Former CEO of Twitter, Technology Expert, and
Being named among the very few and quoted in top magazines and articles on Tech, Dick Costolo is one of the most influential and modish tech CEOs of the current era. In his speeches, Dick Costolo calls on his experience as a digital entrepreneur, business executive, and surprisingly, his experience as an improvisational comedian to deliver entertaining, insightful speeches with a powerful message about the future of social media and the Internet.
He is a digital entrepreneur who has launched a series of highly successful ventures, but when he became CEO of Twitter in 2010, he realized he was helping run more than digital platform. Twitter had become a tool to collapse regimes, a tool that gave a powerful voice for the unempowered, and created a new way for businesses to connect and news to be reported.
Costolo graduated from the University of Michigan with a BS in computer and communication sciences in the year 1985. Upon graduating from the University, Costolo turned down many job offers and joined Annoyance Theater improve troupe in Chicago in improvisational comedy.
His passion let alone his interest kept on fluctuating and eventually he gave up the comedy sector and joined a consultation firm Andersen Consulting for 8 years, where he was employed as a senior manager in product and technology groups.While his association in the seminary, he was responsible for developing the first application on Web-based enterprise training.After his first corporate experience, he founded two organizations later. He co-founded Door Networked Media – a web based design and development consulting company and SpyOnlyIt – a webpage monitoring service.
Both of his initiatives were acquired by Digital Knowledge Assets in the year 1996 and 724 Solutions in 2000, respectively. Despite losing the hold on his initiatives, Costolo never looked and kept on working with the same determination and passion.In the year 2004, Costolo, along with his other colleagues, founded FeedBurner – a web feed management provider. His initiative was directed to assist bloggers, syndicate their content. Soon after the start-up, FeedBurner was acquired by the search engine giant, Google in the year 2007 for a hefty $100 million.
Costolo was hired by Google on a permanent basis. At Google, he was employed in the Ads team as Group Product Manager where he was responsible for various social media ads. Howeverin July 2009, Costolo left Google and few months later the Chief Executive of Twitter, Evan Williams, offered him to join as CEO on a temporary basis. While the full-time CEO, Williams was on paternity leave, Costolo ended up joining as COOthat fall. Although he was doing pretty well, with Twitter shares touching new heights, Williams stepped down a year later and Costolo ascended as the CEO of Twitter Inc.
His success was reaching new stature and in the year 2011, newly elected President of the US, Barack Obama appointed Costolo in the NSTAC – Homeland Security. His interest and determination toward his work earned him fame and numerous respected positions at leading firms and organizations.In the year 2013 he was referred to as one of Silicon Valley’s most influential CEOs by Business Insider. TIME Magazine named in among the 10 Most Influential US Tech CEOs.
The Crumbling Barriers to Power
One effect of technology permeating every aspect of our lives is the crumbling barriers between us. Social media and the Internet have taken a sledgehammer to The Great Wall between us and those in power, as well as between us and those who previously had no voice. Now status, race and socioeconomics have less relevance, and equal access to information is officially declared a human right by the U.N, much to the chagrin of dictators who know the most effective way to keep power is to restrict access to information. Social media and the Internet are in fact the world's most powerful democratic tools, and this has real geopolitical and governance implications. Costolo explores the ambitious and significant implications of Twitter and other technology platforms based on a democratic ideal of equal access for all.
Ethics, Empathy and the Future of Technology
The future of technology is about open and equal access to information and expression. Social media brings down regimes, allows one person's voice to reach the world, and gives news stories multiple points-of-view. As with any democratic platform, we must ask how we will govern ourselves and cultivate civility and responsibility within our freedom. What will each of us choose to say and to permit with our new global voice? Costolo explores the intersection of ethics and content and urges each of us to use our access responsibly and with empathy. He encourages us to shine a light on what's good in the world and what needs to be changed, to champion the underserved, to embrace people's differences and amplify the best of humanity.
From Twitter to a New Economy
When Twitter began, the founders did not set out to create a new economy, yet the way we do business has changed forever. When consumers are 80% more likely to purchase from a business they follow, there is a real business case for open communication between a brand and its consumers. Open access to information, or creating the feeling of open access to the brand, builds loyalty, identifies new product ideas and provides another channel for consumer influence. Equal access to information renders entire business models fragile as consumers become their own sourcers with all of the information. Costolo lays out the implications of an open access economy on the way buy and sell.