Twitter co-founder Biz Stone is returning to the company to do whatever Biz Stone does, he said today. “My top focus will be to guide the company culture, that energy, that feeling,” he wrote, in the sentence that came closest to describing what might be expected of him in the new role. “I’m not replacing anyone at Twitter. Somebody mentioned I’m just filling the “Biz shaped hole” I left. You might even say the job description includes being Biz Stone.”
Stone left Twitter in 2011 to build Jelly, a truly terrible search engine, which sold for scrap to Pinterest in March. At the time, Stone promised to work out of Pinterest’s offices part time, and to serve as a special adviser to Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp. So there is now a “Biz shaped hole” at Pinterest, and the job description of being Biz Stone will have to go to someone else.
Biz shaped hole
In Hatching Twitter, Nick Bilton’s 2013 account of the company’s origins, Stone is presented as the peacemaker of Twitter’s four founders. “He’s the moral voice of the company, the one who stresses the importance of its political neutrality and commitment to free speech,” Wired noted in its review. “But it’s also kind of unclear what, you know, Biz actually does other than provide moral support.”
What Biz actually does remained a question at Jelly, where he and co-founder Ben Finkel attempted to build a crowdsourced search engine to answer questions that Google couldn’t. But it never got off the ground, even after a pivot to meme-making app Super and a now infamous “un-pivot” back to Jelly.
Now Stone is back to Twitter alongside fellow co-founder Jack Dorsey as the company tries to build a new business around live streaming video. If you hoped to work for Twitter in the role of Biz Stone, please withdraw your application. The Biz hole is filled.