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Twitter's Jack Dorsey preaches change at TechCrunch Disrupt

September 10, 2012|By Jessica Guynn
  • Twitter founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey kicked off TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.
Twitter founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey kicked off TechCrunch Disrupt… (Dave Getzschman )

Jack Dorsey kicked off a big confab Monday with an even bigger message: embrace change.

Speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, Dorsey called on the room packed with entrepreneurs to "pick a movement, pick a revolution, and join it."

But be prepared to evolve.

"I never wanted to be an entrepreneur," Dorsey said. In fact, he toyed with the idea of becoming Bruce Lee ("that job was already taken"), a sailor so he could navigate and experience the world, a tailor to "craft amazing products," and an artist ("a surrealist” because they “see the world in a different way.")

Along the way of mashing up all of those would-be careers, Dorsey, who is fascinated by cities, realized that “life really happens at intersections."

One of those intersections: When Evan Williams and Biz Stone founded postcasting startup Odeo. It didn't work out the way they planned. But Dorsey's idea for Twitter that flourished.

"Twitter was not started because we had a good idea. It was started out of a failure. And that can happen today," Dorsey told the crowd.

Now Dorsey is -- in the words of Kara Swisher -- the James Franco of technology. Not only is he a co-founder, chairman and chief product guru at Twitter, he is the chief executive of mobile payments company Square.

Square is looking to shake up payments the way Twitter shook up communication. Last month Square snared a strategic partnership with Starbucks. And it's rumored to have raised a fourth round of funding that gives it a multibillion-dollar valuation. Square is one of the bright lights in Silicon Valley these days, which seems to be suffering no ill effects from the plunging stock prices of Facebook and Zynga.

And, if Dorsey can be measured by his own words, it’s nearly impossible to predict what he will do next.

Like the Founding Fathers of the United States, founders of companies need to realize that they won't get everything right the first time around. They must be in constant search of a "more perfect union" and "open to change," he said.

ALSO:

Jack Dorsey emulates Steve Jobs, his 'mentor from afar'

High-tech boom brings a sense of deja vu in San Francisco

Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square, the James Franco of technology, is one of the busiest guys in tech

Follow me on Twitter @jguynn

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