It’s Obvious: Ev Williams and Biz Stone, together again

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone is leaving the company to join former CEO Evan Williams and former lead developer Jason Goldman in a new venture called Obvious. For the team that helped create Twitter and Blogger, expectations for their new project are going to be pretty high.

Ev Williams: Do as He Says, and as He Does


We launched Found|READ a year a go with a post about serial founder Ev Williams, and how the things he’d learned as CEO of Odeo were informing his then-nascent startup, and now-raging phenomenon, Twitter. (See, Do as I say, not as I did.)

This month Inc. magazine has wonderful profile of Williams, called Anything Could Happen, which explores his uncanny ability to cultivate ideas into companies, to build something of value out of nothing — even that which is “useless, in a sense”, as Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey put it to Inc.

Ev’s gift isn’t so much genius, as it is genius-execution. This means you can not only learn from him, but probably replicate Ev’s methods to your own benefit (if not to Ev’s level of success). Writes reporter Max Chafkin:

…unlike many of the most successful, he’s no genius when it comes to programming. [Ev’s] specialty is taking a tiny, almost nonsensical idea and turning it into a cultural phenomenon. “He’s like a master craftsman,” says Naval Ravikant, a serial entrepreneur who is an angel investor in Twitter. “There are entrepreneurs who are financial geniuses, and there are raw coders. Evan is the master of creating a product where there wasn’t one before.” If Williams’s art is the conception of inconceivable products, then Twitter is his chef-d’oeuvre.

It’s a long story, but one filled with important insights. We offer some highlights. Read More about Ev Williams: Do as He Says, and as He Does