I first came to know Howard Lindzon when Howard launched stock market vlog ‘Wall Strip’ in 2006. I was editor of Seeking Alpha and placed a not so flattering headline on a Frank Barnako post about Wall Strip. Howard got pissed, called us ‘Seeking Alfalfa’ in response and I knew I’d made a friend.
Since then, Howard has built out the extremely impressive real-time market ideas network StockTwits – first on top of Twitter, then as an independent service that uses Twitter for distribution – and he and I now exchange felafel recipes.
Howard has the very rare combination of talents necessary to create a truly innovative product in our sector: deep understanding of how new media works, passion and knowledge of what drives stocks and investors, and the charisma to assemble a talented team and successfully launch a product.
In the context of our recent Next Invest conference, I had a chance to chat with Howard via altogether imperfect webcam on the origins of social finance, his ‘aha’ moment with Twitter, where StockTwits goes from here and sundry other topics. (There are some Skype-related blips between the 2 minute and 2:30 mark, but it’s smooth sailing after that.) Enjoy.. I did:
1:00 ‘Social’ vs. sharing/collaboration/discovery
2:30 Late ’90s and ‘instaviduals’
3:15 Twitter and stocks, Yahoo Finance message boards
4:20 Fred Wilson and Howard’s ‘aha moment’ with Twitter for stocks
6:45 Financial portals, Yahoo Finance and the ideal headline feed
10:00 Twitter is crack – you have to be able to tune in/tune out
12:00 Can anyone beat the market if you use social media right?
15:00 The $100 million question: Reaching the average investor
20:00 Trading off of Twitter sentiment
23:30 Howard’s highest conviction holdings now
26:15 Where StockTwits is going: API, distribution, IR, revenue
29:00 The core assets of StockTwits; disrupting GLG
32:00 TheStreet.com, paywalls and Howard Stern