Home > Notes > Howard Lindzon – StockTwits

Howard Lindzon – StockTwits

Howard Lindzon is the co-founder and CEO of StockTwits, the community-powered idea and information service for investments. He’s a hedge fund manager and partner in two other funds called Knight’s Bridge Capital Partners, as well as a partner in Social Leverage, whose mission is to invest in, syndicate, and help grow web businesses.

Here are the notes.


Early Entrepreneur

  • in the early 70’s, at 10 years old, Howard traveled with his family to New Mexico and was fascinated by turquoise jewelry
  • his dad would buy him about $300 worth at $10/piece
  • Howard then sold them for $14/piece to his friends’ moms

The Grip (1st Business/Investment)

  • The Grip is a balloon-wrapped ball full of bird seeds that users squeeze to relieve tension
  • Howard was using The Grip and loved it so much that he cold-called the founder right out of college and wrote him a check for $25,000 dollars to become his partner

Howard’s Value To The Grip

  • Howard visualized many markets for The Grip
  • they then marketed The Grip by allowing other companies to put their name on the ball
  • during it’s peak The Grip sold about 40 million units
  • Howard was making so much money that he started toying with investing in stocks

Lindzon Capital Partners (2nd Business)

  • Lindzon Capital Partners was a hedge fund Howard started in ’98
  • initially when he started investing, in the 90’s, investing in stocks was easy for everyone
  • by year 2000 through 2004 he was investing in order to survive
  • so he turned to investing in private companies

Way/How Howard Invests

  • in order to invest, Howard has to use the product, love the product; then meet the people, love the people, and be passionate about where there vision is
  • Howard wants to invest in companies with the knowing that they can build a global brand without great financial backing
  • he invests in finished products, websites must be clear, concise and easy to understand

Rent.com

  • Rent.com was Howard’s first real investment hit
  • Howard’s hedge fund was one of the initial investors in Rent.com
  • in 2005 it was sold to eBay for $450 million
  • he realized the business concept for Rent.com, matching customers with inventory on the web, was the best way to make money

GolfNow

  • GolfNow was Howard’s next hit
  • it’s an online site where golfers can go to purchase tee time
  • it was just recently sold to Comcast

WallStrip

  • WallStrip was a 3 minute financial show viewing companies in a positive light
  • Howard felt that financial shows hadn’t advanced with the times, so he wanted to create a financial show meets SNL
  • he felt that if they could connect the right crowd and execute properly that there would be many exiting options from the company

StockTwits

  • StockTwits is a community-powered idea and information service for investments and investors
  • instead of investing in Twitter he wanted a community like Twitter based around stocks
  • he blogged about his idea and one of his readers commented and offered to build it
  • Howard accepted and now they are 50-50 partners

Advice

  • Match-making businesses are the best; matching buyers and sellers and taking a fee for providing the exchange.”
  • Make your own luck. You have to at least be in the game for good things to happen.”
  • Smart entrepreneurs don’t make decisions based on greed, but because they want to win.”
  • Leverage is only a tool, not a complete strategy.”
  • If you choose to pick online fights, only fight with people who have more traffic, to get theirs.”

Side Notes

  • Howard was privileged and lucky as a kid; he didn’t have to work
  • his dad support his business ambitions as a child
  • The Grip is in the QVC Hall Of Fame
  • Howard created WallStrips to prove to the other advisors of GolfNow that incorporating social networking around your product could helps its growth
  • he doesn’t want to invent anything new or innovative, he just wants to invest in them early
  • Fred Wilson invited him to invest in Twitter when the valuation was only $20 million, but Howard turned it down
  • he chooses to take less equity for more speed
  • Howard is personally friends with Timothy Sykes but doesn’t allow him on StockTwits because he doesn’t approve of his online personality
  • he is an investor in bit.ly, LifeLock, and TweetDeck

Connect With Howard

StockTwits

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