Key figures: The flock that feathered Twitter's nestLoading
  • Decade's End Changed Lives
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter is designed to open a window into the lives of people who muse about their activities, opinions and other things important to them. Here, then, are insights into some of the key figures involved in Twitter's creation and evolution into a communications hub that is preparing to pull off the biggest Internet IPO since Facebook went public nearly 18 months ago: Editor’s note: The IPO is expected to be priced Wednesday evening, with trading on the stock market starting on Thursday. Text for this gallery is from MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP (Pictured: Twitter founders Biz Stone, right, and Evan Williams at their office in San Francisco.)
    Jeff Chiu | AP
  • Twitter IPO Key Figures
    JACK DORSEY, CO-FOUNDER and CHAIRMAN, @jack It has been an incredible turn of events for a former punk rocker who used to wear a nose ring and once considered giving up computer programming to become a fashion designer. Dorsey, 36, is so impeccably groomed now that he is considered among the best-dressed men in technology. If you follow him on Twitter, you will find he has an affinity for big cities, especially St. Louis, where he grew up. He likes to use Twitter'sVine app to post short clips of street scenes and his view from airplanes. Dorsey's fascination with dispatch systems for cabs, emergency services and bike messengers inspired the idea for a real-time communications system that morphed into Twitter .
    Mary Altaffer | AP
  • Twitter IPO Barclays
    NOAH GLASS, CO-FOUNDER, @noah Glass (not pictured) was one of Twitter's early architects and even came up with the name, according to a new book that rehashes the company's origins. But his early role has been glossed over through the years, and exactly what he did is also a matter of dispute. His name isn't mentioned in the regulatory filings for Twitter's public stock offering. Glass left San Francisco after his ouster from Twitter, but returned to the city two years ago, according to his Twitter feed. His Twitter profile proclaims with brevity, "i started this." Glass, 43, is the father of a 7-month-old girl and lives with her mother in a small house in San Francisco, just a few blocks away from where Glass says he and Dorsey conceived Twitter .
  • --Twitter-IPO-Key Figures
    EVAN WILLIAMS, CO-FOUNDER, @ev A former Nebraska farm boy, Williams has been variously described as deliberate, indecisive, taciturn, brilliant and even unscrupulous by those who believe he shoved aside Dorsey and Glass to consolidate his power. Williams, 41, emerged as Twitter's largest shareholder by seizing an opportunity that arose as his podcasting startup, Odeo, foundered. Odeo was formed in late 2004 with Glass, then Williams' neighbor. Odeo initially subsisted on some of the millions that Williams made when he sold an online blogging tool called Blogger to Google in 2003. By early 2006, it became apparent even to Williams that Odeo was unlikely to survive, so he encouraged the company's engineers to start coming up with ideas. The brainstorming hatched Twitter. If you follow him on Twitter, you'll notice he spends a lot of time mulling a wide variety of subjects while mixing in a dry sense of humor.
    Paul Sakuma | AP
  • Twitter IPO Key Figures
    BIZ STONE, CO-FOUNDER, @biz The self-described dork has a gift for gab that made him Twitter's most visible face while he worked the TV talk show circuit and handled most of the media during the company's early years. His real first name is Christopher, but as a child he used to pronounce it "Biz-ah-bah," based on what he thought his father — an auto mechanic in Boston — was saying when he called to him in a thick New England accent. He uses his middle name "Isaac" on official paperwork because his father is also named Christopher, a name his mother didn't want to hear after his parents got divorced when he was a kid. Stone, 39, moved from Boston to Silicon Valley a decade ago primarily to work at Google with Williams, whom Stone once hailed as "the only person to consistently help me get the most out of my own brain and abilities." In 2005, Stone followed Williams to Odeo and then helped arrange the deal that spun out Twitter in October 2006 so it could be bought by Obvious .
    Ryan Anson | AP
  • Twitter IPO Key Figures
    DICK COSTOLO, CEO, @dickc It took a joker to turn Twitter into a serious business. Although Twitter still hasn't made any money, at least its revenue is rising at an impressive clip — something that couldn't be said until Costolo joined the company as chief operating officer in 2009. Within a year, the former stand-up comic from Chicago had replaced Evan Williams as CEO. When Costolo took charge in 2010, Twitter's revenue was $28 million. This year, it's on track to be more than $600 million. Yet Twitter's losses are also mounting, mainly because Costolo has been spending lots of money to prepare for what he hopes will be years of steady growth. The company has invested heavily in more data centers to ensure the service doesn't break down as frequently as it did in its youth. When Costolo took over, Twitter had about 100 workers; now the company employs 2,300 people. This is the fourth company that Costolo has helped build since leaving the stage as a comic.
    Lionel Cironneau | AP
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