Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind

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Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter, discusses the power of creativity and how to harness it, through stories from his remarkable life and career.

Things a Little Bird Told Me

From GQ's "Nerd of the Year" to one of Time's most influential people in the world, Biz Stone represents different things to different people. But he is known to all as the creative, effervescent, funny, charmingly positive and remarkably savvy co-founder of Twitter-the social media platform that singlehandedly changed the way the world works. Now, Biz tells fascinating, pivotal, and personal stories from his early life and his careers at Google and Twitter, sharing his knowledge about the nature and importance of ingenuity today. In Biz's world:

Opportunity can be manufactured
Great work comes from abandoning a linear way of thinking
Creativity never runs out
Asking questions is free
Empathy is core to personal and global success

In this book, Biz also addresses failure, the value of vulnerability, ambition, and corporate culture. Whether seeking behind-the-scenes stories, advice, or wisdom and principles from one of the most successful businessmen of the new century, Things a Little Bird Told Me will satisfy every reader.
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About the author

Biz Stone became an Internet entrepreneur in 1999. He went on to work for Google, helped to create both blogging and podcasting, and then co-invented Twitter.

Most recently, Biz is founder and CEO of his newest venture, Jelly. He lives near San Francisco, California with his wife and son.
twitter.com/@Biz
facebook.com/BizStone
ThingsaLittleBirdToldMe.com
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Additional Information

Publisher
Grand Central Publishing
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Published on
Apr 1, 2014
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781455528738
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Business
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship
Computers / Web / Social Media
Self-Help / Creativity
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Content protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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New York Times Bestseller

Iconoclastic entrepreneur and New York legend Ken Langone tells the compelling story of how a poor boy from Long Island became one of America's most successful businessmen.

Ken Langone has seen it all on his way to a net worth beyond his wildest dreams. A pillar of corporate America for decades, he's a co-founder of Home Depot, a former director of the New York Stock Exchange, and a world-class philanthropist (including $200 million for NYU's Langone Health). In this memoir he finally tells the story of his unlikely rise and controversial career. It's also a passionate defense of the American Dream -- of preserving a country in which any hungry kid can reach the maximum potential of his or her talents and work ethic.

In a series of fascinating stories, Langone shows how he struggled to get an education, break into Wall Street, and scramble for an MBA at night while competing with privileged competitors by day. He shares how he learned how to evaluate what a business is worth and apply his street smarts to 8-figure and 9-figure deals . And he's not shy about discussing, for the first time, his epic legal and PR battle with former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer.

His ultimate theme is that free enterprise is the key to giving everyone a leg up. As he writes:

This book is my love song to capitalism. Capitalism works! And I'm living proof -- it works for everybody. Absolutely anybody is entitled to dream big, and absolutely everybody should dream big. I did. Show me where the silver spoon was in my mouth. I've got to argue profoundly and passionately: I'm the American Dream.
The seventy stories in Mississippi Entrepreneurscollectively draw attention to the tenacious and courageous journeys of Mississippi men and women who risk fortune and futures to create successful enterprises. Most tell "how they did it" uniquely and in their own words, bringing to life their entrepreneurial spirits. Family members and former colleagues pick up the storyline for legendary entrepreneurs who have passed on, recalling vividly the characteristics that set them apart from the competition.

Usually a passion for creation inspired these go-getters--whether casting red-hot liquid steel into industrial products (Fred Wile, Meridian); constructing buildings (Roy Anderson III, Gulfport; Bill Yates Jr., Philadelphia; and William Yates III, Biloxi); making agricultural products grow ( Janice and Allen Eubanks, Lucedale; and Mike Sanders, Cleveland); delivering and installing furniture ( Johnnie Terry, Jackson); using technology to improve systems ( John Palmer and Joel Bomgar, and Toni and Bill Cooley, Jackson; and Billy and Linda Howard, Laurel); expanding food operations (Dr. S. L. Sethi, Jackson; and Don Newcomb, Oxford); or sharing the sheer love of music (Hartley Peavey, Meridian), food (Robert St. John, Hattiesburg), art (Erin Hayne and Nuno Gonçalves Ferreira, Jackson), or books (John Evans, Jackson; and Richard Howorth, Oxford). Social and cultural entrepreneurs made their marks as well, including those focused on social justice (Martha Bergmark, Jackson); access to health care (Aaron Shirley, Jackson); and public education ( Jack Reed, Tupelo). Few if any books have focused exclusively on this aspect of the state's history.

Altogether the stories, accompanied by seventy black and white photographs, illustrate common traits, including plentiful vision, fierce drive, willingness to take risks and change for a better way, the ability to innovate, solve problems, and turn luck (both good and bad) to advantage. Most of these entrepreneurs generously share the rewards of their hard work and ingenuity with their communities.

"In the grand tradition of Ben Mezrich's The Accidental Billionaires (2009)... an engaging look into a fascinating subculture of millions." —Booklist

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The improbable and exhilarating story of the rise of Snapchat from a frat boy fantasy to a multi-billion dollar internet unicorn that has dramatically changed the way we communicate.

In 2013 Evan Spiegel, the brash CEO of the social network Snapchat, and his co-founder Bobby Murphy stunned the press when they walked away from a three-billion-dollar offer from Facebook: how could an app teenagers use to text dirty photos dream of a higher valuation? Was this hubris, or genius?

In How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars, tech journalist Billy Gallagher takes us inside the rise of one of Silicon Valley's hottest start-ups. Snapchat developed from a simple wish for disappearing pictures as Stanford junior Reggie Brown nursed regrets about photos he had sent. After an epic feud between best friends, Brown lost his stake in the company, while Spiegel has gone on to make a name for himself as a visionary—if ruthless—CEO worth billions, linked to celebrities like Taylor Swift and his wife, Miranda Kerr.

A fellow Stanford undergrad and fraternity brother of the company’s founding trio, Gallagher has covered Snapchat from the start. He brings unique access to a company Bloomberg Business called “a cipher in the Silicon Valley technology community.” Gallagher offers insight into challenges Snapchat faces as it transitions from a playful app to one of the tech industry’s preeminent public companies. In the tradition of great business narratives, How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars offers the definitive account of a company whose goal is no less than to remake the future of entertainment.

From a co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios—the Academy Award–winning studio behind Coco, Inside Out, and Toy Story—comes an incisive book about creativity in business and leadership for readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Huffington Post • Financial Times • Success • Inc. • Library Journal

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For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, WALL-E, and Inside Out, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired—and so profitable.

As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged a partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his co-founding Pixar in 1986. Nine years later, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on leadership and management philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, such as:

• Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.
• If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead.
• It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them.
• The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.
• A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.
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