An early Google employee, Stone worked on the Blogger team after the acquisition before co-founding Twitter in 2006.
He stayed with Twitter for several years as the company grew and was embraced by millions of users around the world. In 2011, when Twitter reached 100 million active users, the entrepreneur along with Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and former Twitter executive Jason Goldman explored new ventures with Obvious Corporation, a startup incubator and investment vehicle. Notably, the company has incubated the Medium blogging platform. However, in 2013, Stone and the others shifted their focus to individual startups. For Stone, this led to the development of Jelly, a Q&A app and search engine that was later sold to Pinterest.
In 2017, Stone publicly announced that he would return to Twitter to lead the strategic vision, brand and culture, where he will remain until 2021.
Over the years, Stone has also endorsed numerous companies, including Square, Pinterest, Slack, Nest, Intercom, and Beyond Meat, where he now chairs the Nominating and Governance Committee.
Stone said he was initially attracted to the CEO and founder of Swedish audiovisual company Chroma, Andreas Pihlström, whom he met through an introduction by Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp. Pihlström previously worked as creative director, design consultant, designer and prototyper at Pinterest, Beats Music and VSCO.
The two hit it off and they began calling monthly after Stone’s investment.
“It’s about finding people you enjoy working with, spending time with and sharing ideas with,” Stone said.
The Chroma team had a plethora of ideas, but ultimately settled on AV technologies and their intersection with music and sound.
As Stone explains, the idea was to change the nature of music and sound and make it a more interactive and immersive experience. In practice, this means dynamic, tactile images that create a sound-driven digital space that users can explore and use for a variety of purposes.
The debut product proving this concept came out last year through a collaboration with music artist Arca to create an iOS app called Lux Aeterna. The app offers an audiovisual experience to explore the Venezuelan producer, DJ, singer and composer’s music in a “meditative digital space,” according to the company. Users fly through a virtual world and interact with the music and sounds as part of the journey.
However, that doesn’t show the full potential of the technology, which could have a variety of use cases, some of which are being explored by Chroma to demonstrate other ways users can interact with audio and sound, whether for gaming, meditation, relaxation, music. composition and much more. While the company plans to release a product for mobile devices first, Stone believes the technology could become even more interesting when Apple releases its own VR/AR headset.
“I think it lends itself really well to the Metaverse team as it becomes more ubiquitous. But I can also watch it on my Apple TV. I’d like it there. There’s great sound and great visuals everywhere,” he added. “Mobile phone, mobile phone [first] It’s just because that’s what everyone has.
Founded in 2021, Stockholm-based Chroma raised $5.4 million in seed funding last year from venture capital firms Singular and Adjacent, Berlin-based angel syndicate SpotiAngels and other investors including Stone and Pinterest co-founders Evan Sharp and Ben Silbermann. . Chroma previously raised €1.6 million in pre-seed financing.
As a board member, Stone expects to meet with the startup several times a month in addition to board meetings. He says he typically considers himself an advisor when it comes to his angel investments, meaning he’s open to calls from founders, but won’t call the company if they don’t want to. Chroma did.
“These guys are full of different ideas [at Chroma]. So the challenge was narrowing it down because it’s a small team and doing something that they don’t have to do a lot of things,” Stone said. Right now, the focus is on adding a sensory experience to sound.
“The whole picture is like this ‘sound game’ idea. . . It’s interactive, it changes nature’s music to be richer in 3D, but it’s also visual, e.g. . You can do things with it,’ Stone suggested.
The board seat isn’t the only thing Stone has in the works, as the entrepreneur says he’s “considered” something else for himself with a small group of people. So far, the project is self-funded and hasn’t officially launched yet, so it’s keeping details under wraps. However, Stone says she is particularly interested in the growing AI space, and in particular in using AI as a tool.
He says he wasn’t particularly interested in some of the other recent technology trends, such as Web3 or some aspects of the metaverse.
“It [web3] Culture doesn’t appeal to me. There’s something weird about that to me,” Stone explains. On the Metaverse, “I don’t want a dystopian future where kids sit in the living room all day wearing scuba masks. I don’t want that to happen. I don’t think that’s right.” he adds.
“Biz brings a wealth of experience in technology and design to our table. Together we will pave the way for the future of sound: combining excellence in the digital space with forward thinking to change the paradigm of music,” Pihlström said in a statement.