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Evan WilliamsEvan Williams is an American entrepreneur who was born on March 31, 1972 and has founded several Internet companies. With his unique contributions and inventions he has made to the top of many influential people lists around the globe in recent years. Two of the internet's top ten websites have been created by Evan Williams' companies: Blogger.com, weblog-authoring software of Pyra Labs and Twitter.com, where he was previously CEO.
Williams grew up on a farm in Clarks, Nebraska, where he assisted with crop irrigation in summers. He attended the University of Nebraska for a year and a half, leaving to pursue his career. After leaving school, Williams worked at various technology jobs and start-up firms in Key West, Dallas, Austin, Texas and again on his family farm in Nebraska. In 1996, Williams moved to Sebastopol, California in Sonoma County to work for the technology publishing company O'Reilly Media. He started at O'Reilly in a marketing position but eventually became an independent contractor writing computer code, which led to freelance opportunities with companies including Intel and Hewlett-Packard.Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan co-founded Pyra Labs to make project management software. A note-taking feature spun off as Blogger, one of the first web applications for creating and managing weblogs. Williams invented the term ‘blogger’ and was instrumental in the popularization of the term ‘blog’. Pyra survived the departure of Hourihan and other employees and was eventually acquired by Google on February 13, 2003.In 2004 Williams co-founded Odeo, a podcasting company. In late 2006, Williams co-founded Obvious Corp. with Biz Stone and other former Odeo employees to acquire all previous properties from Odeo's former backers. In April 2007, Odeo was acquired by Sonic Mountain.Among Obvious Corp.'s projects was Twitter, a free social networking and micro-blogging service. Twitter itself was spun out into a new company in April 2007, with Evan Williams Entrepreneur as co-founder, board member and investor. In October 2008, Williams became CEO of Twitter.com, displacing Jack Dorsey who became chairman of the board. By February 2009, Compete.com ranked Twitter the third most-used social network based on their count of 6 million unique monthly visitors and 55 million monthly visits. As of 14 April 2010, Twitter had 105,779,710 registered users. It gets 300,000 new users a day and receives 180 million unique visitors a month. 75% of its traffic comes from outside of Twitter.com. On 4th October 2010, Williams stepped down from CEO (to be taken over by Dick Costolo).In his recent blog post he has said that he is focusing on a new, unnamed start-up venture. Post Twitter, he is getting free time to work on new ideas - which begs the question, what could be even ‘bigger and better’ than Twitter? He did not outline what that project will be, only that it has now captured the majority of his attention.
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