Why StockTwits and Stocktoberfest are Important
“Stocktoberfest was like nothing I’ve attended before, and I hope to work with you to build a strategy [for Stocktoberfest 2017].”
We got a lot of good feedback from last week’s Stocktoberfest, the annual StockTwits event we host in Coronado, California, but the above quote was one of my favorites. In one sentence, this sponsor/attendee captured the most oft-expressed reaction of first-timers.
This was my fourth year at Stocktoberfest, and after my first my reaction was almost identical. It was like nothing I’d attended before, due to the unique and productive chemistry of a cross-financial-services slice of smart, irreverent, creative, influential go-getters who call each others’ bullshit and rarely engage in it themselves, hanging out until all hours at a boozy beach party.
Another, from a longtime attendee:
“Life is in color here. Wall St lives in black and white. … It’s what other conferences pretend to be.”
Howard created this, and it’s got quite a life of its own at this point. This year, he told the crowd in his first presentation that this would be the last Stocktoberfest. It won’t be. And he knew it, and so did everyone else in the room. Because this particular club knows that the event and community just rolls on, like a highly intelligent action-biased traveling social finance (animal-free) circus that moves companies, markets, and ideas forward.
I like to think that I embody, more than most, the cross-section of ideas that are collectively pushing the financial services ball forward. In my four Stocktoberfests I’ve attended as “Old media,” “New media,” “Fintech entrepreneur,” and finally representing the Social Finance community itself as CEO of StockTwits, the company I’d long admired and for which I hold high aspirations.
This is important — because I believe this cross-sectional idea sharing is StockTwits’ greatest asset — a diverse community that is organically growing in both size and engagement, both on the web, and on the beach.
StockTwits.com does 20m unique monthly visits in our product, which makes us one of the largest financial media brands in the world and hosts 150+ in-person events each year around the country — only the largest of which being Stocktoberfest. Next year we will be adding another large event and 3 more almost-as-large to bring the magic of Stocktoberfest to more cities at more times throughout the year. We’re also adding a content brand to curate our streams and make them more accessible to wider audiences, and giving better tools to our most die-hard users.
We’ll be building, buying, and partnering to allow our community foundation to seamlessly connect people, to ideas, to action in ways never before realized.
In so many ways I think Stocktoberfest better embodies the StockTwits spirit, community, and value at its best than does the product alone. I think that in today’s distributed financial ecosystem, where tools, technologies and priorities change daily, there is a need for a way for the investor, trader, startup, and media communities to share ideas and execute on them — both in product and in person. And there needs to be a better curator, steward, and ringmaster/emcee for it.
This is what StockTwits can and will be.
CEO, StockTwits Inc.