Funding Canceled Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on February 20.
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A set of Matroyshka Dolls that tells the story of Twitter's growth by nesting its founders inside one another

Nesting Twitter is a collectible set of hand-crafted, wooden Matroyshka Dolls that encapsulates Twitter's founding and evolution through its founders and CEOs, each one nested inside the others.  Designed by Yiying Lu, the artist behind Twitter’s celebrated Fail Whale, the set includes an outermost doll that represents the Twitter community, in a modernist re-interpretation of the classic Russian nesting doll. 

This project is limited to five hundred sets – that's it, no more than that will ever be created.

This set is a celebration of how Twitter has impacted the world through the collective involvement of its users, and the blood, sweat and tears of the team behind it. Nesting Twitter is ultimately a tribute to teams of creators everywhere who do the hard work of bringing world-changing ideas into existence. 

Twitter, the company, is in no way affiliated with this work of art, and we do not imply any endorsement or sponsorship on their part.

NOTE: We will ship internationally. Shipping charges will be calculated at the close of the campaign.

The Set

The Complete Set of Nesting Dolls (subject to final adjustment)
The Complete Set of Nesting Dolls (subject to final adjustment)

Everyone knows that successful startups are built on the contributions of many people. Nesting Twitter features five personalities behind Twitter that have become mythic archetypes in public imagination: there is Noah Glass, the fire-starter; Biz the media darling (and defender of defenseless animals); Jack Dorsey, the idea guy; Ev Williams, the deep thinker; Dick the business guy (and former standup comic). As has been chronicled in many articles and books, their road to success was never straight, built on a clash of loyalties and visions for what this new communication tool could become. Like any great story, it’s hard to imagine it unfolding any other way. Each character in the set captures something of its namesake’s personality, each lovable in its own way.

The Outermost Doll, Front and Back
The Outermost Doll, Front and Back

Twitter is formed by billions of individual contributions, but is also a shared cultural experience. It's an embodiment of the massive changes we've experienced over the last seven years since it launched. The outer doll is our collective character, in the midst of tweeting. Depending on your angle, you’ll see the doll as reflective, snarky, revolutionary or traditional. This Matryoshka Doll really does contain multitudes. The rear of the doll reveals a bird cradling a miniature of itself, a paradoxical twist that should get you thinking about the meaning of it all. Who is supporting whom in this complicated web of relationships?

Innermost doll design
Innermost doll design

At the center of each Matryoshka set is an egg with one of three distinct designs, as shown above. Which one will you get?

Note: the bird is one of the whale-lifting birds from Yiying's original Fail Whale illustration, and is not to be confused with Twitter's logomark.

Customization

If you choose, you can make your Nesting Twitter set even more special with our personalization plaque. On the bottom of the outer doll we will laser etch onto a metal plate the following: your twitter name, the date you joined and a tweet of your choice. Your dolls will become not only a limited edition art piece, but a reflection of you.

Hand-crafted in Russia

Handcrafted wooden dolls, before art is applied
Handcrafted wooden dolls, before art is applied

Matryoshka dolls have been a traditional Russian craft since the late 1800's. Each doll made by carving wood to fit smaller dolls within it, until the final innermost doll, which is a solid piece of wood. 

Nesting Twitter will be crafted by Golden Cockerel, one of the most established and respected Matryoshka Doll manufacturers in Russia. We discovered their work through the beautiful nesting dolls created by Double Fine for their game Stacking:

Stacking Dolls, created by Golden Cockerel
Stacking Dolls, created by Golden Cockerel

 The Artist, Yiying Lu

Yiying Lu is a Sydney, Australia-based artist and designer who came to worldwide fame by designing the Twitter Fail Whale, an illustration that appears when Twitter's web site is down. The NYTimes profiled her and her work twice in the last several years, back in 2009 after winning a Shorty Award in NYC and on the day of Twitter's initial public offering (IPO).

"Lifting a Dreamer", aka the Fail Whale
"Lifting a Dreamer", aka the Fail Whale

The Fail Whale has become a symbol of staying resolute under daunting conditions, never allowing "failure" to keep you down for long. It's an image that has been celebrated on beer labels, in giant balloons in Japanese festivals and even re-interpreted as the "Pale Whale" by Conan O'Brien:

The Pale Whale
The Pale Whale

In addition to her personal connection to Twitter, it is her ability to take traditional approaches and modernize them for the digital age that makes her the ideal artist to capture the Twitter story on the unexpected canvas of Matryoshka Dolls. See how she harnesses watercolor to re-imagine QR codes:

Anglerfish Interactive Illustration for Australian Museum Deep Oceans Exhibition
Anglerfish Interactive Illustration for Australian Museum Deep Oceans Exhibition
Sea Dreams mask set
Sea Dreams mask set

The Collector's Prints

Our top tier reward includes pairs of beautiful archival quality prints of the exterior matryoshka figures, as shown above, embodying the entire community of people who built and made Twitter what it is today. The sets are limited to 50 of the large and 50 of the medium edition, with the production process supervised by the artist. Each one is signed and numbered, with frame. The large prints measure 11.7" x 16.5" (297mm x 420mm), and the mediums measures 8.25" x 11.7" (210mm x 297mm).

Backstory

The idea for Nesting Twitter was hatched by Thor Muller and other members of the Department of Reckless Abandon (DoRA) on the day of the Twitter IPO. As friends of several of the founders, and having watched the rise of Twitter (and many other startups) up close, it occurred to them that Matryoshka Dolls were the perfect embodiment of the interlocking--and often messy--relationships that make startups work.

Yiying was introduced to DoRA at last Summer's Yes and Yes Yes (YxYY) event, a gathering of creative tinkerers, where she designed its unforgettable poster and t-shirts

Thor Muller, founder of DoRA, was one of the co-founders of Valleyschwag, a swag-of-the-month club that in 2006 hosted the party (The Valleyschwag Hoedown) where Twitter was first unveiled to a lucky few people. As a product/creative guy, he is also a co-founder of Get Satisfaction and the co-author of the NYTimes best-selling book, Get Lucky: How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work for You and Your Business.

Production Timeline

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The designs are done (minus minor production tweaking), the manufacturer is tooled up and ready to go, all that's needed is you. Our timeline for getting Nesting Twitter directly to you is as follows:

  • November-December: Produce Artwork, Select Manufacturer [complete]
  • Mid January - Mid Feburary: Run Kickstarter Campaign, Produce Manufacturing Prototype
  • February: Refine production specs, Production begins, Manufacture stickers
  • March: Production continues, Quality Control, Manufacture Posters, Order ships from Russia to U.S., Produce custom name plates for customized orders
  • April-May: Final packaging and assembly in U.S., Ship to Kickstarter recipients
  • Note: Due to the hand crafted nature of Nesting Twitter, the above timeline applies to the first set of campaign tiers. Please check the estimated delivery date for the tier you are backing for a more accurate timeline.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The main challenges in this project will be in quality control in translating the art into final nesting doll form. While these are strictly limited in quantity, we will still need to ensure an initial high quality prototype, and then review all sets as they arrive from Russia,

For the personalized sets we will need to ensure a reliable process for transferring the personal information onto the plates, affixing them to the dolls, and finally shipping to their destinations. Again, quality control is paramount.

Members of the Department of Reckless Abandon have managed Kickstarter projects that involved similar manufacturing/design quality control challenges. Rewards for those projects were delivered 99.5% on time, and we will be relying on their leadership and experience to minimize these risks.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • Pledge $1 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    THE TIP JAR Why thank you! As a show of our gratitude, your twitter handle will be emblazoned proudly on the "We Love Our Supporters" section of our website.

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    5 backers

    THE TWITTER STICKER PICKER You'll receive a set of Nesting Twitter stickers based on the original art of Yiying Lu. Yes, that's right, all the Nesting Twitter dolls, die cut and sticky just like you like 'em.

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    1 backer

    HATCH FIRST, NEST TWITTER LATER Receive a signed hardcover edition of Nick Bilton's best-selling book, Hatching Twitter, a thrilling roller coaster ride through one of the most exciting business stories of the decade. Seriously, it's a must read. In addition, you'll receive a complete set of Nesting Twitter stickers based on the original art of Yiying Lu.

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    20 backers All gone!

    THE EARLIEST BIRD Ah, the benefits of being first: Most importantly, the bragging rights. But also, an extra special price. You’ll get the complete set of the 7-piece Nesting Twitter dolls, a certificate of authenticity, delivered in a decorative nest. Sweet, no?

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    35 backers Limited (45 left of 80)

    THE NEXT TO EARLIEST BIRD Ah, the benefits of being second: Most importantly, the bragging rights. But also, an extra special price. You’ll get the complete set of the 7-piece Nesting Twitter dolls, a certificate of authenticity, delivered in a decorative nest. Sweet, no?

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    18 backers Limited (62 left of 80)

    THE EARLIEST BIRD, PERSONALIZED Who says you have to trade features for a low price? We've set aside a small number of Nesting Twitter sets at this subsidized price that also give you our personalized plaque. Your complete set of the 7-piece Nesting Twitter dolls comes attached to a custom plate with your Twitter handle, join date and your favorite tweet (limit 140 characters...obviously). As always, it comes with a certificate of authenticity, delivered in that adorable decorative nest.

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  • Pledge $90 or more
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    2 backers Limited (38 left of 40)

    THE NEXT TO EARLIEST BIRD, PERSONALIZED Who says you have to trade features for a low price? We've set aside a small number of Nesting Twitter sets at this subsidized price that also give you our personalized plaque. Your complete set of the 7-piece Nesting Twitter dolls comes attached to a custom plate with your Twitter handle, join date and your favorite tweet (limit 140 characters...obviously). As always, it comes with a certificate of authenticity, delivered in that adorable decorative nest. Estimated delivery: May 2014

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    Ships within the US only
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    3 backers Limited (37 left of 40)

    HATCHING + NESTING = NATCHING TWITTER? Human drama, board room intrigue, and cute cute cute objects d'art. Just for you (and anyone else who pledges at this level), we've got a signed copy of Nick Bilton's NYTimes best-seller Hatching Twitter with an early bird priced Nesting Twitter nesting doll set, with that certificate of authenticity and all natural decorative nest.

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  • Pledge $120 or more
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    4 backers Limited (36 left of 40)

    TAKING IT UP A NATCH Let's take take a good thing and make it better: a signed copy of Nick Bilton's NYTimes best-seller Hatching Twitter with an early bird priced Nesting Twitter nesting doll set. But this doll set is uniquely yours, since it ALSO comes with a personalized name plate with your Twitter ID, join date and your favorite tweet.

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  • Pledge $140 or more
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    2 backers Limited (48 left of 50)

    THE MAIN ATTRACTION These Russian Matryoshka Dolls are one-of-a-kind, and a work-of-art that seamlessly integrates tradition and technology. By supporting at this level you’ll receive a complete set of the seven piece Nesting Twitter dolls, a certificate of authenticity, and a decorative nest. They'll look fabulous on your desk, on your mantle or in your private museum. (Believe it or not, it's a spoooooky coincidence that the price worked out to be $140--the maximum number of characters in a tweet!--once we did the math on production costs and time)

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  • Pledge $160 or more
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    2 backers Limited (48 left of 50)

    THE MAIN ATTRACTION, PERSONALIZED This seven piece Nesting Twitter doll set comes with a personalized custom name plate with your Twitter ID, join date and your favorite tweet in the world (limit 140 characters, obviously). It also comes with a certificate of authenticity, and, yes, a decorative nest made sustainably...with real, honest to God, twigs.

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  • Pledge $350 or more
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    0 backers Limited (50 left of 50)

    PENULTIMATE REWARD Something amazing to hang on your wall. At this level we start with a set of medium (8.25" x 11.7") framed giclee Collector's Prints of the two iconic exterior Matryoshka figures (see photographs and measurements, main column), created using 8-colored Epson Ultrachrome inks, on premium museum quality smooth Fine Art Paper, archival to 90 years. Each one is signed & numbered by artist Yiying Lu, and made in Sydney Australia. In addition, you’ll also get the complete set of the Nesting Twitter dolls with the custom plate with your Twitter ID, join date, your favorite tweet, certificate of authenticity, and a very pretty nest.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers Limited (50 left of 50)

    ULTIMATE REWARD For the true art connoisseur, this level's reward is a set of large (11.7" x 16.5") framed giclee Collector's Prints of the two iconic exterior Matryoshka figures (see photographs and measurements, main column), created using 8-colored Epson Ultrachrome inks, on premium museum quality smooth Fine Art Paper, archival to 90 years. Each one is signed & numbered by artist Yiying Lu, and made in Sydney Australia. In addition, you’ll also get the complete set of the Nesting Twitter dolls with the custom plate with your Twitter ID, join date, your favorite tweet, certificate of authenticity, and a decorative nest with–and I kid not–ZERO carbon footprint.

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Funding period

- (30 days)