Fire Dick Costolo

Should be easy right?

Ambariish Sridhar
Apr 30, 2014 · 4 min read


Sure Twitter has had a good year financially. Of course its still making money like its supposed to. No issues with that. Maybe thats all the investors and WallStreet folk care about.

Twitter has tried hard to innovate and do something new but hasn’t been successful in years. I think its because of Dick Costolo, the CEO of Twitter.

The site design (including the recent Facebook design) is crap. The official apps are all terrible. Especially the Android app which looks extremely cluttered. I can’t believe that people are getting paid to do such a piss-poor job.

Limiting and removing 3rd party clients was a shitty move which was prompted because Tweetdeck at the time was going to spin-off of the service into its own platform (Hatching Twitter). Maybe they should have forced developers to use Twitter’s own ads rather than limiting the APIs. Even after all the API limits there’s still a clear market for 3rd party Twitter apps like Talon for Android and Tweetbot for iOS. This shows how terrible the designers at Twitter are. And don’t even get me started on this.

They had to make the site reliable for its survival during its early years.
I’ll definitely credit Dick for fixing the site’s back end issues. I haven’t seen a failwhale in ages. But those issues were a top priority to the board anyway at that time.

I don’t see a lot of useful things that have made Twitter more easy to use in the past few years. The whole Twitter cards layout were all just reactions to an emerging trend. Letting us upload pictures straight to Twitter was a reaction to everyone using 3rd party services like Twitpic. The cards layout with image previews had already existed in 3rd party clients before Twitter introduced it. It was a good move nonetheless.

He hasn’t made the service more compelling for new users. Imagine what a company like Google would do if it owned a dominant service like Twitter (not referring to G+) or Twitter itself. I still find Twitter valuable because of the content but Twitter has so far failed to do a good job of managing all of this content. There’s so much room for improvement. No wonder their user base hasn’t increased steadily since 2013. But this article isn’t going to focus on that.

Vine was a pretty good acquire but the Android app is still not as good as its iOS version. The Twitter integration of Vine is still lacking. In the mean time more people are using Instagram Video.

Twitter Music was a terrible idea right from the get-go and was also implemented very poorly. This music service was such a niche product that I was anticipating its shutdown during its first month. How could he not see that? And why did it get so much press? It was hardly game-changing. And all the failed experiments like the DM news thing and removing @replies . I’m all for people trying new stuff out even if it fails but the majority of the things he’s done have all been a failure.

He simply doesn’t seem to know what to do next. Or maybe he does and they’re all the wrong things for this company. And the good ideas haven’t been executed properly. I feel like he doesn’t have a clear vision to lead the company.

I still believe in the idea of Twitter. I’m just a frustrated user and this is what I see from the outside.

Dick Costolo should to quit Twitter to spend more time with his family.

UPDATE : Today Amazon announced this feature where you can add Amazon items that you find on Twitter to the cart by replying to that tweet with the hashtag #AmazonCart. Amazon didn’t build its own network to make this happen. It’s leveraging another platform to this. They realise that people want to sometimes publicly share what they’re going to purchase and this is a very clever approach. All the user has to do is link Twitter with Amazon’s account. They’ve also made purchasing more frictionless and impulsive for the customers. Whether that’s good for the user’s bank account is a different issue. I just think that this is a really cool move that Twitter could have made themselves and even charge companies like eBay and Amazon for this functionality like a 5% fee.


    Ambariish Sridhar

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    I come here to rant & rave.

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