After about 2 years with Twitter in his current position, Ali Rowghani has stepped down as the social media giant’s Chief Operating Officer. Reports has it that Rowghani had a clash with CEO Dick Costolo regarding responsibilities as in overseeing product vision including operations and corporate development.
Then again, why did they have that disagreement anyway? Reason: User growth has just been slow at Twitter. After Costolo’s bold projection of 400 million users by the end of 2013, they are still at 255 million early this year. Talk about a vision of equaling Facebook.
Nevertheless, despite their falloff, the two executives remain connected as Rowghani is still part of Twitter as Costolo’s strategy adviser. After all, though crucial, their dispute was basically about reporting of subordinates and responsibilities.
Oh really?! Then the resignation is not really a resignation but something like a “publicity” – for if their conversation was really private then they shouldn’t be with anybody else other than themselves back then.
Yet would Twitter be better off without Ali Rowghani?
In a report by the Business Insider last September, industry insiders credit him for saving Twitter from disaster by helping fix its business model, operations, and preparing its IPO.
Not to mention important initiatives like: The incorporating of Twitter into Apple’s iPad and iPhone OS. And the maneuvering of Twitter’s jump into TV.
Still, Rowghani’s effort to grow Twitter’s user-base became his downfall. And many points this failure to his inexperience in building products despite of his ability to analyze issues.. and so the hiring of Google executive Daniel Graf.
However, what we could see in Rowghani’s ineffectiveness to grow Twitter’s user-base is not really about his inexperience in building products but his over focus on numbers, on what makes others join Twitter and all. He should have really placed himself in user’s shoes instead.
Yes, he knows this, like we all do – then didn’t he realize that users only want to be heard by influential if not many people? That they want to feel important and thus followed as well? Then formulate a strategy that would make ordinary people – important people; and more than just what “follow trains” are doing, create ways where users are highlighted one way or another – this would facilitate following. And interest in Twitter.
Okay, one may not have experience on building products but your “imagination and feel” for the product and user should more than compensate for such and any inadequacy for that matter.
What’s your take?