BlackBerry CEO/Twitter latecomer on how he got @JohnChen handle: ‘Beats me…very lucky’

There are more John Chens on Twitter than a patient person can count, yet when Blackberry CEO John Chen started tweeting just a week ago he had somehow managed to secure the coveted and unique-among-Chens Twitter handle of @JohnChen.


As anyone who has ever signed up for an email or social media account knows, you can never get your own name plain and simple unless you’re an earliest of early adopters or you have a highly uncommon name. You Browns, Smiths, Johnsons — and Chens — know this better than most.

Twitter has been around for nine years now and if you enter the name John Chen into its people search you can scroll page after page of John Chens for as long as you’re willing to scroll. Their Twitter handles, however, are all @JohnChenPlusANumber or @JohnMiddleInitialChen or some other variation involving underscores or a nickname.

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Network World Paul McNamara