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AP Interview: Catching up with Twitter’s Biz Stone
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - When Twitter turned five years old on March 21, co-founder Isaac “Biz” Stone was on the road celebrating with some of the popular short messaging service’s famous users. In the past two weeks, he has appeared on the shows of Conan O'Brien, Howard Stern and Martha Stewart among others. He also made a special stop in Chicago just to take out Twitter’s employees there for drinks _ a pastime he calls “beersonbiz.”
It’s a variation on Twitter’s weekly employee meetings at its San Francisco headquarters. Although those gatherings are called “Tea Time,” Stone told The Associated Press in a recent interview that everyone mostly consumes beer, salsa and chips. He also revealed another Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, had become a regular Tea Time attendee in recent months, even though he technically wasn’t working at the company. Dorsey’s job status changed Monday when Twitter announced he is coming back to work as the company’s executive chairman in charge of product development.
As Dorsey returned, Twitter’s third founder, Evan Williams, confirmed he was moving on to explore new business ideas. Williams had stepped down as CEO six months ago and turned the job over to Dick Costolo.
Through it all, Stone has remained a constant, serving as the main face and social conscious of Twitter.
Here are excerpts from the interview with Stone the morning after his night on the town in Chicago.
Q: So you obviously think you can learn a lot about people over a few beers?
I think it’s a really big deal to be able to meet people outside the context of something like a conference room or someplace where everything feels like it’s formal talk. (Last night) I found out there is a dog named Twitter in a shelter in Chicago that needs adoption so we are going to try to work on that.
Q: You are a big dog lover, right? Has that been a lifelong thing?
Both my wife and I have a lot of compassion for animals in general. We had two rescue dogs for the past five or six years. One of them, Pedro, recently passed but we still have Maggie. We are always trying to get people to adopt a pet rather than buy a pet from a store.
Q: Any other pets?
We have two cats, we have a rescue tortoise. At any given point in time, my wife has bats, owls, gophers, whatever because she is a wildlife rehabilitator.
Q: Does that make for some interesting times around the house?
Yeah, I remember one time I was concerned there was this kind of weird smell in the hallway. I didn’t want to complain to (my wife) Livvy because I knew she would just be like, “Clean it up.” When she came home from work, I told her, “I don’t want to complain. I just want to tell you there is a kind of weird smell downstairs.” And she says, “Oh, that’s probably the skunk in the guest room.”
Q: Are you a big gadget guy?
Not really. The two things I use the most are the MacBook Air and my iPhone. Those are my two most-used gadgets that are dented, scratched and smashed.
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