An interesting article caught my eye this morning about how Twitter is running the danger of turning into MySpace. The interesting thing about the article was how it outlined how the service was evolving in ways that it’s founders never imagined. There’s a 3rd party market in services evolving, celebrities are jumping on board; and more and more people are using the service for new and fascinating services.
Now, here’s one big difference from traditional companies. Companies have always needed to evolve to cater for changing demands and to remain current with the times. Take IBM for example, they started out as a company that produced punched card readers, evolved into one of the biggest computer manufacturers in the world, and today are a force in the consultancy market. They would benowhere today if they stuck to selling punched card readers. Example of this abound, from the company that produced weight loss products who is now in the nutrition market; from the company that used to sell surplus goods in a market stall who is now one of the biggest retail forces in the UK; you can see this evolution happen over and again.
But traditionally that evolution was driven from within; the directors of the company were influenced by their employees about a change in direction and they backed it up. Twitter’s evolution is different. The evolution is being driven by people all around the globe, with developers building add-on services, users requesting features and industry peers correcting perceived flaws. I personally think that change driven by your users is the best way forward; community-driven improvements I guess you could call them.