed manager at that point of time but right now he is a different person altogether.
A founder’s return can rather be stabilizing as founder is someone who already has a long term relationship with the company, someone who already understands the company and its business. Obviously appointing a founder as a chief executive does has its advantages but right now Jack Dorsey is on a path which have seen many people before but all of them failed miserably whether it may be Jerry Yang the founder of Yahoo or Larry Page, one of the founders of Google or Marc Pincus, the founder of Zynga, each and every one of them could not made it large; expect one and we all know who he was.
When founders start a company all they have is an idea with few and often no employees and it’s not the same thing as jumping into a company which already is established with thousands of employees working under you. It’s a different environment altogether but Dorsey is older and wiser now. He sits on the board of Walt Disney CO. and is the one behind the success of Square.
It maybe that Jack Dorsey is right person for the job but that should be based on his real skills and not on the myth that if Steve Jobs did it with Apple then any founder of any tech company can replicate it because let’s just get it straight, Jobs was a different person altogether. He was the mere soul of Apple and a visionary and those things cannot be replicated easily.