Biz Stone Questions

Did you go to his 7:30 talk on Oct 23?  Did you get to ask a question from the floor?

Please add your questions as a reply below.  Be sure to explain a little context to your question


Twitter from Space, courtesy of NPR

Did it come from something

he said?  Is it a follow up to your question or something else that was said?

Here is an interesting interview with him on the 5th anniversary of Twitter’s start.

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14 responses to “Biz Stone Questions

  1. Biz made the point that Twitter became so popular due to it’s simplicity and lack of adds and they have no plans of adding them. Therefore he doesn’t see any other websites doing SMS posting better than Twitter. Does this mean that Twitter doesn’t plan on rolling out any innovations? Is it in a stage that is close to the final product? I feel Google has stunted their utility due to over personalization of results and too many sponsored links. Is Twitter taking these steps to avoid this over complication that Google seems to be falling victim of?

  2. Biz was very compassionate tonight about the value brought to society from Twitter, particularly joy. My question for Biz is:
    What is your response to the abuses of Twitter? The Olympics is a recent example of using Twitter to spread messages that pushed the limit and their actions faced severe consequences. Is it okay to spread hate or is that protected by the 1st amendment?

  3. Biz was a great speaker, he was very engaging and extremely intellegent. He told a story during his lecture of how he created a lacrosse team in his high school. His concluding point was that “opportunity can be manufactured”. My question for Biz would be: What advice could you give to college students like us to seek our own opportunity? Would you say opportunity can be found everywhere, does one specific place come to mind? When opportunity is found, how do you suggest overlooking the possibility of failure?

    Another quick question: where did the nickname “Biz” originate from?

    • Regarding his name…

      Is your real name Biz? The name on my passport is Christopher Isaac Stone. When I was (little and) learning to talk, I tried to phonetically emulate the name my father, an auto mechanic with a Boston accent, called me. To my not-quite-yet-formed ear technology, it sounded very much like “Biz-ah-bah,” which was shortened to Biz. I think it was third grade when the information went public. I had a birthday party and my mom said something like, “Okay Biz, time to open presents.” When my parents got divorced, I officially dropped the name Christopher. I ask employers to make checks payable to Isaac Stone, and I use that name for most of my official paperwork like phone bills and secret government missions. Sometimes I tell people my name is Isaac when I just don’t feel like explaining why my name is Biz. My mother tells people that it’s short for Elizabeth.


  4. Biz talked about internet freedom, and how the internet was just a tool, to be used for good, or bad. Furthermore, he mentioned he thought people were inherently good, which will dictate their actions online. Finally, he mentioned how information on the internet can have both positive, and negative effects. In response to this, I would ask him if he thinks internet freedoms could eventually get out of hand leading to individual, and even national security issues (wiki leaks?)

  5. I really enjoyed listening to Biz’s perspective on constantly changing technology. It was really interesting to hear how he got involved with Twitter and where he is working now. I liked his positive outlook on social media and the opportunities it offers for humanity. He generally believes in the goodness of people and the fact that social media can be used to do good, such as organized charity event promotion through Twitter. He also talked about moving as one unit and moving towards getting productive tasks done through the use of social media. My question for Biz would be how else could social media be used to positively impact society? What tasks could we accomplish as a society through the use of shared social media?

    • I had the opportunity to hear Biz speak in a small classroom session prior to the forum. When asked where he sees the future of social media and marketing, he described philanthropy as the future of marketing. He believes organizations will use social impact as their approach to gather and retain customers. He explained that instead of using a marketing budget for traditional advertising expenditures, an organization will donate a large portion of this budget, and use the rest to describe their philanthropic ventures (and of course use a portion of the funds for tranditional marketing). Consumers respond positively to activism and service, and Biz believes that people will increasingly associate brands to a cause.

  6. My question would be toward the financial side of Twitter and if he believed that it would ever go public? I know many similar social media networks are currently IPOing and theya re failing miserably and I wanted to know if Biz Stone thought Twitter would be a different case.

    • After doing some research and hearing Biz speak, he truly values the experience of the user and would never want to jeopordize a user’s relationship with the site. If Twitter goes public, I think it would not happen in the near future. The business model of Twitter is to provide value first. It wasn’t until a few years ago that Twitter introduced their revenue growth model. Since then, they have introduced promoted tweets, which blend into the Twitter feed, so they will not distract from the overall experience.

      As a side note/fun fact, a few years ago, Twitter turned down an offer by Facebook to buy the company for upwards of $500 million…

  7. Biz mentioned that he no longer had an “operational role” at Twitter, having moved his focus towards Obvious. I was wondering how he felt about no longer having this operational role in something he was so instrumental in building. Is that hard to deal with or does he enjoy being hands off? I was also curious about why he was okay with diverting his efforts away from it– whether he was kind of bored, just didn’t think he was as needed anymore, or what.
    I really enjoyed listening to him speak and thought he was hilarious. I hope Ariana Huffington is just as funny…

  8. When I went to go see Biz Stone, I actually was lucky enough to be able ask him a question. My question was this:

    “I was curious about your feelings on social media being a statistic or evaluation of success. In that I mean, can people look at the number of facebook fans or twitter followers a company has and use that to measure the success of the company?”

    The reason I asked this question was a result of my internship this summer with a startup music company in Brooklyn. When researching new artists one metric was to look at their facebook fans or twitter followers. Obviously we knew that this wasn’t the only thing to look at, but it was a place to start.

    At the same time, I am aware of websites like Tweepi where you can inflate your followers. Also, it is widely known that companies can pay people to inflate their facebook fan base.

    To keep it short and simple, Biz replied by saying no. He did not think that these could be a measure of success and that real success is shown financial as well as the amount of joy one is bringing to its consumers.

  9. I was fortunate enough to attend the Tech/no series featuring Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter. I did not ask a question nor did I really have an appropriate question. This is because my questions were mostly concerned with Twitter, and he is no longer a part of it! But, Biz did have interesting points. There were two points he made that I think everyone can appreciate. I took the time to write them down when I wasn’t tweeting about Biz.
    The first remark that I wrote down was that “opportunity can be manufactured.” Instead of thinking about what would help or assist society, why not create something that society will “need.” I thought it was a very simple but significant way to look at opportunity.
    This leads to the second remark that I wrote down, “Creativity is bounded by constraint.” Biz continued to point out that simplicity is often the best solution to these constraints. I think Biz makes a good point and allows us to gain perspective on our problems.

  10. My questions for Biz have actually been on my mind before he came to speak. But after hearing him, they resurfaced. Biz touched on my first question a bit. The question is, “will information become too much and do you think people will ever become too connected?” I not sure that he had a final verdict on this. My second questions is “do you think social media such a Facebook and Twitter disenfranchises poor, less fortunate and even third world countries? (I’m not sure if disenfranchise is the right word for this)

  11. Biz spoke about the first time he knew Twitter would be successful in connecting people. He discussed a group of people moving like a flock of birds from one bar to the next due a message sent over Twitter. I would ask Biz if he anticipated the type of communication that would occur over the social network. Did he ever consider that Twitter would not only be a platform for friends to make plans but also a place for individuals to get in contact with their favorite celebrities, athletes, politicians, etc? Lady Gaga has over 30 million followers – was that what he had expected?

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