-Great work comes from abandoning a linear way of thinking
-Creativity never runs out
-Asking questions is free
-Empathy is core to personal and global success In this book, Biz also addresses failure, the value of vulnerability, ambition, and corporate culture. Whether seeking behind-the-scenes stories, advice, or wisdom and principles from one of the most successful businessmen of the new century, THINGS A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME will satisfy every reader.
- ISBN-13: 9781455528714
- ISBN-10: 1455528714
- Publisher: Grand Central Pub
- Publish Date: April 2014
- Page Count: 224
- Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.82 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-02-24
- Reviewer: Staff
The way to succeed in business is to gamble your future, follow your bliss, and save the world, according to this effusive but callow memoir-cum-motivational manifesto by the co-founder of Twitter. Stone narrates a classic Silicon Valley romance: shoe-string startup with a crazy yet banal idea; explosive network growth; avalanche of wealth that leaves its recipient modest, , and abrim with grandiose theories about “human flocking.” Unfortunately, his picture of Twitter—aka “a triumph of humanity”—is sketchy and idealized. We learn little about how the company makes money when it’s not undermining tyrannies and giving to charity, and Stone’s own role is vague: he brainstorms Twitter’s bird logo and troubleshoots with irate customers, but his main job description seems to be “embodying and communicating the spirit of the thing” and “buil a moral compass and a righteous soul into the company.” He distills his life experiences into self-help sermonettes that talk loudly but tread lightly. (“e willing to die to achieve your goals. Figuratively, of course.”) Stone often writes with considerable self-deprecating charm—his portrait of Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg as a humorless noodge is priceless—but when he dilates on his philosophy of thrill-seeking entrepreneurship, one longs for a 140-character limit. (Apr.)
Twitter co-founder shares his story
Biz Stone is cocky. Charming. A self-described genius. In Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind, he offers readers a glimpse of how he got that way. If his name doesn’t ring a bell, consider that the “little bird” he’s referencing is the Twitter logo—he’s the co-founder of the site, and the reason we now think in 140-character phrases.
The stories here are funny and insightful. In school, Biz couldn’t hold down a job and keep up with homework, so he established a “no homework” policy—and convinced his teachers to go along with it! When Twitter’s success earned him an appearance on “The Colbert Report,” a gift card in the show’s swag bag led to amazing things. Each of these yarns has a point for would-be entrepreneurs, encouraging creativity, collaboration and making your own opportunities rather than waiting for them to appear.
Stone is generous in his assessments of others and almost never snarky, so his story of meeting with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg stands out. Neither Stone nor Twitter co-founder Evan Williams wanted to be acquired by Facebook, so they tossed out an obscenely high value for their company, then bailed when they found themselves stranded in an unmoving cafeteria line. (They were later offered the amount they’d requested, but still turned it down.) Stone is social to his core, so Zuckerberg’s notoriously flat affect—he’s described here as pointing to some people and saying, “These are some people working”—was clearly not a love connection in the making.
If you have big ideas, or a sense that you could have big ideas if only (fill in the blank), Things a Little Bird Told Me can help you fill in that blank and bring your personal genius to the masses. It’s a wise and generous book, and also a lot of fun.
Heather Seggel reads too much and writes all about it in Northern California.