Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has revealed what went on when he and fellow co-founder Evan Williams met Mark Zuckerberg. The trio met at the Facebook offices when Mark Zuckerberg was toying with making an offer to buy Twitter but the talks were hampered by a lack of chemistry.
Interviewed by NPR, Stone agreed with host Peter Sagal when he compared the Facebook CEO to a Vulcan and declared that during the meeting “every joke I said landed like a dead fish on the ground”. Read on for the full story and to decide whether Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t have a sense of humour or Biz Stone just isn’t that funny…
Explaining that Williams had plucked a $500m asking price for Twitter out of thin air in the car ride over to Facebook HQ, Stone described entering the discussion with Zuckerberg:
“Evan and I walked into the room. (Zuckerberg) walked in first, sat in a chair. There was a loveseat left. It was a small room. I walked in next, sat on one side of the loveseat. Ev walked in third and Ev said: ‘Oh, do you want me to close the door or leave it open?’ And Zuckerberg said: ‘Yes’. So Ev said: ‘Oh, well I guess I’ll just close it this much.’“
After some an awkward discussion where Zuckerberg admitted that he doesn’t like talking numbers and was shocked by the pair’s inflated $500m request, the trio went to the Facebook cafeteria for lunch. Stone recalled that the Twitter co-founders were shocked when the Facebook boss waited patiently at the back of a long queue:
“*We had to wait on this huge line for lunch. Evan was like ‘Aren’t you the boss? Can’t you, like, kind of cut the line a little bit here?’ And he’s like: “That’s not how we do things here’.”
Stone and Williams then made their excuses and left leaving all prospect of a Twitter Facebook deal dead.
Hearing Stone recount the tale it’s hard to decide whose side to be on. While the description of Mark Zuckerberg recalls the awkwardness we saw so memorably fictionalised in The Social Network, it’s quite impressive that he’s polite enough to still wait in the lunch line like everybody else. What do you think? You can listen to the interview at the link below.