Looking in from the outside, things couldn’t be going better for Twitter.It just landed a major deal with Apple, 400 million people use it every month, and it just raised $800 million in a fresh round of funding.
But inside the company things are not going smoothly, according to a Twitter shareholder, who just considerably reduced his or her stake.
(We should note, a lot of people sold Twitter shares as a part of the recent $800 million round.)
“I like the guys at Twitter. They’re still pushing ahead on acquisitions and business development,” says the source. “But the problem internally at Twitter is that it is going through major growing pains.”
That happens when any company experiences growth like Twitter’s. But Twitter needs to pull itself together quickly.
“There’s the question, do I focus on users, or do I focus on business?” says the investor. “And the thing that falls to the wayside is internal management. A lot of people [at Twitter] don’t know who they report to; they don’t understand who’s responsible for certain deals. That’s the stuff that ultimately makes companies crumble from the inside.”
“Putting out a fire makes you forget there’s a baby in the kitchen. Twitter forgets they’re trying to build something bigger.”
As for a future IPO, the source says Twitter is at least 18 months away from even visiting the idea. For one, the company just raised $800 million and doesn’t need the cash. But even if it wanted to go public, its internal state would inhibit it.
“There’s no way it’d even be able to pull itself together for an IPO. I’m talking about not even a filing,” says the source. “Twitter has way too much growing up to do before it can do that, and that’s just for internal reasons.”
But again, these kinds of growing pains are completely normal for a company like Twitter. Facebook went through a lot of turnover before COO Sheryl Sandberg came along and settled things down.