Biz Stone: Twitter's Lessons Help Spread Jelly App

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Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Biz Stone, CEO and co-founder at Jelly Industries and co-founder at Twitter, discusses how lessons learned at Twitter helped him in the creation of Jelly and offers his thoughts on the evolution of Twitter on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.”

But live from pier three in san francisco, welcome to the early edition of "bloomberg west." i'm emily chang.

Our focus is on innovation, technology, and the future of business.

We have an excuse is interview you do not want to miss.

Microsoft chairman bill gates sitting down with mike bloomberg, former mayor of new york.

They cover a wide range of subjects from how they are using their wealth to change the world to the better, to what future won't bill gates may play in microsoft.

You don't want to miss it, coming up later this hour here on "bloomberg west." but first, how much room is therefore a social search startup.

Jelly, a mobile search engine answers your questions with the help of pictures.

It has been available for about two weeks now.

Thank you so much for joining us.

You could have done anything.

Why this?

First, i did it by accident.

I did not mean to do this.

My friend and i were going on a walk and we accidentally asked ourselves the question, what would be billed if we had to build something that can answer any question -- what would we build if we had to build something that could answer any question?

And suddenly we had this idea that we had to do.

And the other part of the answer is that once i realized what it was, i realized that jelly was a product of my own personality.

I really enjoy helping people.

It was something i could not get out of my head.

Did you mean to start a company?

Not really.

We were going to put it out there and see if people liked it, but as we started talking more and more about it, we thought, this could be a really good all-around business.

It has been out there for two weeks now.

What kinds of questions are people asking?

How is it going?

It is still early, so they will be -- it is different than what they will be asking over the long haul.

But the three types of questions we are seeing right now are, one, should i buy this?

Should i choose this one?

Whatever the pictures are.

Number two, how do i fix this or set this up?

I am confused.

And number three, what is this?

What am i looking at?

And that is where the picture comes in, because you have to post a photo to ask a question.

Why is that?

Some questions need photos and some do not necessarily.

Is is a mobile only application right now.

It is very native to the mobile world.

One of the things that makes mobile what it is our photos.

Without the photographs, a mobile phone is really just a little computer, something that tells you where you are out in the world.

In my experience, most questions can be dramatically contextualized better with a photo.

Sure, you can argue that some do not need them, but since most of them, i think, can be enhanced with a photo, i decided to make it mandatory, so you would not have to have that extra decision.

You have to use a photo, not decide whether or not you need one.

Let's talk about what else is out there.

Obviously, google.

What is missing from google?

Why are you trying to take them on?

I'm not necessarily trying to take them on.

I'm just trying to offer an alternative.

There are some inquiries that are better answered by a human mind than retrieving and document that has already been published.

The key thing is -- albert einstein said famously that information is not knowledge.

Information is just an ingredient.

It is one of many things that gets transmuted in the human mind into actual applicable experience.

When you ask a person a question, you just get so much more nuance and so much more knowledge.

I have been doing it a bit here and there.

I traveled last week.

I broke my carry-on luggage and i asked, well, what should i buy?

And right away, i got 15 different answers and they were all super helpful.

It worked out really well for me.

Oh, good.

One of the things that surprised me when i asked my question, my husband said, are you shopping?

Because he got a question -- a notification that i wear asking this question.

How many people got a notification about me asking a question?

Not everybody.

Some have been joking that this is single rank.

We are taking all of your social networks, right now, just twitter and facebook, and blending them together into one network and sending your query out to a percentage of those people.

Not everybody, but some of the people you know got that question.

What about, though, the questions that you do not want people to know you are asking?

That is what makes google so great, that you can just be anonymous and ask these things that you do not want anyone else to know.

Right, that was a decision we made early on.

We seldom was better if you were not anonymous.

In looking at other anonymous services, there were too many mean things that are possible.

When you attach your name to something, then you behave a little from a. -- a little differently.

Interesting, but does not inhibit the potential gross?

It might.

But if you are not comfortable asking the questions, then it is probably not the right service.

Another thing i noticed, you can say thanks.

But i actually wanted to ask these people more questions.

Do you like that bag e tell me more.

How long have you used it?

Is there a reason you do not want this to be a messaging platform?

Yes, we have intentionally broken a lot of accepted norms right now.

We had an early prototype that was very discussion based, a lot of comments and back and forth.

We found that people were not in their questions answered quickly enough or in a valuable enough way.

We switched to this model where we said, here's the question and you can either answer it or dismiss it or forward it to someone who might know.

We are actively discouraging conversation, because we feel like there are plenty of other places to have that conversation.

That might change in the future, but right now, that is the way we are doing it.

And you make the point of saying it is not a social network.



We do not think that people need another social network.

The simplicity of jelly is that it takes advantage of what we have been building for the past seven to 10 years.

People have been collecting followers, collecting friends, collecting contacts.

It is kind of like, to what end?

Jelly is a response to that.

Maybe the answer to why we have been doing that is so that we can all start helping each other.

Why can't you search other people's questions?

I could have gone out there and said, i wonder what other people have said about the luggage.

Like an information retrieval across jelly's information.


That may come later, but right now it is so early we do not have that much information to look through.

Down the line, we will probably build up a huge corpus of questions and answers and we may want to start searching across that, but it is early days.

Your clo is a former vp at twitter and is focused on partnerships.

I.e. thinking about potential partnerships down the line?

How do you turn this into -- are you thinking about potential partnerships down the line?

Had you turn this into a research business?

There's a lot of opportunity.

It has been proven that is a good business to be in.

We do not want to get -- it sounds strange to anyone in the this world, but it is kind of cart before the horse when you are dealing with this business.

You need to build up the base and prove that there is value before you can really begin to think about how you want to offer more value in the form of revenue generating product.

We are holding off.

We think there's a lot of opportunity in the search space, mainly because there is intent.

When someone comes to jelly, they want something.

And there is usually someone else who wants to get their attention.

We will have more after this quick break right here on "bloomberg west." also, the conversation with microsoft chairman bill gates and bloomberg lp founder mike bloomberg.

? welcome back.

I'm emily chang.

Making waves in the search business with the new mobile app , jelly.

But it is not his first app.

He helped to launch twitter in 2006 and since then, twitter has raised more than $1 billion in an ipo how did the cofounder shape twitter's success?

I want to talk more about jelly for a second.

When i downloaded it, it was like 30 -- 35 on the list.

When it comes to growth, how are you going to use some of the things that you learned at twitter to help jelly grow?

It is funny to say this in that it is only a few years later, but we are living in such a different world now.

In three days, jelly had more accounts -- twice the accounts that it took me a year to get at twitter.

It is because of things like facebook that spread the word so quickly.

How do you keep the growth like this?

Well, you don't. when we launched and we got featured in the apple app store, it was crazy.

I reminded everyone on the team it will go like this.

Be prepared for that.

Don't think it is failure.

The way you have to do it is you have to build a system that has growth mechanisms in it and you have to trust that those will work.

You don't want anything artificial.

Anything you will not do with jelly that you did at twitter?

Any mistakes that you learned from?

Well, we are not going to go down all the time.

Although, it would be an appropriate image.

But again, it is a different world.

We are able to use amazon services to host everything.

We can spin up a new server in seconds.

Back in the early days of twitter it was a lot of work.

Put your is now a public company.

How is life different for you -- twitter is now a public company.

How is life different for you?

Is it at all different?

Not really.

I would say i have some notoriety.

I have the ability to get my phone calls answered or to make a big deal when i launch in you have, and that certainly helps.


Twitter going public dredged up a lot of stories about the founding, a lot of drama.

Nicholson wrote a book about it.

And -- nick holt wrote a book about it.

You were sort of like twitter's moral compass, the glue that kept twitter together.

How fair was his portrayal?

He did, i think it was hundreds of hours of interviews.

I think he was fairly thorough in his interviews.

You know, fair -- he had to make someone a bad guy and he had to make someone the fall guy and he had to make some of the good guy, right?

Because it is more exciting that way.

In that capacity, i think there was a little too much sharpness.

Otherwise, there was stuff i learned that i did not know.

Like what?

I didn't read the whole thing.

You haven't read the whole thing yet?

I am too scatterbrained to read it from cover to cover.

I just looked at my section and a couple of other things.

There were meetings that were taking -- that were taken that i didn't know and was in part of, etc.

Looking at twitter today, there is a history of a revolving door.

How confident are you of the people leaving twitter now?

I'm very confident in them.

We picked them.

What i have always said, and i think this is true, is that twitter needed to it needed at the time that it needed them.

And as it evolved, people switched roles.

No matter how dramatic it was, people switched roles and they were in the right role.

I mean, look at where the company has come today.

I think that is a testament to that.

Michael sippy as head of products just left.

It set off some alarm bells because of twitters past.

Some people are saying that maybe they are going shy about launching new products and it's difficult to get product out the door.

How do you see twitters ability to in -- to innovate in the future?

There are some things that are different.

This is something every company faces once they go public.

Ok, we have to make dramatic, innovative moves on the product side, but we have to be careful because now we have shareholders.

And i think the shareholders and everyone understands what twitter is as a company in that ecosystem, in that they have to make old product maneuvers and changes.

And i think they will.

Speaking of shareholders, a lot of questions about when twitter will turn a profit.

Do those things concern you?

No, i don't have to be concerned about those things.

It is one of the reasons why we put date in a position, so he could worry about those things.

It is his job.

But now, this is your first time as ceo, right?


How is that?

It is great.

I love it.

The fact that kevin had my back, that made all the difference.

As is the former vice president on twitter, who i mentioned.


You talked before about how he did not intend to make this a company.

I was telling heaven, one of my trusted advisors, about the idea.

And he just said, i'm in.

I was just telling him about the idea.

And he was saying, what is jelly?

I'm in.

What is your ceo style?

Is there someone you look up to our admire?

It sounds cheesy to say this, but i look up to evan and jack and.

-- and dick.

My main thing as a leader is to be as communicative as possible.

I think 50% or 75% -- i think that is 50% or 75% of the job of ceo, to make sure you know everything you need to know.

Are you going to jelly the jelly accor we have to earn the verb status.

Thank you for joining us today on bloomberg west.

Coming up, that conversation with bloomberg lp founder mike bloomberg and microsoft founder bill gates.

We asked whether he would go back to microsoft and what his future plans really are.

? this is the early edition of "bloomberg west" and i'm emily chang.

Intel is giving him his plan -- giving up on its plan to revolutionize the way we watch tv.

But verizon is taking over intel's startup.

What is verizon seeing that intel is not?

Jon erlichman joins us.

There is a huge opportunity for verizon.

If you look across the country, verizon could potentially rollout tv service.

Some people are familiar with its files offering.

It can beat with -- it competes with comcast and charter and satellite.

There is plenty of usa for verizon files to be available in.

What they have acquired through intel is a simpler technology to roll out.

If you are talking about paid television through the internet as opposed to a big dig, the infrastructure costs that you generally see with rolling out into the new markets, the regulatory hurdles, all of that stuff to a certain extent goes away by buying something like this.

And then you can talk about the cool technology behind this at a time when we are wondering if apple tv will come out with its own service.

That is what verizon sees, but why did intel give up on this?

It was a pretty big investment to start and then they said, you know, nevermind.

It is a great case study.

We have seen a willingness over intel's history a willingness to start interesting projects to tell the story of intel and what it can power.

But you have a new leader, someone who was not there from the beginning of this project, who looked at the bill required to roll the service out and said, hold on, is this our core competency?

Is this what we should be focusing on?

Or should we focus on getting our chips into the places and devices in the areas where people are using them in a big way?

Jon erlichman, thank you.

We will see what verizon does with it.

It is time for on the markets.

Alix steel in new york, i miss you already.

Come back.

We are seeing a pretty mixed day.

The s&p is pretty much flat.

Mark newton over at grey wolf is looking for a closing of 1842 on the s&p to confirm any rally that we have been seeing.

One mover, though, delta airlines.

Shares are at an all-time high.

Increased holiday travel and higher fares helped its fourth- quarter profits.

We are on the markets again in 30 minutes.

More "bloomberg west" is next.


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