The Silent Partner: Jason Goldman, Product Manager (Twitter)

Jason Goldman helped build Google and Twitter into what they are today — but few outside of tech’s inner circle know his name . 

StartUP Product‘s insight:

Rebecca Greenfield is a Staff Writer at Fast Company, she wrote the article 8 Lesssons Startups Can Learn From Twitter’s Chaotic Creation Story from a conversation with Nick Bilton, New York Times columnistis, who wrote the book Hatching Twitter: A Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal.

Capitalizing on the hype, she shared her lessons gleaned from the interview with Nick Bilton:

1. Mythical founding stories are just that: myths.

2. Don’t go into business with friends if you want to stay friends.

3. If you do go into business with your friends, try not to push them out of the company.

4. Fighting is okay, though.

5. Really embrace the chaos.

6. Don’t be a selfish jerk who takes credit for everything.

7. It’s okay if your product constantly crashes…as long as it’s cool.

8. Don’t get drunk at inappropriate times if you have investors to answer to.

Back in April, 2013, Rob Fishman, Staff Writer at BuzzFeed wrote On shunning the spotlight in a star-obsessed industry: Jason Goldman helped build Google and Twitter into what they are today — but few outside of tech’s inner circle know his name. 


“The industry’s very focused on telling hero narratives,” he told me. It’s not that I think that it’s bad for people to have a public persona. The part that I think is damaging, or unhelpful, is when it seems like there are these visionary C.E.O.s who come up with genius ideas, and then it’s just building a team that allows for those ideas to come forth into the world.”


 At strategy sessions, he said, the C.E.O. would articulate a broad but pithy vision, and sit down to applause. “I’m the guy who stands up next, and says what does that mean in terms of what we’re building over the next six months,” he said. That’s the gritty work of fielding questions, farming out assignments and reconciling disagreements. “Your presentation doesn’t sound as good. Your presentation doesn’t have grand, inspiring goals,” Goldman went on. “You’re the guy who stands up and says, next week we’re going to fix a bunch of bugs. You’re the person that’s managing the fallout from the grand vision.”

In a boardroom crowded with idea guys, where “the very notion of what the product was would evolve,” said Goldman, “owning the whatness of the product” might sound humdrum, but it was by most accounts critical.

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