Twitter Was Born from a Hackathon


Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • hack: a smart solution to a difficult problem (hackathon: a set period where people try to think of ideas to solve a problem)
  • podcast: a series of online audio recordings that one can subscribe to
  • passionate: having great interest
  • investor: a person who lends money in exchange for future profits
  • microblog: a platform in which people publish short updates regularly
  • prototype: an example of a future product in the form of a model

Twitter Was Born from a Hackathon

Did you know that the of Twitter once worked at Google? In 2005, Biz Stone and his co-worker Evan Williams left Google to start a podcasting business called Odeo. A lot of investors were interested in their . Unfortunately, Biz and Evan weren’t passionate about it. They knew they work on a project that didn’t interest them, so they decided to have a hackathon. , the small group of Odeo employees worked in pairs, and tried to think of a new idea for a business. Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey came up with an idea for a microblogging service. They thought it would be fun to have an online service that let you see a short, simple of what your friends were doing. They built a prototype and presented it to the Odeo team. The team wasn’t that excited, but after a while they decided that it was the best idea. They began to work together on building Twitter.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Who is Biz Stone?
  2. What was Odeo?
  3. What was Jack Dorsey’s role?

Discussion Questions: How do you come up with your best ideas? Do you work better in pairs, groups, or alone?

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