Twitter, once chided for being the best medium for sharing about one’s lunch, has become one of the most ubiquitous, important platforms on the Internet. And its co-founder, Biz Stone, a two-time college dropout, crowned “Nerd of the Year” by GQ in ’09, is well worth getting to know. Here are 5 more things to know about @biz.
A co-founder of Twitter and Webby Awards judge, Biz Stone epitomizes thought leadership and tech entrepreneurialism.
ICYMI: Back in 2010, alongside Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and famed actress Julia Stiles, Biz was the star of a Stoli Vodka campaign.
“Would you have a drink with you?” as the video series was entitled, saw Biz chatting with, well, Biz. They joked about Twitter’s “meaningless babble” and how it’s changed the pace of business forever, all while downing 80-proof cocktails.
Twitter helped usher in the era of the “participatory Internet.” We may take it for granted now, what with the plethora of platforms and ubiquity of user-generated content. But sharing your voice online with the World Wide Web wasn’t always so simple.
Twitter helped democratize the Internet and popularize social media beyond previously insular channels and networks, opening the conversation up to the world.
In 2002, in a bit of a rut with his floundering startup, Biz embraced blogging. Inspired by the clever Looney Tunes character Wil E. Coyote, he renamed his blog: Biz Stone, Genius.
In due time, Google came knocking and purchased Genius Labs (as it was renamed). This gave Biz a sense of confidence that his ideas could make it big. In a personal essay about that time in his life, Biz recalls: “My first startup had failed. But my next startup was Twitter.”
His given name is Christopher Isaac Stone, after his father. So how did the guy we know as Biz get his nickname?
From his ’04 blog post: “I tried to phonetically emulate the name my father—an auto mechanic with a Boston accent—called me. To my not-quite-yet-formed ear technology, it sounded very much like ‘Biz-ah-bah.'”
With time, Biz stuck. It’s his nom de Internet, as it were, and it’s known across the Twitter-verse. Though Biz likes to joke that his mom tells people his name is short for “Elizabeth.”
In 2012, Biz and fellow Twitter co-founder Ev Williams announced that they would be investing in the brand Beyond Meat. The two vegans hoped to disrupt the meat industry by popularizing plant-based substitutes.
To help publicize the move and raise awareness about the benefits of vegan cooking, Biz appeared on Martha where they made seitan together.
This wasn’t the first time they shared a stage: At the 13th Annual Webby Awards, Martha introduced Biz, presenting him with the Breakout of the Year Award for Twitter (see below for the full video).
Keep up with Biz on Twitter & Medium (which he also founded). Be sure to read the rest of our Judges Spotlight features on members of our Executive Academy.
Making great social content and experiences? Don’t forget, our Extended Entry Deadline to enter the 21st Annual Webbys is January 27th, 2017. Enter today.
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