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Twitter co-founder: We're fine

Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, sort of answers questions about the company's future and business model.

Updated: One question and answer added to the end.

I took the announcement of the CEO job swap at Twitter as a reminder that I need to bug the company about its future and its business model. As I wrote in 11 troubled Web companies, I love Twitter and want it to succeed. But I'm not sure it's on the right track to do so.

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone answered questions from me over e-mail. But I'm still not sure where the revenue will come from.

Q: Do you envision Twitter as something that everyone will eventually use, or just news and blog junkies?
Stone: Twitter is a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices. It continues to grow popular around the world and become the pulse of what is happening with the people, organizations, and events you care about--delivered immediately, wherever you are. We envision Twitter is something everyone may use eventually.

Biz Stone's Twitter tag.

Do you believe Twitter will be a standalone business in five years, a feature of another company, a standard feature on several sites, a backend service, or what?
Stone: Twitter will be a sustainable business that folks around the world can depend on for reliable communication. Our API will certainly grow as well so that speaks to Twitter finding its way into other sites and the idea of a backend service.

How has the credit crunch affected your business? Are you cutting costs?
Stone: Twitter prepared for the current economic climate when we raised our last round of financing. We're fortunate that we can stay on the course we have laid out for the company. That being said, we will certainly be sensitive and cautious where appropriate.

Are you hiring? Will you have layoffs?
Stone: We are currently hiring and staying the course with regard to our budget and plans for growth.

How much cash/runway does Twitter have?
Stone: We don't disclose numbers like this except to again say we planned ahead and we have the runway we need to execute our plans.

When are you going to turn on a business model, and what is it?
Stone: We've watched with interest as commercial usage of Twitter has taken off and really started growing. We think there are some very interesting opportunities so we're modeling some scenarios there as well as other opportunities.

By the way, what's with your name? Short for something?
Stone: It's a name from when I was a little kid. I couldn't say "Chris-to-pher" properly. I said "Biz-ah-bah." My parents thought it was funny and took to calling me that. Then kids at school found out and I've pretty much been Biz ever since.