Mike Isaac

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Twitter’s Roadshow Video: No Frills, by Design

twitter_pamphletTwitter’s IPO roadshow presentation was posted to the Web on Friday morning, as the company kicks off its tour to pitch to investment firms around the country.

The most remarkable point: It’s completely unremarkable, a stark contrast to an obvious comparison — the highly produced Facebook roadshow video we saw last year.

Twitter’s video consists basically of CEO Dick Costolo laying out exactly what makes Twitter tick, and walking investors through the company’s ad products and user statistics. CFO Mike Gupta makes an appearance later on, explaining monetization and the company’s rapid revenue growth.

But, unlike Facebook’s production, Costolo and Gupta appear against a plain, static backdrop, and run through a series of slides to lay out Twitter — basically the template for any other soon-to-be-public company creating a roadshow video. Compare that to the sweeping camera angles, animated graphics and airy soundtrack seen in Facebook’s pitch.

Twitter’s S-1, too, was plain and understated. It lacked the founder’s letter that Facebook’s Zuckerberg penned, instead putting much of the focus again on exactly how Twitter works.

Make no mistake: Twitter’s no-frills approach is entirely by design. Despite all the heightened attention it has received, Twitter has sought to make this a low-profile IPO process, aiming to steer clear of the massive hype that surrounded Facebook’s debut on the Nasdaq exchange. Instead, the idea has been to position itself more in line with a tech company like LinkedIn, which, compared to Facebook, receives far less media attention yet delivers consistently upbeat quarterly financial results.

To be fair to Facebook, Twitter’s pitch wasn’t entirely without flourishes. The company ran a short video featuring three of Twitter’s founders, as well as Costolo, briefly explaining the service’s charm. But it was short and sweet — one minute and 40 seconds, to be exact.

Will the IPO itself, set to drop in the first week of November, actually be as low-key as Twitter wants? Like Fortune’s Dan Primack, I seriously doubt that will be the case.

But it certainly won’t be for lack of effort by Twitter.


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google