Before Twitter stock started trading this morning, journalists assumed that we’d see the company’s founders and/or executives ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. And indeed, there were excited whispers as we spotted folks like Dick Costolo and Biz Stone on the floor.
But the figures who actually took the stage weren’t immediately recognizable. Finally, someone asked, “Is … is that Patrick Stewart?”
Yes, it was the captain of the Enterprise-D, along with Cheryl Fiandaca of the Boston Police Department and Vivienne Harr, the 9-year-old girl behind the anti-child slavery initiative Make A Stand. Twitter, apparently, was using the opportunity to highlight some of its high-profile users.
After the bell rang, and as we waited for the opening price and first trades, I interviewed Harr and Fiandaca about their experience ringing the bell and with Twitter.
“Today, we rang the bell for hope and freedom, and I just would like to tell everyone out there that you don’t have to be big or powerful to change the world,” Harr said. “You can be just like me.”
Later, I also spoke to Scott Cutler, executive vice president and head of global markets at NYSE Euronext, who admitted that it was a long wait for trading to begin.
“The previous longest open was 10:17 and that was for the Visa IPO in 2007,” Cutler said. “But again, we’re not focused on trying to rush to get this stock open quickly. This is a natural process where buyers and sellers come together and you want to open at the right price and a price that quite frankly is sustained in the aftermarket.”