Evan Clark Williams
“My life has been a series of well-orchestrated accidents; I’ve always suffered from hallucinogenic optimism.”
Evan Clark Williams is perhaps one of the most innovative figures in the Information Age of the 21st Century. While surfing the Web, it is impossible to not come across some of the most iconic and vital creations of this century: Twitter and Blogger.
Evan Clark Williams, otherwise known as Ev Williams, was born in Clarks, Nebraska on March 31, 1972. Throughout his childhood, he spent summers working on his family farm and helped with crop irrigation. In 1994, Williams attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for a year and a half, but then decided to drop out to pursue other career ventures. Ironically enough, he spent his time selling tutorial videos to help people get into the Web.
In 1996, Ev Williams moved to Sebastopol, California and worked at the technology publishing company, O’Reilly Media in a marketing position. He then became an independent contractor writing computer codes which led to freelance opportunities in Intel and Hewlett-Packard.
Ev Williams, along with Meg Hourihan, co-founded Pyra Labs in 1999. Pyra Labs was a web application software which combines a project manager, a contact manager, and a to-do-list, all in one.
“Blogging got the concept of personal publishing, but it didn’t really take advantage of the network.”
Pyra Labs then went out to create Blogger, a free blog-publishing service which launched on August 23, 1999. A pioneer ofblogger blog-publishing services, Blogger is oftentimes credited for popularizing blogs and to popularizing the term “blog” and “blogger”. One of the few reasons why Blogger flourished the way that it did in this Digital Age was because in a world of fast and instant access to information, it allowed ordinary people to write what they wanted to express to the world, freely. With about 46 million unique visitors each month, Blogger stands out as one of the top blog-publishing services in the world. Ironically enough, even Word Press.
On February 13, 2003, Blogger was acquired by Google. Williams then left the company in 2004.
“I’m not a big-company guy. I need freedom and control.”
In 2004, Williams co-founded Odeo, a company which produced podcasts. In 2006, Williams founded Obvious Corp. along with Biz Stone and other Odeo employees to get all the previous properties of Odeo. Odeo was then acquired by Mount Sonic in April 2007.
Ev Williams created a little company called Twitter, a free social networking service in in April 2007. With 300,000 new users every day and 180 million unique visitors per month, Twitter is one of the most influential social medias of our time because it allows people to share thoughts, ideas, and news instantaneously. 20
For his incomparable contributions to the online world, Williams has received various acknowledgments such MIT Technology Review TR100′s 100 best innovators in the world under the age of 35 In 2004, and he was as one of PC Magazine’s “Person of the Year”.
Today, Ev Williams has a net worth of $2.5 billion. In 2012, Williams created Medium, a new blogging platform which allows users to read and write longer posts. This new venture entails a collaboration between writers where they can edit and comment before publication.
Evan Clark Williams is an innovator in his own right. He revolutionized the modern world and helped enable an new enlightenment era – a technological enlightenment. His creations helped improve the sharing and distribution of ideas that no one ever really knew was possible. A simple idea or a thought can now be accessible to anyone around the world instantaneously and as humans, it helps us learn things which we may not have ever been able to have access to.