Biz Stone at Hult International Business School

Biz Stone

Co-founder of Twitter

Hult proudly hosted Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, a network that has changed the way people communicate around the world, as part of the Executive Speaker Series.

No topic was left uncovered – start-ups, high school lacrosse, Facebook, diaper changing – as Hult San Francisco’s Executive Speaker Series presented Twitter co-founder Biz Stone on October 16. Held at the beautiful Fairmont Hotel atop Nob Hill, the highly anticipated event brought together a group of 600 Hult students, alumni, staff, and faculty, and Bay Area corporate guests for an evening of insight and inspiration with Stone, who shared his stories of Twitter and beyond and answered audience questions.

Stone, who opened his speech by admitting he had managed to pull a muscle while changing his son’s diaper earlier in the day, talked about his colorful road from artist to entrepreneur, from his first brush with leadership on the high school lacrosse team that he assembled himself, to his current work with his newest collaboration, Obvious. He applauded the Hult vision, acknowledging the school’s “effort to put forward the idea that we’re citizens of the world,” and he noted his kinship with Hult, as it has a campus in his hometown of Boston.

To a room full mostly of ambitious young professionals, many of whom are aspiring to follow a path similar to his, Stone stressed the importance being brave and unafraid to fail when becoming involved with start-ups. Throughout the evening, he also brought on a lot of laughs, especially when mimicking Clint Eastwood at the RNC by chatting briefly with an onstage chair, and recounting a “bad” idea he had about starting a social network on campus while studying at Wellesley College. Guests asked questions via a live Twitter feed, which was projected at the front of the room during the event.

Following Stone’s talk, Dean Larry Louie hosted an interactive question-and-answer session, during which the crowd tweeted questions or asked them live. The students in attendance jumped at the chance to pick Stone’s brain about whether he considers Facebook a competitor of Twitter’s (no), if social media outlets are creating too much connectivity worldwide (we’re bound to eventually find the right amount), and what kind of candidates he looks for at Obvious (interesting, involved people with whom he would enjoy spending his workdays).

 

Biz Stone, Biography

Biz Stone is co-founder of Twitter, a real-time, one-to-many network that is changing the way people communicate around the world. Previously, Biz helped build other popular social media services Xanga, Blogger, and Odeo. After launching the journaling service Xanga in 2000, Biz went on to publish two books about the origins and social significance of blogging. In 2003, Google invited Biz to join a recently acquired Blogger.com team at its Silicon Valley headquarters in a full-time, senior role. Biz helped re-launch the service and grow Blogger significantly worldwide. He left Google in 2005 to rejoin the start-up world. Stone, 35, is a native of Boston, Massachusetts and teaches an annual master class at Oxford's Saïd Business School. In the fall of 2008, Stone debated and won at Oxford Union against the proposition, "The Problems of Tomorrow Are Bigger Than The Entrepreneurs of Today" along with his esteemed teammates including Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn. Serving as an advisor to startups such as answer community Fluther.com, travel service Trazzler.com which he co-founded, content encouragement service Plinky.com, and the non-profit organization Justgive.org, among others allows Biz to share much of what he has learned over the past decade.