Chirpy take on life
The personal story of Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone.
STARTING something new is never easy, but if you really believe in what you’re doing and are prepared to see it through, chances are you’ll reap the benefits eventually. Oh, and it helps if you arm yourself with a healthy dose of positive attitude too.
This is the broad theme upon which the book Things A Little Bird Told Me: Confessions Of The Creative Mind is based on. Its author, Christopher Isaac Stone, more commonly known as Biz Stone, co-founded social networking site Twitter.
The story that Stone tells here is his personal journey: of his beginnings taking on a graphic designer job creating book covers and how he landed a job in Google; how he had a hand in the formation of a series of web services, including Xanga and Blogger; and how it all eventually led to the formation of Twitter.
He candidly shares lessons he learned along the way while shaping Twitter into what it is today, and also talks about how he ended up parting ways with the social media company to spearhead other tech ventures.
Passion is undoubtedly Stone’s guiding compass, coupled with an undying resilience to take risks and learn from failure, which Stone terms an asset.
To him, something is truly only worth doing something if you have an emotional investment in it.
“You know in your heart something’s worth pursuing: you’re not sure exactly sure why, but it doesn’t matter. Success isn’t guaranteed, but failure is certain if you aren’t truly emotionally invested in your work,” he writes.
In general, Stone’s book is easy to read, and his bubbly personality, which comes across clearly in his writing, is one that most readers will relate to easily. He shares openly about fumbling to land a date for himself, even disclosing humbling facts like how he and his wife (who at that time was his girlfriend) faced money troubles and lived without furniture for a year and a half.
You can’t help but be infected with his enthusiasm for life by the time you’re halfway through the book. In addition, some of his life philosophies seem practical enough that you might even want to give a few of them a try.
I am especially fond of what he says about creativity: “Creativity is a renewable resource. Challenge yourself every day. Be as creative as you like, as often as you want, because you can never run out.”
Stone also provides many entertaining and unforgettable real life moments in the book. For example, the time that he and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams visited Facebook, and how he practised a “no homework policy” in secondary school.
Besides that, it’s pretty obvious that he feels really strongly about being “actively nice”. He also repeatedly emphasises the importance of empathy and how giving is an important habit to cultivate, even is you’re not yet rich.
As for Stone’s approach towards technology, he sees it as “the connective tissue of humanity”, and believes that when it’s used appropriately, it will “bring out the good in people”.
Regardless of whether you’re someone who works in the tech industry, you’ll find this book a fun read that may even help nudge you closer to achieving your dreams. You will also gain some insight into what made Twitter the social networking platform that many of us benefit from today.