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Twitter is the latest in a short list of very successful dot com businesses. Still, it has had its share of problems. For one, there was an internal power struggle among the founders. In addition, the company has suffered from the lack of a clear strategy or a plan for dealing with growth pains. More recently, the individual responsible for guiding the company through a tremendous growth period, Evan Williams, had to pull back and allow someone with a bit more business savvy to take over as the company’s CEO.

QUESTIONS:

1. How does Evan Williams stack up against the attributes of entrepreneurs listed in your text? Based on the descriptions in the article, would you say he fits or does not fits the profile of a typical entrepreneur?

2. While Twitter is not a family business, it does exhibit some of the problems commonly associated with these companies. What are these problems? How well has Twitter handled them?

3. Although Twitter is arguably successful and not likely to fail, what are some of the characteristics under Mr. Williams’ leadership that had some outsiders saying it might “run out of steam?”

SOURCE: C. C. Miller, “Why Twitter’s CEO Demoted Himself,” New York Times (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/technology/31ev.html)

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