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A couple of Jack Dorsey talks - the next Steve Jobs?

A couple of weeks before Jack Dorsey came back to Twitter, a friend im-ed me a link of a talk Dorsey had given at Stanford earlier in the year.

The line before the link to that talk was "He is the next Steve Jobs." Ever the skeptic, I responded with "Hmmm....really? I'll be sure to check the video out." I did early next week.

I was particularly curious, because for months I'd admired both the execution of and the product design at Square, the company Dorsey had founded; and I'd loved his Golden Gate talk (embedded below.)

There's a lot of interesting things he said there, but the part that really resonated for me was the point he made about building something beautiful:
  • The idea of "Let's build the Golden Gate bridge. Something memorable and you can be proud of - not some crappy bridge that may work but no one remembers or drives on" - particularly since as he says, so many people are ok with building crappy bridges. How can anyone that builds things not respond to a call-to-action like that?
  • I couldn't help recalling Steve Job's considerably less politically correct "They have no taste....and I don't mean that in a small way. I mean that in a big way." comment (below)
  • He also makes no bones about the fact that doing that takes a lot of hard work, and patience.

So I sat down a couple of weeks ago to catch his earlier-mentioned Stanford talk. Its long, but I came away very, very impressed.

He's not just smart and motivated with a great personal story, but he's clearly thought very, very hard - not just about the importance of design and good products, but how to be a leader and a CEO. He's also clearly developed a sense of theatre, and he hints at that as well.

I probably found the Q&A more interesting than most because I work in payments, but the talk itself was incredibly impressive and interesting.

I'm not going to try to summarize, but here were some of my favorite quotes and points:

  • CEOs/Leaders as Editors: Choose what's important. 1000 things you can do - only 1 or 2 are important. Edit people, products, communication and ideas in (and out!)
  • Payments are a form of communication
  • Power of a story: tell great stories. Focus on user narratives, and understand the importance of epic stories.
  • "1.) Make every single detail perfect. 2.) Limit the number of details"
  • Expect the unexpected, and whenever possible be the unexpected.

To boot, he has an incredible personal story and if this picture (below) is indeed his, he seems like a pretty nice guy to boot - which is rare enough for entrepreneurs.

As someone mentioned to me the other day, you can't help root for the guy! :)


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