Things a Little Bird Told Me by Biz Stone
Are you wondering about this book? Questions like “What is this about?” “What kind of a name is Biz Stone?”
Or are you “in the know?”
Biz Stone is one of the founders of Twitter. I had no idea who he was until I saw the description of the book. I must admit that I am not a big follower of the tech guys. I would have told you before I read the book that they seem to be fairly young and they seem to move from company to company a lot. I am not completely changing my opinion on that. It must be part of their wiring (gosh, a pun) that they don’t seem to last a long time after they start something. It is probably more visible in the tech world because it all changes so fast. Also, it could be that they have a restless spirit that keeps them learning and changing all the time. Another element that may play a big part is that the people who start a company and get it running and then it becomes a HUGE corporation might not be exactly the same people who should run a huge corporation.
I started Biz Stone’s book and was motivated by his energy and enthusiasm. He seems to be a people person type of guy. He states his belief that opportunity can be manufactured and then gives examples. My favorite example is from when he was in high school. He wanted to play sports in high school but he had never played a sport before. Nope, he didn’t even know what the marks on the football field meant. Needless to say, he did not make the football, basketball, or baseball teams. Then he thought about it and went to the Principal and asked if he could put a lacrosse team together. No one knew how to play lacrosse so he could make the team and not be at a disadvantage. He found a coach and other team members and started the lacrosse team at his school.
I think that story is a great example of looking at a problem and finding a different way to solve it. That is what Biz Stone does. He looks at things differently. But he thinks that we can all do that if we try. He has a great positive attitude and seems to really like people. The review of his book on Amazon sums it up well.
In Biz’s world
- Opportunity can be manufactured
- 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.
The book had me really inspired to make some changes.
Somewhere in the last third of the book, I lost some of the inspiration and moved into a bit of cynicism. There is no doubt that I can be cynical. I think when he starts talking about charity and his philosophy on charity that I lost some interest. What he is saying is good. Maybe it felt a little preachy. Maybe I was just having a hard day. Anyway, I thought that the last third of the book dragged a bit.
Overall, I liked the book and still feel a bit charged up for having read it. What more can you ask?
In the book, he talked about a charity that I really like and had just discovered. It is called Donors Choose (www.donorschoose.org). When you go to the web site, teachers from all over the country have put up projects that they need funds for and you can contribute funds for their classroom. In the book, Biz finds out about the charity and looks and finds that a classroom near him needed funds to purchase copies of the book Charlotte’s Web. After you contribute to Donors Choose, you get a thank you note from the teacher for your contribution. I like this idea because it can be so local and direct.
So, if those concepts interest you and you would like to read about Biz Stone, I urge you to read the book. I found it very worthwhile, interesting, and motivational.
Thanks for reading!