Sep 25, 2011

The Power of Joining Forces

Scientists who specialize in abiogenesis study how life arises from inorganic matter. These folks who study the origin of life will tell you that the "building blocks of life" are amino acids. What's amazing is that amino acids can form through natural chemical reactions that are unrelated to life. Amino acids organize into proteins which are essential to all living organisms. To put things very simply, life itself arises through the very basic act of joining forces.

The power of joining forces is on display when we examine the differences between single cell organisms and multicellular organisms. Multicellular organisms are larger in size so they are safer from predators. Differentiation of cells within the population of a multicellular organism increases its chances for survival. Another advantage of being more than just single-celled is that networks can form, complexity is permitted, and cool things happen.

When I worked alone in Boston, I was like a single cell. Jason and Evan were thousands of miles away in San Francisco. We joined forces to work on Blogger at Google—the multicellular adventure had begun. When we worked with Jack Dorsey and others, the organism grew more complex and cool things happened. Twitter was a cool thing. Twitter allows people all over the world to join forces and make amazing things happen.

A new study from the University of Washington puts forward that Twitter played a central role leading to the successful overthrow of oppressive dictators in Tunisia and Egypt. Make no mistake, people are the driving force behind positive change. However, when we work together to build tools and give them to people, then it becomes possible to positively impact millions of lives. Technology that helps people work together is the most powerful kind.

For a company called Obvious, we are admittedly enigmatic—lots of great stuff is happening but it's not easy to discern. Maybe Obvious is just a multicellular organism bent on making big ideas happen by whatever means necessary. Ev recently wrote, "We write code and write checks, make calls and make coffee, push paper and pull strings. We bring people together and help them do more than they thought possible." I'm glad we joined forces.

Maybe you're a single cell right now. If you are, you should seriously consider expanding your operation. Life is a wondrous thing and it came about because of joining forces. Twitter came about in the same way and it's being used to make even better things happen. If you can't find someone to join forces with, then join us. We've already got a pretty awesome multicellular operation going and we're interested in growing even more.