Biz Stone on Read/Write Talk

Biz Stone talks about Twitter on Read/Write Talk. Although there’s a podcast you can listen to, there’s also a full transcription. I love it when podcasters do that.

My favorite part is about the API:

Biz Stone: Yeah. The API has been arguably the most
important, or maybe even inarguably, the most important thing we’ve
done with Twitter. It has allowed us, first of all, to keep the service
very simple and create a simple API so that developers can build on top
of our infrastructure and come up with ideas that are way better than
our ideas, and build things like Twitterrific, which is just a
beautiful elegant way to use Twitter that we wouldn’t have been able to
get to, being a very small team.So, the API which has easily 10 times
more traffic than the website, has been really very important to us.
We’ve seen some amazing work built on top of it from tiny little mobile
applications like an SMS timer that just allows you to set a reminder
over SMS to call your mom or something like that, to more elaborate
visual recreations of Twitter like which shows an
animated map of the world and what everyone’s doing around the world
with Twitter. Twitter is popping up from Spain and Japan and United
States.And that’s very, sort of like, “Look at that!” It’s like staring
at a fish bowl or something – an aquarium. You just find yourself
getting lost in it. The API has really been a big success for us, and
it’s something that we want to continue to focus our efforts on,
looking forward.

I also like this advice to entrepreneurs:

Something we learned when we were working with Odeo was that we weren’t
as inspired as we should have been when we worked at Odeo. We weren’t
really super into podcasting. I think that was a problem because at the
event that we were working on something…where our passion is 100%. I
think that ends up showing up in everything that you end up doing.So
with Twitter, it was something that we created from scratch and we were
super enthusiastic about it. We were using it. Like I said, we were
literally giggling when we first started working. We just really
enjoyed it and loved it. From that point, it translates to everything
you do. It translates with management and it translates to coding.It
translates to just sending out…I send out an email every couple of
weeks or I try to, to the folks who have signed up on Twitter. And I
love sending out email. I love sending “Here’s what we’ve been working
on and here’s what’s new and stuff.”

The API has >10x the traffic of That’s a great stat and I’d like to find other companies that have that metric working for them.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Ethan Bauley

    Man, I can’t imagine working on an entrepreneurial project that isn’t ridiculously fun to think about and work on. That makes no sense at all!

  2. Don Jones

    Y’know, there’s something interesting about Twitter – I think it’s the immediacy of it. But there is just so much information overhead these days, I wonder if it will really stay around, since it requires yet more effort to do.

  3. Sean Ammirati

    Hi Fred,Thank you for the link to my interview. I’d love to interview you at some point. Let me know if you’d be interested.Thanks,Sean

  4. loupaglia

    yep, you hear it time and time again, it is all about ‘passion’. that is what the vc’s look for: passion about the idea and the long-term potential of the idea. think it applies to anything you do, even if you aren’t working for a start-up. but with the amount of time, effort, sweat-equity you need to put into a start-up idea, passion is critical. clearly Biz and team are passionate about their concept and the traction and hype they get just fuels it further…

  5. Michael Bailey

    I think that Twitter is a great service, and I use it daily.MyChingo, which is an online audio comment system, pushes out over 2 GB /month as nothing more than a widget. It doesn’t help with Alexa rankings or anything, but it does serve the niche well, which is really why I created the service in the first place.The service launched in April, 2006 and I currently have more than 4GB of MP3 files from processing around 2,000 audio comments per month. Back in February, when Odeo published their traffic stats, I was curious as to what mine were – I was suprised a bit to find out that I actually had more traffic than they did. My archived blog post about it is here…Creating a widget is a fun experience, but monetizing a widget is a tough thing to do – imagine that your widget/service is the dial tone found on all the phones – sure people use it and expect for it to be there, but how does one go about capitalizing on it?Well, my background is one of making things which work well and fulfill a need – not one of marketing. So, when asked the monetization question, my initial reaction/answer is to simply say “Do I actually have to monetize this?”