Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has not been sitting idle since leaving the company in 2011. With a small team of developers, he has since created question-and-answer app Jelly and his latest project: Super. Super is a mobile app that’s a bit like Instagram or Snapchat in that it lets users share Day-Glo bright images with an overlay of text commentary including “The best,” “I’m thinking,” or “I'm all." The goal is to "show the world how you really feel." Stone says the app, released earlier this year, aims to help create what he calls a “sickeningly hallucinogenic, optimistic future.”
On calls for Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to resign: You are talking about people who think quarterly and if [results are] a percent off that quarter, it's like: "Fire the CEO," and that's crazy.
How Costolo handles the pressure: He weathers it well. Dick's got a thick skin and he used to be an improv comedian so it's like water off a duck's back with him. He's very funny about it. He jokes about it, it doesn't seem to bother him.
What Twitter should do in the future: In some future version [I could see it] help people who want to donate, a call to action. I wanted to do that with Twitter in the early days, I wanted to have a "Give" button and just have it be that you could only give $1 or $5 there was no choice. And then the text-to-give campaign came out and I thought that was brilliant. My thinking was that if we have that then we start to collect credit card numbers and then five years from now we have commerce.
Why Super? The tack we are taking is to create something fun. If it is fun more people are likely to use it. If a lot of people use it, it has the potential to become important. Don't try and build something noble first. If you want to build a platform capable of toppling despotic regimes, it also has to support fart jokes.
About Super's colorful design: I said let's make this thing crazy because I am sick of all this Swiss minimalism. Everything has got to be so precious. I said let's break all the rules. Everything these days has got to be so beautifully designed, and in my experience it doesn't really matter if it is ugly and janky as long as people like it. You can make it pretty later.
What Super brings to communication: The beginning of that is empathy for another person. The ability to walk in another person's shoes half way around the world to understand their point of view, understand why they are angry, what makes them tick. Empathy softens the earth for collaboration. If you can empathise with someone, you are less likely to want to kill them and more likely to want to collaborate with them.