Twitter founder nesting dolls show how one CEO led to another

Twitter’s founders, as represented by nesting dolls.

Peel an onion, and layer after layer takes you back in time through the bulb’s growth. Peel back Twitter, and you find a whole series of founders.

That’s the story told in Hatching Twitter, an excellent, somewhat breathless history by New York Times writer Nick Bilton.

And now, that’s also the story told in Nesting Twitter, a set of nesting Russian “Matryoshka” dolls that tell of Twitter’s origin through the medium of dolls. The outermost doll represents Twitter’s users, and is decorated with a hashtag, @ symbols and retweet symbols — all ideas that germinated within the userbase.

Open the outermost doll and you find a doll inside representing current chief executive and former comedian Dick Costolo.

Open Costolo, and you’ll find, in turn, this series of Twitter founders, going in reverse chronological order:

  • Ev Williams
  • Jack Dorsey
  • Biz Stone
  • Noah Glass

Inside Noah Glass you’ll find a tiny egg, representing the spark of an idea that in time became a $35 billion public company.

More precisely, Nesting Twitter will be a set of nesting dolls, if its Kickstarter campaign reaches its fundraising target of $30,000. (It’s currently at about $2,000 pledged, after just one day, and has 29 days to go). You currently need to pledge $80 or more if you want a set of the dolls.

The greatest thing about this project? The designer of the dolls is Yiying Lu, the artist who designed Twitter’s “Fail Whale.”

The story itself has still more nested levels, because the instigator of the project is Thor Muller, a co-founder of Get Satisfaction and the founder of the “Valleyschwag” party series where, in 2006, the media first got an introduction to Twitter.

Muller, incidentally, is an advisor to VentureBeat.

If successful, the project’s instigators hope to deliver the dolls to Kickstarter backers in April or May of this year.

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