Biz Stone–The Nerd You Can’t Help But Love

 

Biz Stone at South by Southwest festival

Biz Stone, one of Twitter’s founders, has written “Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind.” Above, Stone at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas (David Paul Morris, Bloomberg / March 11, 2014)

He’s not Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or even Mark Zuckerberg. Or for that matter not much like his Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who comes off a little too “clever by half” or self-involved when he’s interviewed. Stone is a guy you’d like to have a beer with, go to the same party, or sit next to in class.  He doesn’t take himself seriously but he’s got a lot to say. And evidently a lot of other people think so too, like the deans at the Said School of Business at Oxford, Berkeley, Stanford, and a host of other elite universities where Biz Stone lectures.

What does he teach? “They say ‘write what you know’ so I ‘teach what I know.’  And that usually ends up with stories from my life that I have transposed into my own business career.”

How does he get many of those ideas?  “Walk ‘n’ talks” with his friends, Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey and Jelly co-founder Ben Finkel, he says.

(Note to self: get more friends like Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Ben Finkel.)

Stone has also co-founded Jelly, an app that allows social media users to ask questions that include photos, locations, maps, and people to get to the right answers or to allow those people in your network to forward to people who can, a lot like a weak network with huge scalability.  Stone calls it two degrees of separation instead of six.

Here’s a video about Jelly–http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27033060

And a review of his new book: 
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-books-20140413,0,5605982.story#ixzz2zAvsZnn7

On the occasion of Stone’s new book, here’s Charlie Rose’s 12-minute interview:

http://www.charlierose.com/watch/60376538

 

 

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