Sunday, 7 January 2018

Book Review - Things a Little Bird Told Me

Things a Little Bird Told Me by Biz Stone

Core Idea Discussed : Living one's values and mission in the startup world and in life 

A lovely book by Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter. The most striking thing about the book is the honesty and sincerity of the author in penning down things as they happened, presenting them with all the facts. While reading, it didn't appear that the book is written by a techie from Silicon Valley. The book is an interesting mix of insights, ideas and sharing and goes much beyond than just telling us how the little bird (Twitter as we know it !) came about. The revelations about the struggle and tribulations involved with a startup makes for some real interesting reading. The valuable lessons shared makes the book quite inspirational. Of particular interest was how the idea of starting cropped up, how twitter grew organically, how it metamorphed into a collaborative platform impacting humanity at a deeper level.

The wisdom and knowledge shared in the book turns it into a treatise for multiple topics/ subjects, some of which could be entrepreneurship, start up world, people over technology and how to create a value-driven business/ organisation. The real personal stories and incidents shared in the book provides the much needed inspiration to the budding entrepreneurs. Anyone reading the book could also get a slight peek into how the silicon valley operates (don't expect too much of it !) 

Though the last 20% of the book deals with the author's life after leaving Twitter but still it has so much to offer to the reader in terms of lessons in meaningful living. Reading about how Twitter turned around a "startup co-founder" into an altruistic being is pretty impressive.

It also has great lessons for startup geniuses who are smitten with greatness. It also provides some real common sense principles which every employee working in a startup need to be aware of to help them contribute their best.   

Key Learnings/ Interesting Bits from the Book

  • Purpose, Passion and Patience hold the key to success in life and business
  • Lesson about how inspite of so many obstacles, optimism and value driven approach could help us lead the way
  • How the "bird" logo came about 
  • How to convert a user into a "co-owner" and help the product evolve
  • How technology could build a global bridge of human collaboration with the simple principle of putting people before technology
  • Being effective and impactful while still being neutral in approach and intent
  • How a simple tool could create changemakers
  • Altruism and Empathy is the way forward for any technology driven business to reach out and make a real impact on human lives

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