18 June 2009

Twitter Inspires a Dedicated and Thriving Startup Economy

17 06 2009 - Twitter continues to amaze us. Its constantly evolving examples of change and connectivity persevere and reinforce how the “little microblog that could” is transforming media and communications while also silencing the most dubious of critics.

At the same time, I’m confident that through our pioneering efforts and innovative  developments, we also continue to amaze the team behind Twitter itself.

As Jack Dorsey shared in his keynote today at the 140 Characters Conference in New York, “Expect the unexpected. Sometimes, be the unexpected.”

Twitter is making the news and it is also serving as the foundation for how we publish, share and discover news today and tomorrow.

We are becoming “media.”

A recent study by ChubbyBrain is also demonstrating how Twitter is fostering a dedicated technology and business ecosystem. According to the report published today, angels and VCs have invested $23.27 million in Twitter-based startups while most others are self or privately financed. Recently, Howard Lindzon and his partners at Social Leverage launched 140Labs, a Twitter-only incubator.

John Borthwick of BetaWorks also presented at the 140Conf today where he revealed that over 3,500 companies are currently developing Twitter-related applications.

When Jesse Thomas and I released the alpha version of The Twitterverse, we focused on the leading applications for communications, research, community, and media professionals. The number of qualified, useful applications still numbered in the the hundreds.

ChubbyBrain detailed the most prominent startups that received significant rounds of financing (notice a pattern in the players?)

When we examine the startup trends fueling technology development, we see that the largest areas of innovation are concentrating on information provider (28%), search (18%), browser software/plugins (18%), the social web (18%),

Analyzing the dollars outside of startup volume and activity, search applications emerge as the predominate focus on innovation for Twitter.

To date, Twitter has closed $55 million in funding compared to the $23 million invested in the Twitter ecosystem.

Twitter will continue to inspire new development, which will attract modest to notable investments. What’s more important, is the innovation and associated capabilities and benefits we as consumers will earn as a result.

The Twitterverse will expand, shift, contract, and influence further development and will influence our culture, behavior and communication in the process.


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