Jack Dorsey: The Future Has Already Arrived | Summary and Q&A

May 13, 2013
Stanford Graduate School of Business
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Jack Dorsey: The Future Has Already Arrived

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In this video, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and CEO of Square, shares his journey as an entrepreneur and the importance of having a strong vision. He discusses the idea of revolution rather than disruption and emphasizes the significance of multiple founding moments in building successful companies. Jack also talks about the inspiration behind Square and how they strive to make commerce as easy as communication. He concludes by highlighting the Golden Gate Bridge as a symbol of the disappearing utility that great products should strive for.

Questions & Answers

Q: What were some of the ambitions and interests Jack had as a child?

As a child, Jack wanted to be a sailor, a tailor, and a surrealist painter. He was driven by a curiosity about the world, a love for crafting and building, and a desire to see and create things in a different way.

Q: How did Jack's interest in cities and mapping lead to the development of Twitter?

Jack's fascination with cities and his background in programming led him to develop a system that could track and display real-time information about emergency services in St. Louis. This eventually evolved into the idea of creating a platform where anyone could communicate and share information with the world, leading to the creation of Twitter.

Q: What problem did Jack and his team at Square aim to solve?

Jack and his team at Square recognized that while more and more people were using credit cards for payment, most merchants were unable to accept them due to complicated and expensive systems. They wanted to simplify and make it easier for businesses to accept credit card payments, thus improving commerce.

Q: How did Square approach the design of their products to enhance the buyer experience?

Square focused on building intuitive and aesthetically pleasing products that would disappear into the background of the buyer's experience. By removing friction and making transactions seamless, Square aimed to create an enjoyable and seamless payment experience for buyers.

Q: How did Jack define the role of Twitter and Square in terms of providing utility to their users?

Jack described Twitter and Square as tools that help people move from one point to another (A to B). For Twitter, it enables communication and information sharing, while Square simplifies commerce and payment processes. The goal is for these tools to become so integrated into users' lives that they disappear and provide a seamless experience.

Q: What quality did Jack admire in the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge?

Jack admired the fact that the Golden Gate Bridge served its purpose without drawing attention to itself. It was designed so intuitively and flawlessly that people crossed it without thinking about the bridge itself—this disappearing utility is what Jack sought to achieve with his products.

Q: What lessons can entrepreneurs learn from the building of the Golden Gate Bridge?

Entrepreneurs can learn from the ambition, audacity, and craftsmanship of the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge serves as a symbol of pride and success, highlighting the importance of setting ambitious goals, constantly improving, and creating something that stands the test of time.

Q: Why does Jack believe that strong vision is crucial in building companies?

Jack believes that having a clear vision of where you want to go and what you want to achieve is essential in building successful companies. A strong vision provides direction, purpose, and a framework for decision-making. It allows entrepreneurs to work towards a goal they are passionate about, which in turn inspires others to join and support their mission.

Q: How does Jack differentiate between disruption and revolution?

Jack believes that disruption lacks purpose, vision, and leadership, while revolution encompasses shared values, direction, and an idea that creates a positive impact. He encourages focusing on revolution rather than disruption, as it creates a cohesive experience that inspires people to think, act, and join movements.

Q: What is the significance of having multiple founding moments in a company?

Jack emphasizes that great companies have multiple founding moments throughout their history. These moments involve significant changes, shifts, or actions that shape the course and direction of the company. By recognizing and embracing multiple founding moments, companies can continuously evolve, adapt, and make a lasting impact.


Jack Dorsey highlights the importance of having a strong vision, embracing revolution, and creating products that seamlessly integrate into users' lives. He draws inspiration from the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, emphasizing the need for ambition, craftsmanship, and a sense of pride in building successful companies. Entrepreneurs can learn from his experiences and strive to create products that provide utility, enhance the buyer experience, and inspire people to join movements or create their own revolutionary ideas.

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