Hello, Twitter

Part 2 of 2 (here’s Part 1)

Yesterday was my first day at Twitter.

Yes, it’s true. After reading a bit of speculation over the past few weeks, I’ll confirm here that I am, indeed, joining Twitter. I don’t remember ever being as eager or excited to start a new job as I’ve been with this one. (Thus, why I only took one week off between jobs.)

Over the past year, I spoke with several organizations about coming on board to lead a design team. But Twitter felt like the most natural fit from the very start of my talks with the team. It’s still early in Twitter’s history. The company is small. Its user base is growing rapidly. And I see lots of potential to directly impact and to help shape the Twitter brand.

Add to that the fact that I know, understand, and respect the company’s leadership. And they know and respect my work, capabilities, and philosophy. (Several of us worked together on the redesign of Blogger in 2004.) A better fit is hard to find.

As Creative Director, I’ll have a few obvious responsibilities. Like building and shaping a design team, overseeing an evolving set of design challenges for a growing list of features and uses, and contributing to the company’s overall design strategy. Other responsibilities will include taking advantage of Twitter (and other means) to collect feedback and ideas about new features, implementations, or general UI changes.

I recognize the task before us is not small nor easy. Twitter means different things for different people and organizations, and it gets used in so many different ways. Maintaining the simplicity of the service is critical. At the same time, so is supporting an expanding set of features that enable new ways for users to connect with real-time information from sources that interest them.

Despite the changes ahead, I don’t regret my decision. Sure, I left a 20,000-person company with billions of dollars in revenue to join a startup with just over 30 employees and venture capital in the bank. The shift means I need to adjust to the pace at which we move, the scope of responsibility for each employee, and expectations for available resources. It means significant changes to how we, as a company, approach problems and propose solutions. And it also means more time for me back in San Francisco. In fact, from my desk, I can look out at the old Wired building where I got my start on the web thirteen years ago. I welcome changes like this with open arms.

Here’s to new challenges and new opportunities. Even when they’re taken on, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

Update: Here’s Twitter’s announcement on the blog.