Shawn and I are both from Nebraska, so we’ve always taken a special interest in one Mr. Evan Williams, a.k.a. Boss Tweet.
Williams grew up on a corn and soybeans farm in Nebraska. Which of course is great training for Internet entrepreneurdom. Both professions demand that you work all the time.
Here’s how he describes his business path thus far:
In 1997, I moved to California and worked at what is now O’Reilly Media. By 1998, I had acquired enough technical skills to do freelance Web development. In 1999, I started Pyra Labs with a friend, Meg Hourihan, to develop project management programs. Then we started a side project called Blogger, a Web publishing tool. In 2003, we sold that company to Google. I worked for Google for two years.
Several years ago I started Odeo, a podcasting company, with Noah Glass, another friend. I ran that company for 18 months. We started Twitter as a side project within Odeo during that time.
I didn’t like the direction Odeo was going. For one thing, Apple made a lot of what we worked on obsolete when it introduced podcasts into iTunes. I bought Odeo back from the investors and moved the assets to another company of mine, Obvious, a Web product development lab now on hiatus. In 2007, I sold Odeo and spun off Twitter into a separate company.
Not bad for a boy from rural Nebraska.