Notes from Twitter Cofounder Biz Stone Talk

Read this awesome article in my company portal and thought of sharing it :

BizStone :  ” 1. Twitter is a two year old company
2. twitter taught us what it needed to be – by watching how people used the service, we learned what it needed to be

3. Biz has been doing this about 10 years… first at weblogging startup, the blogger at google

4. over 10 years, there is a general move towards openness

5. it’s not that email has gone away, people still use it, but they are moving more towards an open way of communicating

6. biz calls it’s social alchemy

a. “I’m having a beer at the boston airport”

b. No value to 99% of people who read it

c. But the one guy in the airport who reads it and come joins Biz Stone, and then they talk and form a company… that’s the alchemy

7. when founding it…

a. they were looking for ways to connect the mobile to the web

b. thought it was interesting if you saw the collective messages was friends, not just a single person, but everyone, you get a flavor for the day.

8. when starting

a. they built prototype in two weeks

b. they asked friends to try it over the weekend

c. when they started trying it, the tweets they saw made them laugh. They knew then they wanted to keep working on it

9. In 2007 SXSW interactive conference

a. Twitter was just getting started… 20,000 users

b. They saw a new behavior they had never seen before

c. En mass a whole bunch of people got up and left one presentation to go to another presentation

d. It turned out that people were tweeting about how great the presentation next door was

e. And at night, people would tweet that they were going to a pub, and it would fill to capacity within 10 minutes

10. MarsPhoenix changed the way NASA communicates

a. Used to be very staid. The science comes in, the science gets vetted, they hand it off to a PR department, they vet it and share it.

b. They tried blogging, but they used the same process. Still boring.

c. Then they tried twitter.

d. They twittered in real-time about the Mars Phoenix lander. Anyone who followed the twitter account would learn new details at the same time that they scientists learned. It was very exciting.

e. They thought they would do this just for the landing.

f. By the end of the day, they had 50,000 followers.

g. So they kept tweeting the whole mission until the power ran out on the lander.

11. story of reporter…

a. he was reporting live, he got arrested.

b. Tweeted one word: “arrested”

c. Friends called the dean, the dean called a lawyer, the lawyer called the consulate, and a couple of hours later a second tweet came “freed”

12. “Twitter is about the triumph of humanity, not the triumph of technology”

13. Earthquake happened.

a. It took 9 minutes for the AP to put out a 57 word update.

b. In the same time, there was ~3,000 tweets about first hand experiences of the earthquake.

14. Twitter trends identified natural gas leaks, terrorist attacks, events in Iran.

15. Business adoption: “Follow us on twitter: Find out when warm cookies come out of the oven”

a. The bakery owner: I sell all of my cookies as soon as I tweet about them

16. Twitter 101: for business


18. Twitter investments…

a. Trend towards openness

i. In communication

ii. Open source software

iii. API

iv. A very rich, open diverse ecosystem quickly evolved. It’s a huge driver for Twitter


b. We started out with a mobile focus (140 character limit to work on phones)

i. There are 4 billion mobile phones on the planet. Much bigger market than PCs.

ii. They want to bring a real-time network around the globe.

20. The open exchange of information brings a positive benefit.

21. What’s the best way for HP to use Twitter?

a. It’s a new form of messaging. What’s the right way to use it? There’s a time for texting, a time for email, a time for twitter. (e.g. plane landing on the Hudson)

b. Twitter is a new form of messaging that people want. Use it as a native form of message “how do you want to send this photo? Via twitter?

22. Now if you can do a text message, you can share on the internet. This is making the barrier about as low as it can go.

23. How to monetize twitter?
a. They are going to follow the same patterns they see in the commercial space
b. Twitter will remain free for individual users
c. They are going to big commercial users, like JetBlue and BestBuy. Asking how these big companies are using twitter, and what twitter will do for them.

d. So the plan is that Twitter will introduce a commercial accounts feature to give big business some of these tools. “

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