Not long after, Williams was writing computer code and freelancing for both Hewlett-Packard and Intel. He and Meg Hourihan co-founded Pyra Labs as well as its spinoff, Blogger—an early application for making and managing abbreviated writing for the web, also known as blogging.
In 2003, Williams was named to MIT Technology Review magazine’s “top 100 innovators under age 35” list. That same year, Blogger was acquired by Google. In 2004, Williams was named a “Person of the Year” by PC Magazine for his work on Blogger. That same year, the famed entrepreneur founded the podcast company Odeo. In 2006, he co-founded the Obvious Corporation with Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey and Noah Glass.
Serving as Twitter’s first chairman, Williams provided much of the company’s early financing. In October 2008, Williams replaced Dorsey as Twitter’s CEO—a position that he would hold for the next two years.
In an interview with MIT Technology Review in 2007, Williams called Twitter—which is based in San Francisco and has offices in New York City, Boston, San Antonio and Detroit. “People like other people. So hearing from them, and being able to express yourself to people you care about in a really simple way, is fun, and it can be addictive”, he stated.
Twitter became a powerful platform for ex U.S. presidential Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008, with both politicians using the website to update their supporters while on the campaign trail. The site became internationally known during the 2009 presidential elections in Iran, after the Iranian government blocked text-messaging and satellite feeds of foreign news coverage, and tweeting, subsequently, became the way to get information in and out.
On September 25, 2012, Williams and Stone created a new publishing platform called Medium, a simple site backed by Obvious Corp. where bloggers can share ideas and stories of more than 140 characters; the site also allows graphics.
Twitter Goes Public
Williams lives in San Francisco with his wife, Sara, and their two sons.