Biz Stone Discusses Twitter’s Rotating CEOs, Open Culture And How To Teach Innovation

The Wall Street Journal scored an interview with Biz Stone today, discussing his new role as an advisor to M.B.A students at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. But, as they often do, this interview with the recently departed Twitter co-founder also included picking Biz’s brains about how he would translate some of the lessons he learned at Twitter to help educate.

The interview did, of course, touch on his duties as advisor to the M.B.A. program. Stone will be advising both the students and professors on some aspects of the curriculum, offering his hands-on knowledge of the life of an entrepreneur to academia.

When asked if he’ll actually be able to “teach” innovation to the students, Stone answered that “You can show people how to unlock their creativity and their empathy. These are things that are present, but not everyone knows how to access them readily.”

Then things got down to Twitter.

Stone was, many would say, the face of Twitter. He did the talk show circuit, and did tons of interviews. But he concedes that:

Communication was the source of all of our problems in the beginning, and [later] it was one of the most important things to help us move forward. With eight or 12 people in the room, there was the wrong assumption that naturally we were communicating.

One of the most important things is to over-communicate.

He also tells the Wall Street Journal that Twitter’s open culture – in which employees were given access to sensitive information about the company in an effort to build trust – was instrumental in maintaining a strong team.

And he even addresses the often maligned “revolving” door of CEOs that Twitter experienced in its short history, chewing through 3 in several years. Stone explains that you’ve got to “take your ego out of the picture” in order to get to the answer of who is really the right person for the job.

“Whether you like it or not,” Stone said, “the answer is not always you.”

You can read the interview in full at the Wall Street Journal.