When 310 internal documents were leaked (or hacked) from inside the halls of Twitter, the online wunderkind was caught with its fly down. Everything from corporate strategy to financial projections to talks with potential partners to the meal preferences, calendars and phone logs of various Twitter employees was exposed by someone calling himself “Hacker Croll .”
There are a host of questions raised by this unintended disclosure, e.g., “How did Hacker Croll get the docs?” “Should TechCrunch (the original publisher of the documents) have published the docs?” “How does this hurt Twitter moving forward?”
However, perhaps the most interesting question is, “does the leak actually HELP Twitter?” Does it help focus attention on what Twitter really is and what it hopes to become, i.e., “the pulse of the planet”? Does it give added weight to conversations with Microsoft, Google or other partners if they all know they are up against one another? Does putting all their partners, employees and competitors on notice that they are looking for 1 billion members faster than anyone actually increase the likelihood of that happening?
Maybe. It’s certainly interesting to think of the prospects and aftermath.
Either way the documents give us an unprecedented look inside a company onto something big but not quite sure what to do with that something. Reading through the docs you get a sense of the excitement, the apprehension, the hubris and humility of a company dealing with all of its growing pains and prospects.
Of course there is a great irony of a company that advocates the sharing of information – from the most important to the most mundane – having its most important and mundane information exposed.
By having all of it out there for everyone to see, does it help invite participation, ideas and partnerships from places Twitter wouldn’t have thought to look? At the end of the day is it all “very Twitter?”
Instead of being embarrassed with your fly down, what if it drew people in to your most, a-hem, compelling assets? What if we were all forced into this level of transparency and disclosure, would it be a good thing? Or is it just too much information?