Things a Little Bird Told Me by Biz Stone (Twitter Co-Founder): Book Review
This book by Twitter’s co-founder, Biz Stone for the most part reads like a fast paced novel. It reminded me strongly of Silicon Valley. Especially the part where he talks about magicking a $500 million figure out of thin air for Mark Zuckerberg before an acquisition meeting with him. Mark takes him seriously.
Biz was part of Xanga- I used to blog on that! How he got into Google too shows that rules are meant to be broken. You can be the exception to the rule. Biz has immense faith in himself and just keeps going even when the odds are stacked against him.
I know how important that is to succeed, because of my entrepreneur mom. Biz is a pusher, an ideas guy who can’t sit still until an idea that’s got him is given life. We need to do more of that, rather than bellyaching about our being wage slaves.
Biz talks about how important is it to be emotionally invested in your company. That goes for work too. True, we might not always feel like it, but there has to be some passion, otherwise, what’s the point?
Biz believes in constraints. They help us to focus. Otherwise we’d go flailing in all directions. A brief is important, I agree. Even for ourselves.
Twitter was initially compared to Seinfeld because both are about nothing. Ironically, both are such big successes!
Knowing why 140 characters was fun. Could probably have worked that one out. Would have been better if we could have known more about the technicalities of how Twitter worked- but not sure if I would have understood! Initially they were using text message. That meant huge bills. Nothing about how they switched to online.
How Twitter was embraced at SXSW sounds like a fairy tale. People leaving lectures because they heard the other one was better.
The book got me nostalgic too- I remembered the Fail Whale. I started tweeting after someone I friended on Facebook did that. Didn’t see the point of it much, but Facebook was new to me too then, back in 2006.
It’s amazing how a team of 8 came up with something so big. Just goes to show that all our companies could probably do with some trimming!
Biz’s No-Homework Policy- instituted by him in high school after he had homework in each course, a job and whatnot- just goes to silos aren’t just in companies. They’re before we start work, at home- everywhere.
Just like a book is only complete when it’s read, Twitter flowered fully when its users stretched it- from revolutions to disaster relief.
Biz puts altruism in business like terms- a hard feat. If people aren’t around, who are companies going to sell to?
Biz’s been involved with stuff I really care about- Blogger and Medium. I also loved his life lessons from Star Trek- I’m a Trekkie too! This book is inspiring. Big thumbs up! Or in Tweet terms- like and RT.