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Now that Twitter has to make money, can it keep innovating?

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Eager investors can get their share of Twitter tomorrow. To get ready, the company’s made a number of interface changes in recent months. These moves to gather advertising dollars have brought rumors of employee unrest about Twitter going public. 

“It’s a very common dynamic,” says Susan Etlinger, a tech industry analyst with Altimeter Group in San Mateo. She says that when companies like Twitter go public, some employees “feel that the original mission is shifting, or they used to have a lot more autonomy than they do now.” 

But she thinks the hand-wringing has been overblown. “I don’t see any indication,” she adds, “that strategy has changed in any meaningful way in the last three months from where it was you know a year ago.” 

Jeremy Levine is a partner with Bessemer Venture Partners in New York. He says that as Twitter increases it’s focus on revenue, it risks becoming less innovative. 

“As you become successful,” he says, “you go from being the attacking disruptor to a target for other disruptors. And that’s really nerve-racking for an executive team.” 

That could be Twitter’s next real challenge — nurturing new ideas at the same time it nurtures an income stream.

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