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Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455528714
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455528714
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Things A Little Bird Told Me is a moving, funny and illuminating life story, and Biz pours himself into the telling, bringing a unique gift of perspective to anyone dreaming of taking risks, changing their lives and changing the world." --Arianna Huffington

"In THINGS A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME, Biz gives away all his secrets to success. I advised him against it. If you're not inspired and informed by this book, then you haven't read it." --Stephen Colbert

"Biz Stone's anything-but-ordinary journey both surprises and inspires. Things A Little Bird Told Me is a peek into a unique mind that, I'm happy to add, entertains us as well." --Ron Howard

"As someone who has personally experienced Biz's generosity and genius, I'm thrilled that readers of Things a Little Bird Told Me can now draw inspiration from his values and vision. A must-read for anyone who wants to tap their creative potential." --Charles Best, Founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org

"Most tales of startup success revolve around a lone genius out-maneuvering the competition. But the story Biz Stone tells is a riveting-and often hilarious-break from that tradition: a story of collaboration, sharing, and the power of networks."--Steven Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From

About the Author

Biz Stone became an Internet entrepreneur in 1999. He went on to work for Google, helped to create both blogging and podcasting, and then co-invented Twitter.


Before he was a tech star, Biz wrote books and articles about the social aspects of technology in the nascent days of the web. He regularly addresses large audiences as a visiting scholar at colleges or keynote speaker for companies and conferences

Most recently, Biz is founder and CEO of his newest venture, Jelly.

He lives near San Francisco, California with his wife and son.

More About the Author

Biz Stone was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1974. For the past decade, Stone has been developing large scale projects that facilitate the open exchange of information. He is the Co-founder of Twitter, Inc and advisor to several technology startups. Recruited by Google in the early 2000's, Stone met and collaborated with Evan Williams--the pair would later exit the search company to work on their own startup. Twitter was founded in 2007. Stone has been recognized by Time Magazine as one of the most influential persons in the world. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Livia.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
Easy read with great insights.
T. Gautam
Who knows, and does it really matter...all I know is after reading this book it truly inspired me to try taking just one of my creative ideas one step further.
Leigh Pyron
Biz's writing is funny, charming, informative, altruistic and always positive.
Steve Snider, NYC

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ryan J. Dejonghe on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
THINGS A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME by Biz Stone has done two things for me: left me inspired, and convinced me that Mr. Stone is a nice, cool, and interesting guy. In fact, reading this book reminded me of Chris Hadfield’s AN ASTRONAUT'S GUIDE TO LIFE ON EARTH. Through determination, mental projection, and a bit of luck, amazing things can happen. Or, so we are lead to believe.

This book goes through the life of Biz Stone from the time he was living in his mom’s basement with his girlfriend, tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and on to the time where Twitter is valued at fifteen billion dollars. Much of what Stone writes is vastly quotable as he relates his optimistic vision of himself and those around him. For instance, Stone says that “failures become our assets” and relates to how Twitter’s down time and the display of the “Fail Whale” actually helped Twitter grow stronger.

Stone endeavors to show how he is relatable to the Everyday Joe. He describes how his family lives modestly; how he programmed the company of Twitter to have a moral compass; and, how he can relate almost any life occurrence to an episode of Star Trek. From what we read here, he is inspiring and funny.

This book is filled with interesting stories, such as: the joke offer to sell Twitter to Mark Zuckerberg for five-hundred million dollars; the major event SXSW 2007 turned out to be; the Moldova unrest; and the plane landing in the Hudson River. Of particular interest is how Twitter got involved in the Presidential Elections with Obama and how Stone was steadfast in his resolve to remain unbiased, especially when NSA’s PRISM was seeking user data.

Some of Stone’s advice may seem excessively daring or foolhardy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Booksnob on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Great read. Clever, immensely enjoyable and inspiring. Finally, a business leader with his head squarely on his shoulders and his priorities in the right order.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gabriella West on April 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover
(I received a digital review copy from NetGalley in return for an honest review.)

"Things a Little Bird Told Me" is not your average business book. I see it more as a creative memoir of Biz's life and times. He was one of the four original co-founders of Twitter (Evan, Jack, and Noah were the others). Biz starts by taking us through his somewhat surreal initial hiring at Google (helped by Evan, who became a close friend), then his jumping ship to Evan's new startup Odeo, and then the birth of Twitter, which began as a two-week hackathon project by Jack and Biz, believe it or not!

There are so many great stories in the book. Biz seems like an unusual character, a self-deprecating "chancer" who bounces quickly from failure to success and is not ashamed to open up about his missteps. He comes off as sunny and warm and willing to look like a fool at times. The story of Ev and Biz driving down to Palo Alto to see Mark Zuckerberg is an awkward classic. (What must Zuckerberg have heard about these guys to have treated them like such morons? One wonders.)

Biz, to me, seems like he has ADHD. He proudly tells the tale of his "No Homework Policy" in high school, for example, where he simply gave up doing it because it took him too long. (The mind boggles. Who could get away with that? Well, someone who doesn't play by the rules and doesn't see the point of structure.) Biz's openness is very nice, but there is a shadow behind this book and that shadow is Nick Bilton's very much darker account of the founding of Twitter, with its quasi-Shakesperean theme of friendships betrayed.

I will admit that I haven't read Bilton's book yet, but I really want to after reading Biz's side of the story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steve Snider, NYC on April 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Biz Stone is a modern day Horatio Alger hero, the kid who rises from modest beginnings to great affluence. But his story is so much more because along the way from rags to riches he changed the world. Through fascinating and entertaining personal stories Biz shows you how the lessons he learned contributed to his success and how you can apply them to reaching your own goals. Biz's writing is funny, charming, informative, altruistic and always positive. This is an extraordinary book from a unique, creative personality that will make you feel good and inspire you not only to make your own life better but perhaps make a difference in the world for everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom Wright on April 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I'm not ever a huge Twitterer. But there was so much inspiration and education in Biz Stone's book. It was full of honesty, modesty, -- and a little false-modesty -- and so much great insight into the behind the scenes of a company that is now 100% intertwined with the entire planet. I flew through this thing. There was a moment where I found myself Tweeting about this book, while eating a Beyond Meat vegan chicken salad sandwich, with a Square reader in my briefcase. That's how I knew these are my people. And it was great to share the ride through the eyes of its founded. I only hope there is a sequel for the next revolutionary and socially responsible thing Biz does.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Morris Hicks on April 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been "following" Biz Stone for about six months now and have come to greatly respect him from the many articles I've read and the many videos I've watched. This book is the icing on the cake. In a nutshell, I see Biz as an exceptional human being with a great deal of creativity, integrity, compassion and a genuine desire to make the world a better place. While reading this book on Kindle after it arrived from Amazon yesterday, I have been copying/pasting a few key quotes from the book that resonated with me. Here's one of the first, "If you take an idea and just hold it in your head, you unconsciously start to do things that advance you toward that goal. It kinda works. It did for me."

This book does an excellent job of documenting the incredible birth and global spread of Twitter AND has introduced Biz's newest venture: Jelly. I've got a feeling that we're going to be hearing a lot more about this creative start-up aimed at connecting the world even further, all built around the altruistic concept of empathy and "doing good."

I am writing this review from Amtrak #141 riding between Stamford, CT and Washington DC (just passed through NYC), where I am attending a book-signing lecture that Biz is giving at the synagogue at 6th and I. After the event, I plan to give Biz several small items that will hopefully interest him in lending his superior talents and resources to help unite humanity in the most important process in the history of the world---preserving Mother Nature's ability to sustain our civilization and ultimately our future as a species. What could be more important than that?
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