NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Jack Dorsey is going to be named permanent CEO at Twitter (TWTR - Get Report) today, according to a report yesterday from Kara Swisher in Re/code, and Twitter bulls are excited. (Twitter is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio.)
Investor Chris Sacca tweeted out before the Re/code report came out:
I'm told there are 40 million $TWTR shares short right now. Most in company history. Let's see how that works out for them.
- Chris Sacca (@sacca) September 30, 2015
I think most of the bulls on the stock think that Jack Dorsey will now be magically unshackled thanks to gaining the "permanent" label next to his CEO title. I hope that that does happen. I'm a fan, and I want to believe. However, I can't believe that the product seems to change so slowly.
Today, Twitter rolled out a "buy" button -- something that's been discussed for more than a year now. Last year, when Dick Costolo was still CEO, he talked constantly on earnings calls about how hard they were working on the logged-out homepage on Twitter.
Have you looked lately at the PC-based landing page on Twitter.com when you're logged out?
Is that what they spent months working on? How is that monetizeable? And why would you make a point of discussing how much you're working on that initiative when it's PC-based? Weren't there some mobile-based initiatives to work on first?
So now we have heard about Project Lightning as the next big Twitter leap forward. Dick Costolo was giving some journalists previews of it back in May, saying that it would knock our socks off and will be coming out later this year.
We are now later in the year.
There were rumors -- on Twitter -- that Jack Dorsey was willing to lift the 140-character limit. Some users seemed excited by that.
What do all these new product announcements have in common? Twitter likes to talk about its new features way before it actually ships them. Sometimes a year before it ships them. And when they are finally shipped, they don't live up to the billing the Twitter people gave them months earlier. However, no one remembers by then, because we're all too busy and have moved on.
Over the summer, I listened to Peter Kafka interviewing Facebook's (FB - Get Report) head of product Chris Cox at one of their derivative conferences. Cox made a casual comment, which might have been missed.
He said Facebook -- and he's been there essentially from the start -- began tweaking users' timelines to show selected content (which they were more likely to click on and cause them to use the service more) back in 2006.
They didn't leak it in 2004 and then finally ship it in 2006. They just started doing it.
Product changes don't need to take as long as they seem to at Twitter. There's nothing so precious and delicate about Twitter's 300 million users which makes it more difficult than Facebook, which has to update its service for 1.4 billion users.
Supporters of Jack Dorsey to get the top job at Twitter talk about the "product cadence" quickening under his watch. But does that mean head of product, Kevin Weil, wasn't doing his job properly before? Was he not properly supported by Costolo but now is by Dorsey? And Weil has been in that role of head of product since last October -- right when Costolo was going on about the logged-out opportunity on the Twitter homepage.
Did Weil just have to play along with that because the state of product was just so awful that there wasn't anything that could be shipped for months?
Maybe one day Nick Bilton will write another book about why things seem to always get stuck in molasses at Twitter. Simple changes take months. Will it be different now with an enhanced title for Dorsey?