I recently stumbled upon a quite interesting piece of history buried in TechCrunch's archives. It's a July 2006 article written by Michael Arrington which introduces a "sort of “group send” SMS application" as he described it at the time. For those who haven't guessed yet, the "application" he is referring to is now known as Twitter, a 190 million users strong social network and company currently valued at around $10 billion. Yet, at the time, very few people believed the startup had any chance of success and even fewer could have predicted it would grow to become a billion dollar company. 

Here are some gems from the article and comments. It would be superfluous to comment them as I believe they speak for themselves. If you find yourself laughing at this (as I did), take a moment to realize just how wonderful the benefit of hindsight is. 

All comments date from 2006. I didn't include the names of the commenters (but they aren't really hard to find).

There is also a privacy issue with Twttr. Every user has a public page that shows all of their messages. Messages from that person’s extended network are also public. I imagine most users are not going to want to have all of their Twttr messages published on a public website. 

I do not understand the utility of adding the SMS messages to a public webpage or making messages from my network public. I would have to pass on that type of offering. The ability to make messages private should be added asap. 

Odeo was a failure from the get go. No revenue model. I asked their VC - CRV - what the revenue model was a year ago and he said "to sell to someone bigger." Okay, that was a web 1.0 answer, and now we get Twttr - an even dumber idea with no revenue model, but a 2.0 concept.

I think this is the dumbest thing ever! Who would want all their personal text messages on a public website for anyone to read and track? 

Not innovative and not focused. Twttr sounds like a disaster in the making...

i do not want to be woken up at 4 a.m. because my friend got drunk and decided to text Twttr with "asdl im at barasdf sooo drunksalkfjs"...i find it interesting such an annoying feature is supposedly causing viral growth...i'm done developing social software if the key to success is to be intrusive 

Finally, a last blog comment that caught my attention on an other old Twitter article:

It's kinda wierd, John Resig and I had been thinking about building this exact system, though it never really got past the, "Wouldn't it be cool if" stage. Meh, I'm just glad it exists now. It was a personal itch I wanted to scratch and I'm not going to complain at all if someone else scratches it. Plus the Odeo guys made it much prettier than I would have. - Bob Aman

I'd be curious to know if the John Resign being referred to is the same guy who went on to build jQuery. Did John Resig really almost build a Twitter before Twitter?