Biz Stone Shares Insight and Lessons Learned from Co-founding Twitter

Biz Stone shared colorful insight and lessons learned from the creation of the $7 billion social networking site during an interesting keynote presentation at the 2011 TMA Annual Convention this morning.

Stone, who prior to co-founding Twitter worked on the very platform that this blog is hosted on (Blogger) at Google, provided an interesting glimpse into how Twitter went from being a means for sharing text messages to playing a central role in organizing political uprisings.

He also shared several stories and lessons learned that inspired and motivated him to co-founding Twitter. For instance, looking for an opportunity to meet new friends and fit in during high school, Biz started a lacrosse team and not only did he enhance his social standing, he went on to excel in the sport. The lesson learned – you can manufacture your own opportunities.

He went on to share additional personal stories and encouraged the turnaround and corporate restructuring professionals in the packed audience to use creativity in their work and to have the willingness to fail spectacularly in order to succeed spectacularly.

Stone ended his presentation by sharing his seven assumptions for business:
  1. We can change the world, build a business and have fun.
  2. We don’t always know what’s going to happen.
  3. There is a creative answer to every problem.
  4. There are more smart people outside our company.
  5. We will win if we always do the right thing for our users/customers.
  6. The only deal worth doing is a win-win deal.
  7. Your co-workers are smart and have good intentions.
Following his presentation, Biz participated in a question and answer session and discussed Twitter’s business model and ways attendees can use the social networking site to enhance the marketing of their firms or clients.

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TMA Sets Sail for San Diego

I have arrived in beautiful San Diego to join more than 600 turnaround management, corporate restructuring and distressed investing professionals for this week's 2011 TMA Annual Convention.

I look forward to TMA’s annual event every year, but this year I am particularly excited. Not only because of the great Southern California destination, but because this year’s event promises to be a memorable one due to a number of unique events and new features – including a TMA smartphone app – that have been added to enhance the education and networking offered at the meeting.

Led by co-chairs David McReynolds and Omar Mirza, the 2011 TMA Annual Convention Planning Committee has put together an excellent program.

It all starts on Tuesday afternoon, with a special advanced education session panel on ethics, led by moderator Jack Butler. That evening, the networking gets underway with several receptions leading up to the California Wine Walk in the Exhibit Hall – a unique take on the traditional exhibitor reception.

The Tuesday night receptions conclude with an event I think everyone is eagerly anticipating – the Opening Reception Aboard the USS Midway. A truly unique venue, attendees will not only be able to enjoy a great evening of networking and developing business relationships, they will also have the opportunity to check out an aircraft carrier that was once the largest ship in the world.

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone gets the educational component of the Annual Convention underway with the keynote presentation on Wednesday morning. Biz will share business insight developed through his experience with the $7 billion social networking site and while he was working at Google and as a strategic advisor for several companies and organizations.

Wednesday morning also is the debut of a new education session format. Designed to provide more interaction and idea sharing, five workshops have been added to the schedule and will cover technology turnarounds, forensic accounting and more.

Also included in the agenda for the first time is a session created specifically for young professionals – Rainmaking: Business Development for the Next Generation. An experienced panel will share their knowledge on what it takes to excel in the turnaround management and corporate restructuring profession.

On Wednesday afternoon, Lynn M. LoPucki will instruct attendees on how to use the UCLA-LoPucki Bankruptcy Research Database (BRD) during the Keynote Luncheon. (Thanks to the support of the TMA Cornerstone Board-designated Endowment, TMA members now have access to the BRD free of charge).

These are just some of the many highlights. The convention also features an exhibit hall, a full education schedule and numerous networking opportunities during the meeting and in the evening.

There’s a lot to look forward to this week. I hope to see you in San Diego and if you haven’t registered already, you can still register onsite or online. And if you can’t make it to this year’s TMA Annual Convention, I encourage you to mark your calendars and plan to attend the 2012 convention in Boston, November 1-3.