Everyone associates Warren Buffet with finance and being worth a gazillion dollars (give or take a zillion).
I think of Buffet as the consummate storyteller.
He turns self-deprecation into an art form with passages like this from his 2010 shareholders letter:
And now a painful confession: Last year your chairman closed the book on a very expensive business fiasco entirely of his own making.
For many years I had struggled to think of side products that we could offer our millions of loyal GEICO customers. Unfortunately, I finally succeeded, coming up with a brilliant insight that we should market our own credit card. I reasoned that GEICO policyholders were likely to be good credit risks and, assuming we offered an attractive card, would likely favor us with their business. We got business all right – but of the wrong type.
Our pre-tax losses from credit-card operations came to about $6.3 million before I finally woke up. We then sold our $98 million portfolio of troubled receivables for 55¢ on the dollar, losing an additional $44 million.
GEICO’s managers, it should be emphasized, were never enthusiastic about my idea. They warned me that instead of getting the cream of GEICO’s customers we would get the – – – – – well, let’s call it the non-cream. I subtly indicated that I was older and wiser.
I was just older.
Now, Mr. Buffet has joined Twitter.
Only two tweets since he went live on May 2 (as this goes to “press” on May 6).
Shifting his communications acuity into Twitter bursts is tough. I suspect no one interrupts him with, “Warren, quit pontificating and get to the point in 140 characters or less.”
And Carol Loomis isn’t exactly the right resource for guidance.
I’m here to help.
Warren, the idea is to use this social platform to have some fun and engage with others. We want the world to know the man behind the money.
With this in mind, I’ve taken liberty of crafting 20 evergreen tweets for you to stockpile. Feel free to send them out at you see fit.
- I doubt if I can catch @Conan in followers, but @wolfblitzer seems like a realistic goal. #Numbers do excite me.
- Nothing like a shareholder meeting to tune one’s senses. Find inspiration from Duvall’s magnificent performance in Apocalypse Now. #leadership
- @DougKass is legit. Asked tough questions. Still, if this were a boxing match, believe I scored a TKO in the eighth round.
- “Oracle” sounds so much better than “muse.” Glad I didn’t set up shop in Minneapolis.
- Giving serious consideration to splurging on a Tesla. Elon assures me the battery does NOT come from BYD. #nolemons
- Ben Bernanke’s beard comes off as very distinguished. Let me know what you think of my simulated look. #facial
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- @Wolfblitzer is another person who wears a beard well.
- Absolutely annihilated @BillGates and his lovely wife @MelindaGates in bridge last night. #spades.
- Making small talk with @7eleven clerk. He thought Solomon Brothers was a brand of beef jerky.
- Delighted that @dickc himself sent me a 50 buck voucher for sponsored posts, but forgot to ask how it works.
- The DDB (@DairyQueen Dilly Bar) Index is up. Bodes well for the U.S. economy.
- I had no idea @badbanana was a fellow Nebraskan. Proves my thesis this state knows two things, money and funny.
- Have you ever seen a person wrap fish in a tablet? That’s why I paid 344 mil for 28 newspapers. #ROI
- Deserving of a plug – Nebraska Furniture Mart is offering 20% off sofas this week. #Ganga
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- Keep noticing @rupertmurdoch is always smiling.
- Favorite Charlie quote – “Are we supposed to applaud because the dog that fouls our lawn is a Chihuahua rather than a Saint Bernard?”
- “Annihilate” deserves more respect as an active verb. #justsayin
- @jimcramer If you want to learn to read a balance sheet, DM me.
- Flattered that @Viagra wanted me for a TV campaign. $$$$$$s were tempting, but I hate hot tubs.
- Now that I’ve mastered Twitter, I’ve signed up for a night class to learn Ruby on Rails programming. Hear me #RoR
Warren, let me know when you’re ready for that Pinterest account.
Nicely done, Lou! Let’s see if Warren takes you up on any of these! 😉 I know we’re all waiting with baited breath to see how he ends up using Twitter.
Given Warren has averaged one tweet every three days to this point, I’m thinking he might need a ghost tweeting. Figure this post can serve as my resume for the gig.
This is great, Lou! If only more people used Twitter this way.
I appreciate the comment. BTW, Mr. Buffett seems stuck on two tweets since starting his Twitter account on May 2.