One-on-one with Twitter's StoneJuly 24, 2009: 3:44 AM ET
Biz Stone says site soon will launch "Twitter 101" for corporations
In an interview that was alternately irreverent and earnest, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone on Thursday said he expects the company this year will reveal its plans making money. He also noted that Twitter still does not have a head of sales.
Stone said the public's infatuation on Twitter making money was like a "nice loving mom who wants make sure you're eating." But Twitter, which he said will always be free, also wants to make a profit while still being a force for good. He doesn't think the two goals are mutually exclusive.
"We want to have a real positive impact on the world," he said at Fortune's Brainstorm TECH conference. "The only way we can do that is to make tons and tons of money."
Stone noted that one of the major things that put Twitter on the map this year was newsworthy events, such as the election, the protests in Iran, and the Mumbai terrorist attacks. But the high level of awareness from the public about Twitter doesn't necessarily mean engagement with the product, and he said the company would be addressing that over the coming weeks and months.
Stone also responded to questions about a recent security breach when hacked internal financial documents appeared on the Internet.
"The documents were thought exercises more than anything else," he said. "The takeaway is that we're thinking long term and thinking big."
He declined to comment on whether Twitter would sue or if the FBI is involved.
Stone also noted that Twitter will be launching an educational sub-site for companies, "Twitter 101," either today or Friday.
The company has grown to 55 employees, but Stone said that it still has a lot of growing to do.
"We're a two-year-old company," he said, adding that they don't want to be like that childhood actor "who grew up all freaky. We want to be like Ron Howard."