Twitter’s Biz Stone: “Humor Is A Powerful Mechanism For Delivering Truth”

TREVOSE, PA – January 12, 2012 – Twitter co-founder Biz Stone in an interview Tuesday suggested cultivating a fun work culture while keeping a healthy sense of humor – even as you work at changing the world.

“Humor is such a powerful mechanism for delivering truth,” said Stone during an interview with ASI Radio. “It’s a great leadership tool, a great way to break the ice, a great way to get people to tell you what they’re thinking about without it being scary or formal. Invariably, something true comes out of that.”

Stone, named one of the Most Influential People in The World by TIME magazine and Nerd of the Year by GQ magazine, shared business tips and dished on a visit from a Russian president and who would play him in a Twitter movie during a wide-ranging interview on ASI Radio, the on-air voice of the promotional products industry.

Stone, co-founder of micro-blogging site Twitter, did the interview in advance of a keynote he’s giving February 3 at an ASI trade show in Dallas titled “A New Landscape for Communicating and Doing Business.”

To listen to the entire radio interview, click here.

Stone said he worked for years before Twitter on the idea of an open exchange of information having a positive impact. “I saw a rudimentary tool and thought, ‘I could build something on this. Instead of one to one, one to many.’ And that was the beginning.”

His two biggest mistakes after co-founding Twitter with Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams were not being ready enough for success and failing to communicate enough. “If you want to have relationships outside, with investors or anyone, communicate like crazy,” he said on ASI Radio.

He got his first inkling of Twitter’s success at a 2006 South by Southwest festival when a guy at a crowded bar tweeted a new location – and by the time it took eight minutes to walk there, a line was out the door. “He’d done something that had never been done – organized people on the fly to move to a specific location. Suddenly, we had the flocking ability of birds moving in flight. I couldn’t think of any technology that allowed humans to do that. This was a party. What if it was a disaster?”

Stone predicts the blogosphere will get even bigger and more interesting in the next two years. “The blogosphere is changing fundamentally,” he said. “The idea of the blogosphere is now. I think you can expand the definition. Any page created on the Internet from Twitter to Instagram becomes part of the blogosphere.”

On corporate cultures, Stone likes it fun and team-oriented. “I like people to have autonomy. Be really creative. Be open to ideas. I don’t like people who say no right away. At Twitter we have a very fast-growing sales culture, but we’re also open to really new, crazy ideas. It’s an emergent phenomenon.”

Stone said he can’t imagine a “Twitter” movie and envisions the story of its founding instead as a “bad series on CW.” Rainn Wilson – the egomaniacal Dwight Schrute on “The Office” – once told Stone he could play him in a movie. Or, Stone said, “We could mix things up and make it Bill Cosby.”

About ASI

The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 27,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America.