And that's because no one has clearly answered these questions. As a result, and despite the relative success of Twitter, confusion abounds -- confusion among the public, among new users, and among the top brass of Twitter, Inc.
As you are all well aware, success is fleeting. Numbers are down and users have grown stagnant. I'm not telling you something you don't already know, just reminding you of the current situation. So now that I've unnerved you, unsettled you, and un-housed you, here is where the fun begins, the solutions. You know the problems, we know the problems, now the question becomes what to we do about those problems? The Raskolnikov Consultant Group sees two solutions and only two solutions. And, in our eyes, one solution is entirely more viable than the other.
Option number 1: SELL! In our expert opinion this is by far the best option, sell Twitter! Run back to Google, and see if they're still willing to pay you $10 billion. If they are, take the money and run. The current estimated value of Twitter is roughly $3.7 billion. $10 billion is more than a fair offer. I know many of you believe that you've only achieved 1% of what Twitter can be, but success isn't built off of potential. It's forged by people who have an unparalleled amount of passion for their business or project or sport, etc. James Cameron didn't make Titanic to make billions of dollars, he made it because he was extremely passionate about telling that story. If money and/or pride and/or vanity are the motivating factors behind your decision not to sell in the first place, which, one thinks they are, remember that pride precedes destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Moreover, from our extensive research and exhaustive data analysis of Twitter, it is apparent that no one is that passionate about Twitter. Twitter is not the brainchild of someone like James Cameron, or Hugh Hefner, or Mark Zuckerberg. It's a side-project that has achieved success because of its users, not because of its management team or board members. Cash in your chips now, while you're ahead. Don't wait until it becomes too late.
Solution number 2 is the hard road to take. It involves legwork and planning and strategizing that not anyone at Twitter had done thus far. It involves creating a vision for Twitter as a whole, setting concrete but realistic goals, and working relentlessly hard until those goals are achieved. It also involves taking back control of Twitter from the Twitter community in a seamless but effective way. It involves devising ways to monetizing the site without disenfranchising the users (MySpace failed to do this in a tactful and appropriate way and has since lost much of their market share to Facebook). It involves asking and answering the toughest question of all -- who is going to lead Twitter in the next decade? Doresy, Williams, Costolo, someone else?
Solution number 2 is not really a solution. It's an acknowledgment of a very tough road ahead. Sometimes are job as consultants is not to prognosticate or prescribe the ideal solution, it's to ask the right questions and to get you, the client, to think more critically about the direction your company is going. To some extent you've probably known the answers to some of these questions all along, it's just that due to the multiple voices, egos, and personalities in the mix, it's tough to get anything done. If you sell Twitter now, everyone can walk away with some coin in their pocket knowing that they were part of a unique social experiment. If you decide to take option number 2, and take a chance at bringing Twitter into its next phase, then there are questions that certainly need to be answered, questions about power, questions about identity, and questions about passionate leadership, the answers to which can only come from within.
Whatever you decide, we wish you the very best of luck.