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Things A Little Bird Told Me
 
 

Things A Little Bird Told Me [Kindle Edition]

Biz Stone
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.99
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Product Description

Review

Things A Little Bird Told Me is a moving, funny and illuminating life story, and Biz pours himself into the telling, bringing a unique gift of perspective to anyone dreaming of taking risks, changing their lives and changing the world (Arianna Huffington)

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)

I'm thrilled that readers of Things A Little Bird Told Me can now draw inspiration from his value 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 start-up success revolve around a lone genius out-manoeuvring the competition. But the story Biz Stone tells us is a riveting -- and often hilarious -- break from that tradition: a story of collaboration, sharing, and the power of networks. (Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From)

Book Description

From Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter, comes THINGS A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME -- a book about the power of creativity and how to harness it, told through memoir-style stories from his incredible life and career.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 814 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (24 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J3SBHC0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,258 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insights into an early stage start up 20 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great insights into an early stage start up, Bix Stone has produced a really easy and valuable read. We used Things a Little Bird Told Me as the basis of our Twitter Case Study. Twitter emerging from a "brain storming" session with no real perception or direction at onset of what was to follow. The management clashes which did ensue should ensure the book is in the reading list of any engaged in business expansion and development. We cannot rate this book more highly, JKA
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok, nothing great 7 Sep 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So So
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 30 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent inspiring read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  70 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This disarming man... 3 April 2014
By Gabriella West - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
(I received a digital review copy from NetGalley in return for an honest review.)

"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. What bothered me most in Biz's account was how he gave Noah Glass short shrift. Noah actually came up with the name "Twitter," but Biz presents it as an almost random incident in the book. Biz's friendship with Jack Dorsey raises some questions as well. Biz spins everything positively but can't quite cover the ouster of Evan Williams as CEO by the Twitter board without giving away what a painful and disillusioning episode this was.

The book shone for me when Biz was talking about how he envisaged Twitter as a collaborative force for good and strove to keep Twitter neutral and nonpartisan, letting the users determine new features. I love using Twitter and, because it has brought so much to my own life, I appreciate where he's coming from. I only hope that Twitter can stay relatively noncommercial as the company continues under a new administration.

So, I give it four stars because I feel that the account of the dynamics between the founders was somewhat self-serving. On the other hand, I didn't have a dull moment reading it. It was an interesting look into the mind of a creative force who is a genius at creating opportunities for himself!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Autobiographic and self-serving account of Stone's career 28 April 2014
By John Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Things a Little Bird Told Me is an autobiographical account by Biz Stone of his life, focusing on his professional career. Stone is best known as one of the founders of Twitter. He indicates that he began his work career as a graphic artist after dropping out of college. He became acquainted with Evan Williams over the Internet and Williams, who was then working at Google, convinced him to work there as well. After a brief stint at Google he left with Williams when the latter buys Odeo which includes Twitter and the site grows exponentially. But he leaves after his friend Evan is fired as CEO and now has started a new company called “Jelly” which in a mobile app that allows people to ask questions and get answers from real people.

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.”

This book will be of interest to people who are interested in Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and technology. It is relatively short and can be easily read in a few hours. It is clearly not on the level of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. Readers may also want to read Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilto, which covers the creation of the company from another perspective.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, Insightful, and Well-Written 2 April 2014
By Ryan J. Dejonghe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
THINGS A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME by Biz Stone has done two things for me: left me inspired, and convinced me that Mr. Stone is a nice, cool, and interesting guy. In fact, reading this book reminded me of Chris Hadfield’s AN ASTRONAUT'S GUIDE TO LIFE ON EARTH. Through determination, mental projection, and a bit of luck, amazing things can happen. Or, so we are lead to believe.

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. He shows that high risk does have the potential of high reward, but the reader doesn’t get a glimpse into other peoples’ lives that weren’t so lucky. Malcom Gladwell relates this same type of hard-work and success in his book OUTLIERS with the examples of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Being at the right place at the right time has its benefits, too. (As an aside, Stone mentions Gladwell directly in this book as a point of contention.) Still, Stone gives some concession in his closing remarks, encouraging readers to perhaps alter their course versus jumping into the chasm blindly.

The bottom line: this is an exciting book. Stone is readable, quotable, and fun. He has his quirks, but that’s what gives this book its life.

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with an electronic copy of this book for review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A below average biography 8 Jun 2014
By Arshad Altaf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I got this book during a travel trip and I must say that it is not interesting at all. After having read biographies of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and a few other similar extra ordinary technology gurus this one does not come close one bit. Biz Stone was part of a core team that created a world wide phenomenon (even though I don't have a "Twitter" account) but his story is an uninteresting one which does not get anywhere. I don't understand how other reviewers have mentioned that there are multiple tips in there. The only that interested me was "ask questions" and that's about it. I would suggest to look for something else if you are really keen on reading a biography.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great how-to on starting a company 28 July 2014
By Dan Sherman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This exceptional book is a biography, but it's really the story of how to found a company. The key takeaways are: 1. Create your own opportunities. Don't wait for something to happen, make it happen! Mr. Stone's life is a testament to that, as he always created his own opportunities. 2. Take risks. Everyone needs to take risks to get ahead, and his life demonstrates that (he left a cushy job at Google!). and 3. Create win-wins. Stone talks about the fact that the more you create win-wins with your clients, employees, co-workers, the more successful you will be. He should know...he is very successful. I recommend this book highly to anyone who wants to succeed in business today, especially if they want to start their own enterprise. Dan Sherman, Author, Maximum Success with LinkedIn.
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