Since joining the StockTwits team in May, I have constantly felt the need to get back to blogging. My last blog post was written on May 10th under the FinTechIsrael.com blog, discussing Finance Narrowcasting and Reuters Insider. Since then, I've gotten married, taken an amazing honeymoon in August, moved to NYC from sunny Tel Aviv and taken over the StockTwits office in the Flatiron district, as the VP of Business Development. So here goes... Why StockTwits?
I first came across StockTwits back in 2009, and wrote a post on my thoughts at the time. I then had the pleasure to host Howard and Ellen in Tel Aviv in February 2010, and have Howard keynote one of our FinTechIsrael events (with Yoni Assia, of eToro). You can find video of that event here.
Over the next few months, I touched base with Howard on several occasions, as I started to consider my next move. While in New York for Passover in April, I met with several VC firms and a bunch of startup companies. Despite a few very tempting opportunities, the allure of working with Howard and his young and ambitious team, coupled with excellent investors, compelled me to push Howard to give me a position at the company. The rest, as they say is history...
StockTwits and Finance 2.0
Howard Lindzon, our fearless leader @ StockTwits ($STWIT), has had a vision for a new paradigm in finance, where the old barriers of entry into financial media are removed, and where good ideas, regardless of source, can be shared, discovered, and profited from. From Day 1, StockTwits has focused on keeping an orderly and meaningful conversation around Financial Securities on our site, while ensuring speed and reliability of message delivery. The result is a real-time, meaningful stream of ideas, discussions and debates, that users can customize, query and participate in.
Now, why is this important, and who actually cares? Good question (and yes, I get this a lot). In my view, StockTwits sits at the apex of three key macro trends going on at once, namely:
- The always-on (mobile), always connected (social), and always updated (real-time) world, in which $MSFT (of all companies), can suggest that we've gotten too extreme with our focus on real-time communications via the smartphone
- The shift away from Sell-Side Research, which has been going on ever since the Frank Quattrone CSFB scandals of the early 2000's (e.g. the chinese wall between investment banking and research); The best analysts are now striking out on their own, as its more lucrative to run an independent research house than work at a traditional firm (think Meredith Whitney)
- The advent of informal sharing tools, whether it be through platforms like Tumblr ($TMLR) or Posterous, character limitations on Twitter ($TWIT), expansion of the activity feed (think Zynga ($ZYNGA) game updates or Foursquare updates, or that pesky little 'Share on Facebook' ($FBOOK), or 'Share on LinkedIn' ($LKIN); People are sharing lots of information in a less eloquent and more direct manner than ever before
StockTwits allows for a truly real-time, social experience on nearly all platforms, in which analysts (both pro and amateur) can share their insights and build their notoriety, both through traditional means (long-form blog content) or the new forms (short-form messaging, chart pics, screencasts, and live video). Active traders can connect with contributors directly or just watch the magic unfold. It's a true win-win for everyone involved...
Needless to say, I'm excited about our prospects going forward, particularly this coming year...
I'm excited to be back on the blog scene, and hope to extend topics beyond just StockTwits in future posts. Feel free to leave comments/questions or just send me a note directly.