Nov 10, 2004

How I Got My Name

by Biz Stone

Somebody recently emailed me to ask how I got the name "Biz" and it occurred to me that people who stray over to my blog from a web search for "how to design a book cover" might wonder how I got the name. Or at least think to themselves, "Biz Stone, Genius? Stupid name. What a jerk."

How I Came To Be Called Biz

The name on my passport is "Christopher Isaac Stone." When I was a wee lad I tried to phonetically emulate the name my father—an auto mechanic with a Boston accent—called me. To my not-quite-yet-formed ear technology, it sounded very much like "Biz-ah-bah."

It wasn’t until many years later (okay, this year) that I realized why my parents would ask me my name and then laugh when I told them. I just figured I was a damn funny kid. Natural comedian.

So over the years, the "Biz-ah-bah" was shortened to the modern "Biz." I think it was third grade when the information went public. I had a birthday party and my mom said something like, "Okay Biz, time to open presents." George Donovan overheard it and I lost my copyright to the public domain.

Here’s Where It Gets a Little Complicated

My father is also named Christopher. When my parents separated, my mom didn’t want to hear the name of "himself" any more than she needed to, so she asked if it was okay if teachers and other officials referred to me as "Isaac." It didn’t make that much difference to me at the time because I was already used to Biz. Plus, the PH in Christopher threw me every once in a while. What? I was hooked on phonics.

So the Situation Nowadays Is This

Everybody calls me Biz—for casual intents and purposes it’s my name. But I ask employers to make checks payable to "Isaac Stone" and I use that name for most of my official paperwork like phone bills and secret government missions. Sometimes I tell people my name is Isaac when I just don’t feel like explaining why my name is Biz.

My mother tells people that it’s short for Elizabeth.