For Aaron Gotwalt, there seems to be a constant stream of ideas that flows from him. While most people are saying, “wouldn’t it be great if…” he’s saying, “how can we make this happen?”. When Aaron gets a concept for something, he talks about it as if it’s already a reality. He spoke with us via Skype from his home in San Francisco about one of his ideas that did become reality, the company he cofounded, CoTweet.

It started off as an idea for a Facebook application that would let people organize their wardrobes online. He and partner Kyle Sollenberger worked for months making connections with people in the fashion industry and working out a business plan. While trying hard to put all the pieces together, they realized they were having a breakdown in communication when it came to their shared Twitter account. One never knew what the other was doing, or which business contacts the other had responded to, so they set out to build a product that would keep track of all their business correspondence on Twitter. As a result, CoTweet was born. Their product proved to be a great success, and in 2010, the company was acquired by Exact Target in Minneapolis.

Another one of Aaron’s recent projects that we discussed is “World Poopin’ Day”. The event was inspired by the Facebook prank of updating someone’s status to “Poopin”. He figured if something so harmless and silly could get so much attention, why not use it to bring attention to the very real problem of sanitation in Africa and beyond. By partnering with charity groups such as Charity Water, Water.org, and Give Love, they were able to create a vehicle to bring awareness to internet users about the need for clean water and direct funding to the organizations devoted to making that happen. “Sanitation is one of those things that needs innovative thinking about how to talk about it,” Aaron says.

Now that the baton has been passed to the new owners of CoTweet, Aaron has some time on his hands. The wheels are already turning about what he could do next. But after working 24/7 for the past few years, it seems like a good time for a breather. What’s the next step for Gotwalt? He’s going to go climb a mountain.

Support for this episode provided by Winding Way Books, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, & Lapp Structures.

Theme music: Invisible Walls by Revolution Void
Break music: Original Piece by Keith Slesser