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From Twitter platform to economy

by Adam Green on March 18, 2014

in Future of Twitter

This is the first part of a series on the future of Twitter development: Part II, Part III.

Last week I took a road trip through Utah, across the Rocky Mountains, and into Boulder, Colorado. It gave me a chance to clear my head from Boston’s endless winter and contemplate my next steps for Twitter development. The route brought me past some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the world, but my attention was also on the roads and towns. I could see patterns that weren’t as obvious in New England.

Back East the density of roads, businesses and residences blends into a solid mass. In the Southwest you can recognize the thin infrastructure of roads people have imposed on the terrain.

Towns along these roads with large clusters of businesses, such as Moab and Vail, show where there is a concentration of capital from tourism. The sudden, confined explosions of restaurants and retail stores made it clear that pumping tourist money into a town practically necessitates the growth of a marketplace.

I got to Boulder at the end of the road trip, my first visit in seven years. The growth of tech in that time is amazing; Pearl Street is now looking a lot like University Ave in Palo Alto. A culture that embraces entrepreneurship and an educated labor force have combined to create a solid tech economy.

Infrastructure, capital and labor. The pattern towards a robust economy plays out repeatedly before our eyes, and we’re now seeing it in the Twittersphere.

Twitter provided a new information highway, and made sure it ran everywhere. Businesses are now starting to invest and put up their billboards, in the form of $600 million spent on Twitter ads last year. This marketplace is only the beginning, a small fragment of the potential Twitter has to offer. The final, essential ingredient is a robust labor force of skilled API developers that will improve and expand upon the Twitter ad market. Once their power is unleashed, Twitter will move from a nascent marketplace to an economy of extraordinary scale.

US Southwest Ingredients Result Twitter
Highways and Roads Infrastructure Platform Twitter API and Servers
Tourist Towns Revenue Stream Marketplace Businesses Buying Ads
Boulder, CO Skilled Labor Force Economy API Developers

My next posts will explain how API developers can make money by building in this marketplace, and what the future could hold as they help produce a global economy.

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