This was back in 2006. At Odeo, a podcasting company, times were tough. Evan Williams and his team were working hard at making the concept work but were finding motivation hard to come by.
One evening, at dinner, his close friend and co-worker Biz Stone asked Evan a question – “If we continued down this path, we’d be the “kings of podcasting.” But, do we want to become the “kings of podcasting?”
Biz had lots of experience with “why” questions. He had just left Google a year or so back to join Evan at Odeo despite having a large sum of money in stock options that would vest in 2 years. Biz had decided he cared more about working on inspiring ideas a lot more than on becoming rich.
Evan realized that moment that they were chasing the wrong thing. They decided to wind Odeo up and look for the next thing. That next thing turned out to be Twitter.
(From ‘Things a Little Bird Told Me’ by Biz Stone)
It is indeed so easy to get lost in the pursuit of something that, after a while, we forget why we went after it in the first place.
So, as we move into the new year and begin thinking about the things we plan to do (and maybe achieve) during the year, I hope we’ll take a few moments and ask ourselves ‘why?’
I can’t guarantee the result will be Twitter. I can guarantee it’ll help. :-)