Life in 140 Characters or Less

Stamatiou with former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.

Paul Stamatiou knows how to get your attention online.

That’s no accident. Stamatiou, BS CM ’08, has meticulously documented almost 10 years of his life on varied online platforms. He’s publicly shared vacation photos, gadget reviews, and personal narratives. Stamatiou’s detailed digital anecdotes and analysis have yielded some incredible results – namely a career with Twitter.

It all began rather quietly.

While a student at Georgia Tech in late 2005, Stamatiou launched his now wildly popular personal blog. There were no grandiose goals or expectations of adoring readers. Instead, Stamatiou started the blog out of curiosity toward the server and software required to host it. It only took one post about configuring a BitTorrent client for everything to change.

“That first post was still hosted on my personal computer at the time, a Mac Mini, in my dorm at Georgia Tech,” Stamatiou said. “I received so much web traffic that it killed the hard drive and I had to upgrade to a real server.”

Stamatiou realized he was onto something.

He couldn’t resist blogging. Curious readers continually flocked to his blog en masse. Yahoo soon approached Stamatiou to create the company’s first corporate blog. He accepted their offer and spent the summer of 2006 interning at Yahoo’s Silicon Valley headquarters. Stamatiou worked on Yahoo’s blogging team, working next to current Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson and Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake.

That summer left Stamatiou with a taste for what is possible in Silicon Valley. He returned to Georgia Tech but found himself continuously drawn to the region’s celebrated startup scene. Many of his friends and career aspirations were focused more than 2,000 miles away.

Silicon Valley’s enchanting atmosphere became too irresistible for Stamatiou. Without a job or set plans, Stamatiou moved from Atlanta to San Francisco in 2010.

“It was the easiest and best decision I’ve ever made,” Stamatiou said.

Stamatiou co-founded a pair of startups there – one with Chad Etzel, BS CS ’06 – and typical “startup hours” became the new norm.

But that didn’t stop him from blogging and other social media activity. Stamatiou’s blog featured a burgeoning number of subscribers. Moreover, Stamatiou had become a popular Twitter user too. His constantly expanding influence became abundantly clear when a tweet lamenting “entrepreneurial slack” resulted in a guest post on TechCrunch. The BBC also featured Stamatiou on a program about New York and San Francisco’s ongoing battle for tech startups. But the biggest measure of his influence was yet to come.

Stamatiou penned a lengthy technical article on his blog in December 2011 about user retention while working at his third startup, PicPlum. After its powers-that-be read the article, Twitter contacted him almost a year later about joining their design team. Stamatiou, Twitter’s 624,683rd registered user, accepted the offer.

Life has changed since Stamatiou joined Twitter. He no longer works startup hours and truly takes vacations, which fit nicely with Stamatiou’s passion for photography. Much of Stamatiou’s blogging today actually focuses on sharing vacation photos. But he still writes plenty of tech analysis, including a recent post about his role in designing Twitter Video.

Stamatiou enjoys the view from the Eiffel Tower during a recent Parisian vacation.

“I really don’t think I would be where I am today if I didn’t meet the kinds of folks I did at Georgia Tech,” he said. “They piqued my curiosity in software and product design, leading me to try out new technologies as an early adopter. And most importantly: I found a unique major [computational media] that perfectly mixed computer science and design.”

Stamatiou speaking at a Google panel on design.

What’s next? Just go online. You’ll see Stamatiou is trending upward and has no intention of stopping.