Advanced Micro Devices is a 44-year-old Silicon Valley semiconductor giant, best known by the initials AMD. It’s the brand you see in marketing materials, and the stock symbol it uses on The New York Stock Exchange.
Seattle entrepreneur Adam M. Doppelt is an AMD too, as those are the initials he’s had since birth 37 years ago. So, naturally, years ago, Doppelt chose the Twitter handle @AMD to share some of his thoughts on entrepreneurship, mobile development and life in general.
You see where this is going, don’t you?
Obviously, a multi-billion dollar corporation with the name of AMD would like to own @AMD, and for nearly two years the marketing folks at the Sunnyvale, California and Austin, Texas-based company tried to obtain it.
But Doppelt, the founder of Urbanspoon and Dwellable, wouldn’t budge, unless AMD donated $50,000 to Seattle area charities.
“They laughed it off, but I stuck by my guns,” said Doppelt. Now, after some haggling, AMD is finally coming around to Doppelt’s original deal, taking possession of @AMD today in a unique swap that benefits FareStart and the Boys & Girls Club of Bellevue. AMD is donating $25,000 each to the two charities, FareStart picked by Doppelt and the Boys & Girls Club of Bellevue chosen by AMD.
Doppelt was first contacted by AMD’s Jon Peters in July 2011, and initially the company wanted to trade some laptops with AMD processors for the Twitter handle. A certified geek, Doppelt told them that he had plenty of computer hardware already, so he raised the idea of a charitable donation. Of course, $50,000 isn’t chump change, but Doppelt, who has 333 followers on Twitter, said “they were asking me to give up an important part of my identity.”
Now, that identity is shifting over to @adamdoppelt. “Goodbye, @amd,” says Doppelt, noting that the transition is somewhat “bittersweet.”
Doppelt has long supported FareStart, which teaches restaurant job skills and serves meals to the homeless in the Seattle area. Marketing and communications manager Christina Starr said they were thrilled when Doppelt arranged for his Twitter hand-off to benefit the organization.
“We’re so grateful to Mr. Doppelt and the team at AMD to be one of the beneficiaries of this unique arrangement,” said Starr. “This generous donation will go a long way towards supporting the individuals in our training programs.”
Now, Doppelt isn’t the only Seattle area geek who is sitting on a potential Twitter handle goldmine. We’re still waiting to see what Brian M. Westbrook does with @BMW.
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