A Matter of Vision

This post is being written on my iPhone in a Palo Alto coffee shop after a particularly enjoyabe chat with another venture investor. Sorry in advance for any typing errors.

Twitter is huge, when measured by the attention it gets among the technorati.

Twitter is also huge, when measured by the valuation it received last week in it’s most recent financing. Investors purchased ten percent of Twitter for $100 million – implying that the entire company is worth a nice round ONE BILLION DOLLARS.

Right up front, I need to say that I don’t tweet. I don’t follow anyone on Twitter. I have a Twitter account, but I have not logged into it in well over a year.

If I were sitting at my desk right now, I would supply a list of many, many well-known large companies that have a market valuation well below that of Twitter. Let’s just stipulate that the list would be impressive.

So why should Twitter be worth a billion dollars? Is Twitter an entirely new form of communication, the way that the telegraph ushered in the ability to rapidly communicate over wide areas as rapidly as they could previously communicate over local areas? Is Twitter the modern equivalent of the printing press?

I don’t think so.

Perhaps I’m lacking in vision. Or perhaps I am simply not drinking the kool-aid.

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