Considering that it has become the catalyst for much of the world’s news, the water-cooler for global gossip and the most-watched technology phenomenon since Google, you could be forgiven for thinking that Twitter must have a payroll running into significant numbers. If not the People’s Liberation Army’s three million, Wal-Mart’s 1.8 million or the NHS’s 1.7 million, then something with lots of zeroes attached to it. The always excellent VentureBeat reminds us that, in fact, Twitter has only just reached the headcount that parallels the character limitation on its short messaging system: 140.
That number is in keeping with a properous double-glazing outfit in Droitwich or widget factory in Billericay and only goes to show that developing software is where it’s at if you want to keep headcount low and per-employee revenue calculations stratospheric.
If you take Techcrunch’s assertion in September 2009 that Twitter has a valuation of $1bn, that means that Twitter has a per-employee valuation of $7.14m. If you prefer the more conservative view that it is only worth $600m then each member of staff from tea lady to pointy-headed Chief Genius wears a tag of $4.29m (or $4,285,714.29 if you prefer).
Of course, if you wanted to go the other way you could point out that we may be heading towards another bull market and Microsoft in 2007 took a stake in Facebook that valued the former web most-watched item at a total of $15bn.
Any which way you drool over the numbers, it’s nice work if you can get it and — in software at least — you can get it every time.