I think they'd make a huge amount of money, on a recurring basis. And they'd be able to fund a lot of development. We could have a lot more than what we have right now. Twitter could fan out into being the Internet. This was the promise of Twitter at the beginning, until the company started to fight the natural inclination of a service like Twitter to fill every nook and cranny of the tech world. Instead, they fought to keep it small, so they could keep it under control and so (I guess) they could make money. But they had no ideas for what to do next.
But they would have to make themselves smaller, instead of making the product smaller. Sell us our handles for $50 a year. But don't do that until you can offer premium stuff that gets people excited. A little money is no big deal if you've got something that excites us. Apple has proven this over and over.
Mark Ott writes: "Why won't they let us hand them our money? I'd gladly pay."
This got me thinking. What if there were a Kickstarter for depositing money in escrow, ready to be claimed by a specific company, if they are willing to sell us something that right now they are not willing to sell us.
So we could have a page for Twitter. If you agree that Twitter should become a tech company and sell us products, instead of sell us to marketers, that'll cost you $50. You enter your credit card info, and when Twitter accepts the offer, they get the money, and you get a year of use of the new Twitter (with some bennie for having the guts to step up and make the first move).
I've had the same thought for movie companies. If you watch a movie on BitTorrent that you thought was good, you could put $10 in escrow for the movie production company (sorry theater owners). When they want to claim it, all they have to do is promise not to sue you for enjoying their movie on your terms.
The Twitter site might generate so much money that it could itself be a startup that is acquired by Twitter. Of course we'd use Twitter to spread the word about this new site.