In the arena of tech, failure is unavoidable and sometimes even celebrated, yet Christopher Isaac "Biz" Stone​ has strung together a slew of hits, placing him in a small group of elites with repeat successes in the industry.

And when we say success, we don’t mean he has a big Vine following—dude co-founded Twitter back in 2006. He was also involved in the creation of Medium and Blogger, two popular blogging platforms that also altered the way people express themselves online. (If you were an angsty teen in the early naughts, you likely remember another of Stone’s successes: blogging site Xanga.)

Now, Biz is taking on a whole new challenge. In a Google-dominated world, he’s creating a new search engine called Jelly. Instead of organizing digital documents based on a query, Jelly will connect users with people who have experiences and insight into what they’re looking for.

We sat down with Biz to talk about celebs, Twitter activism, and how exactly he plans to keep on winning.

COMPLEX: You co-founded Twitter, obviously a huge phenomenon. What have you done since then, and what are you up to now?
Biz: I actually used to work at Google back in the day, but I thought, "Hey Ben, what if we developed a search engine now?" It's not 1998, it's 2016. Everyone's smartphone is practically an appendage. Also, they re-calculated the six degrees of separation, and now because of social and mobile it’s actually 3.8 degrees of separation.

With that in mind, I wondered if instead of just indexing relevant documents—which is what a search engine does—we found a person in the world who knows the answer to your question? Because I guarantee you, for anything someone's wondering, there may be a document for it. But there's also, I guarantee you, someone who's already lived through your question. They had the experience, they have an opinion, if we could match the two people up that would be fantastic!

This could be a new kind of search engine where instead of getting a bunch of results to documents that might help, you get an immediate answer delivered from an actual person that says, "I've had that same operation done, here's how it goes down, don't worry about it," or whatever it is. I just couldn't get that idea out of my head. is really hopefully just about millions of people helping each other, you know? It's like an extension of my own personal favorite thing to do. So all my smart friends were like, “You gotta do it, you just gotta do it.” And that's when I started to feel nauseous knowing that I had to take a shot at this with no guaranteed success.

I don't know if this little game is gonna work just because I know you're not a very celeb-focused person, but if I name some names, can you like describe their Twitter activity, or say whether you follow them...
Oh boy. This is gonna be a miserable failure but go ahead.

Kanye West.
I didn't even know who Kanye West was until recently.

Kanye West's Twitter rants are the stuff of legend.
I think I knew that. I know that he goes on, what do they call them actually? They call them "Tweet Storms." Twitter is great for people like politicians and celebrities who want to reach directly to their fans without having to go through any kind of middle man; that’s really fantastic. Some people are really great at it. And some people might wanna, maybe just double check before hitting send...

My rule is, say something out loud and hear yourself say it before Tweeting.

We used to have this joke about something called the Biz Stone Hotline, where I would answer questions on what someone should Tweet. For example, Anthony Weiner would call and say, "Hey Biz, I'm running for public office and I'm thinking I'm gonna take some pictures of my crotch and post them on Twitter. What do you think?” And I would say, “Maybe like a puppy and a cat would be better." "Aw thanks, cause I was definitely gonna go with the crotch but're right. A puppy and a cat that's a good idea." "Alright, thanks for calling, I'm glad you called the Biz Stone Hotline." But I actually don't follow Kanye West on Twitter so I don't see these stuffs of legend.

Do you follow Kim Kardashian?

Do you follow Donald Trump?
No, but you certainly can't help but follow some of these people because their Tweets are just shown on TV and read on the radio. Even BBC News reads Tweets, you know what I mean? So you can't totally avoid them.

I think I do follow Obama because back in 2008 when he joined Twitter, it was a big deal for us. Then, all these politicians and journalists joined and we were so surprised. Then came the celebrities, which was the biggest shock because we never thought celebs would join. Isn’t the whole point of celebrities that you have limited access to them?

They all came on and started tweeting their everyday stuff and I was, like, shocked. I was thinking, what are they doing? We realized later it was a really great way to reach directly to their fans.

Are you familiar with Black Twitter?
No, what is that?

It's kinda like ephemeral but actual phenomenon where it's mostly black voices surrounding the issues that matter to them, and is both serious and not serious depending on the issue.
Did this sort of stem out of Black Lives Matter?

No, this has been around for longer than Black Lives Matter. It's usually more comedic and everyday but does address serious things too.
How do they organize that? How is that organized?

It's just this natural system on Twitter. Are you aware of Weird Twitter?
I didn’t know about these splinter cells or sub-communities. I’ve been building these large-scale systems now for 16 years, and one of the beautiful things about keeping them simple is, not only does a voice go to the voiceless, or to let good ideas spread quicker, but it’s also to let people self-organize.

Twitter is a shining example of self-organization and the ability for many individuals to come together and be one super-organism for a moment and then go back to being many individuals again. So while I might not know about all these different groups, I'm not surprised that they're forming and I'm actually really excited and glad that they're forming.

So directly leading out of that, I want to ask you about activism and Twitter. Did you ever imagine that Twitter would become a space and an arena for the discussion and the consideration of civil rights in America?
Well not completely, but having worked at Blogger while I was at Google, we did notice that in some cases, a free blog was the only way for some people in some countries to get the word out about terrible things that were happening. It was a much slower system, but it was freedom of speech, and anyone could see it and anyone could champion it.

So there was a hunch in building these things as systems that important things can happen in them, but we certainly didn't sort of set out with any noble cause to facilitate the advancement of civil rights in America; it was one of those happy accidents that’s fantastic.

And what would you say to people who criticize social media activism as inconsequential or empty?
It's not though, because the virtual can cross over into the actual. Usually, a lot of people maybe think the same thing but it’s hard to be the first one to say it. On Twitter, and I’m talking specifically in terms of civil disobedience, you see other people thinking the same thing and you realize, “If I stand up, a lot of people will stand up with me.” It takes a very brave person to take a stance without knowing whether people will have their back, and Twitter gives you the knowledge that you’re not alone. Twitter has helped to amplify that person's voice, and all of a sudden there's thousands of people who are with you and you started a movement. So it's not inconsequential at all.

How do you foresee Twitter’s role in the 2016 election?
I mean, all these politicians are campaigning on Twitter. It's s a channel to get the word out instantly about whatever they're talking about, ideally their policies. Twitter changed a lot of things, including politics. You have constituents and you have leaders and they can just talk right to each other, no middle man, no communications team, just instant connection, for better or for worse.

I imagine that when these politicians first started just signing up and tweeting from their Blackberries, their comms guys must’ve been ripping their hair out. But Twitter is now basically a necessity for campaigning.

Another serious topic that’s in the spotlight after so many years in the dark is the online abuse and harassment that women face constantly. How does Twitter take action against abusers and how is Twitter making the platform safer for women?
Twitter is actually kind of a leader in this space. The trust and safety team is the biggest team at Twitter, and they have to walk a fine line. I believe free speech is a basic human right, but it's important to define what is free speech, what is hate speech, and what’s protected speech. I think the key here is to take this into your own hands and to err on the side of more for more freedom but to define free speech with a constitution, of sorts.

Ultimately, you try your best to make a difference there and to try to set an example, without losing sight that this is a real world issue. I mean, my experience in walking to my car in dark parking lot at night is completely different from a woman's experience doing the same thing.

The best thing you can do is just write these clear policies and stick by them and have a trusted safety team that stays vigilant, and I think Twitter has done a really good job in sort of leading the way there. Online abuse still happens of course but it is a fact of a large scale system and a reflection of society.

Do you watch Silicon Valley?
Oh yeah, That show is so on point. It's embarrassing—like, I don't think I’ve said some of the things you hear on the show, but they sound so familiar and I start blushing when I watch. I swear they've eavesdropped on meetings I've been in because for everyone on that show, I know a guy that matches that character perfectly. It’s just amazing.

Who's the T.J. Miller character?
[Laughs.] I'm not gonna say anything.

What's so funny is that to most viewers every character seems like such bizarre aliens, but you’re saying it’s so accurate.
Silicon Valley is a bizarre place. It is Bizarro World. I have a son and I need to make sure that he knows this is not the real world at all. We're gonna go to India and we're gonna see what most of the world is like. This is a weird place where someone will give you 10 million dollars, you can waste it all and say sorry and not have to pay it back. That doesn't happen anywhere else. I try to explain to buddies of mine from Boston how it works: You say your company is worth this much money, and then it's worth that much money, even though it's all made up.

As long as you say it with confidence.
If I give you a million bucks for 10 percent of your company, now you're worth 10 million dollars. Congratulations, you're a millionaire on paper and my friends outside of Silicon Valley say, "I don't get that, how can you just do that?" and I’m like, "You just do it. Just say it and it happens.”