Twitter Used to Have Hideous Business Cards

September 25, 2014

3:00 pm

On Tuesday, we were joined at Tech Cocktail’s DC Sessions by Martin Ringlein, the cofounder of nvite and former (and first) Twitter design manager. In addition to his insights about entrepreneurship, he shared a little tidbit from his time at Twitter that had the crowd laughing:

“At Twitter I was running the design team, and they had the ugliest business cards I’ve ever seen, which just seemed so odd to me. They had a great brand, they had a great pre-existing design, but these business cards were hideous. I was really focused on recruitment, and when I wanted to go after top-notch designers, I wanted to put my best foot forward. I wanted to say, ‘You’re going to join the world’s best design team.’ I’m not going to do that with a shitty business card, which is the first visual representation of what we do.”

 

“So I went to Twitter and I said, ‘Hey, the design team needs better business cards. I’ll design them, I’ll even pay for them, whatever it takes.’ And they’re like, ‘No, you can’t do it. Because it’s not fair.’ What they told me was ‘If you get different business cards, then everybody in the company gets different business cards, and we’re just not going to do that.’”

 

“So I stopped and was like, ‘Alright. You’re right. I was wrong. We don’t need business cards, that was ridiculous. What I would like to ask is that we make 3.5” x 2” recruitment cards that have my contact information on them.’”

 

“[They said,] ‘That’s a fantastic idea! We should all be doing it. We should custom design them. Yeah, that’s good, let’s do that idea.’”

 

“So I was like, ‘Yeah, no more business cards, I want a recruitment card.’”

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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