Chris Sacca loves Twitter.
Like, he would make out with Twitter whilst standing in the pouring rain and crying, kind of love.
But there is a point in every love affair at which people begin to question the relationship. Are they growing together, or are they growing apart? Are they committed to being the best versions of themselves? Is the sex getting a little too infrequent?
For Chris Sacca and Twitter, that moment of dangerous reflection is now.
Sacca is one of Twitter's earliest investors and he has amassed one of the largest stakes in the company. For most of Twitter's history, he has been a quiet, docile cheerleader but today that changed.
I believe in Twitter. The company itself is improving, not worsening. The stock market doesn’t get that because Twitter has failed to tell its own story to investors and users. Here is how I think that story could unfold:
So begins Sacca's 8,300 word open letter "What Twitter Can Be."
The digital tome is a winding and wending look into Sacca's feelings about the social media platform. It contains praise, criticism, anger, regret, lust and product suggestions.
Overall, it's a strangely adorable document that also provides a great example of the dogmatic discrepancy that exists between Wall Street and Silicon Valley.
Here's Sacca's "thesis" as it were.
I am a proud Twitter shareholder and Twitter user. I want this company to succeed. I want the people who work at Twitter to win. I want this stock to be worth more. I own more of it than virtually anyone working at the company.
Like we said, homeboy's got it bad for Twitter.
Despite that, my biggest concern is the abundance of public doubt and misunderstanding when it comes to Twitter’s vision and the near future for the service. It’s hard to blame Wall Street or the press. Twitter has failed to tell its own story.
Twitter's fluctuating stock price would obviously be of major concern to anyone with as much to lose as Sacca. But like any jealous lover, his feelings about Wall Street and Twitter getting to know each other are clearly more jumbled than he initially lets on.
The transition to being public has been rough. The company has disappointed Wall Street more often than not. Twitter’s earnings calls are mostly dedicated to playing defense while discussing incremental improvements to sign-up flows and tweaks to the service. Plus, new product launches are soft and rarely get the attention from investors or users that Twitter’s peers drum up. If the company has a bold vision for the future, it doesn’t come across in their communication with us on the outside, and that may very well be a function of pre-IPO legacy.
Sacca loves Twitter for who it really is. When things were simpler, in those heady pre-IPO days, Twitter could be it's true self. But now that it's hanging with guys like Costolo and Noto, it's changed. And Sacca is starting to feel afraid that he doesn't maybe even know Twitter anymore.
But how can Wall Street get to really know Twitter if its own paramour has doubts about what it's become?
It’s worth noting that Wall Street is the only place in the world where 300 million people using a service and an additional 500 million people visiting a site each month lead to charges that it isn’t “big” or “mainstream.”
It's understandable that Sacca would throw shade at Wall Street for not loving Twitter as much as he does, but the question should be asked; Is it worth doing anything to "improve" Twitter if the market forces of Wall Street so fundamentally misunderstand what it's all about?
If Wall Street really is the only entity not grasping Twitter's universally-accepted importance at this late a juncture, what's all the rending of garments about, Chris?
Or maybe Sacca's just getting to that bitter stage. Let's just hope he doesn't start calling out Twitter's faults just to get a reaction...
1. For most people, Twitter is too hard to use.
2. For most people, Tweeting is scary.
3. For most people, Twitter feels lonely.
Whoa, whoa, whoa Sacca. Don't say anything you can't take back...
Since the earliest days of Twitter, we have known that a huge obstacle to people joining or frequently using Twitter is some version of:
“I wouldn’t know what to Tweet. I don’t really have anything to say.”
That isn't even true and you KNOW IT!
Hundreds of millions of those Tweets are noisy distractions. For any sample of accounts, the odds are extremely high that the most recent Tweets are not the best Tweets.
Oh Sacca, does it really hurt so deep to love so hard.
(That last quote reminds me... You can follow me @ThorntonMcEnery)
What Twitter Can Be. [Chris Sacca]