The quiet artistry of Twitter and Square Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey

Dave Jaffer
The quiet artistry of Twitter and Square Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey

Illustration: Daphné Côté-Hallé – Les Microcosmes

It would be hard to report on the contemporary internet experience without either mentioning Jack Dorsey or mentioning something Jack Dorsey had a hand in creating. And by hard, we mean practically impossible.

Twitter, which Jack co-created with Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass and now heads as CEO, is one of the social internet’s biggest success stories, a platform that has disrupted and reshaped how we experience news, share information, speak truth to power, tell jokes and participate in cultural, political and historical events.

Jack’s other high-profile creation, mobile payments company Square, where he is Chairman and CEO, was (and is) at the vanguard of how small business has been irrevocably altered by the increasing cashlessness of the world — in no small part by being a driving force behind that very cashlessness.

In a very real way, Jack — who we are excited to welcome as a speaker, in conversation with Inovia Capital’s Patrick Pichette , at C2 Montréal 2020 — has made his mark on the world by literally changing the way hundreds of millions of people experience their individual reality, and he did it all before his 40th birthday.

Not bad for a guy who didn’t finish university and whose general aesthetic is more bohemian than billionaire.

 

The many facets of Jack

Though the renowned web developer and intrepid entrepreneur is undeniably one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent figures and well-known personalities, Jack, 43, still seems like a bit of an outlier in his own scene. Whereas tech icons like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are often discussed in terms of their intensity and, respectfully, their more anti-social tendencies, Jack presents as nothing of the sort, earning praise from lawmakers who question him and journalists who cover him as a calm, personable, amiable and quietly artistic person.

In recent years, it has been his outspoken love of routine, physical fitness and meditation — last year he did a 10-day course of Vipassanā meditation, during which he didn’t speak to anyone — that have earned him his headlines. He may well go down as the guy who encouraged the world’s technorati to take better care of themselves.

“A healthier lifestyle ultimately makes me more creative and allows me to think more cohesively,” he said in a 2016 interview with Y Combinator.

In that same interview, Dorsey discussed his fascination with the human mind, and suggested that a thorough understanding of the self will help develop the artificial intelligence that will no doubt be a big part of how humans interface with technology in the near future.

“I’m curious about the mind and I think what we’re building around AI and machine learning works to help us better understand what we’re already born with,” he said. “Ultimately, I think all these things are mirrors on us and our values.”

Four Jack Dorsey fun facts:

 

You deserve it

Give yourself and your team the gift that keeps on giving: passes to C2 Montréal, May 27-29, 2020.

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Questions or comments? Drop us a line at editorial@c2.biz