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Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind Hardcover – April 1, 2014
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"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
Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
Throughout the book Stone drops small gems of personal wisdom such as the idea that constraint inspires creativity (Twitter is limited to 140 words), be willing to take risks to succeed, be optimistic and trust your instincts, know what you want and believe in your ability to get it. Also he advises that you do not follow rules and conventions blindly as he clearly did not. Stone comes across as egotistical and self-serving, referring to himself as a “genius” and always coming off as the good guy who tries to make everyone happy. At the end he talks about how good people are and that he wants to help people. Twitter he says put people first and technology second, whereas Google does the reverse.
Some of his stories about himself are poignant such as how as a small boy he overcame his fear of the dark by intentionally going into a room with the lights off to see if any monsters would attack him. When none did he says he lost his fear of the dark. The message is “to seek knowledge even in the face of fear.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are a few great insights and plenty of fun stories about early stage companies getting started. You'll come away with a better understanding of Twitter's early activity. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Trevor
Really enjoyed this book. It was enlightening and funny. I gifted it to graduating High School seniors for enlightenment and encouragement.Published 8 months ago by Heather J. Gerson
About the coolest book on the intrigues, uncertainties & triumphs of being a creative entrepreneur. This should be an essential read for anyone with interest in the crossroads of... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Chris Ogunlowo
Very well-written book!
I like Biz's sincerity and straightforwardness. I highly recommend it for any aspiring entrepreneur!
Love it or hate it, social media is a large part of our daily digital communication, and it’s social media platforms such as Twitter that are often at the forefront of breaking... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Nerine Dorman
Enjoyed the learning, reflecting, and dreaming this book inspired. Recommend it to anyone who is passionate or skeptical about social networking.Published 15 months ago by Theresa Ann Coleman