RFS 3: Things Built on Twitter

Twitter is important because it's a new protocol. Fundamentally it's a messaging protocol where you don't specify the recipients. It's really more of a discovery than an invention; that square was always there in the periodic table of protocols, but no one had quite hit it squarely.

Successful new protocols are rare. There are only a handful of commonly used ones: TCP/IP (the Internet), SMTP (email), HTTP (the web), and so on. So any new protocol is a big deal. Each one of those protocols has spawned many successful companies. Twitter will too.

We want to fund those companies. And the people at Twitter also want to encourage people to build stuff on top of it. So together we came up with a plan: anyone YC funds to do a startup based on Twitter will get priority access to the Twitter stream, and to people at Twitter.

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