SPARK OF THE CORPORATE
The CEO of the hit microblogging service aims to take Twitter mainstream and find a business model. However, Twitter won't ever replace newspapers, he says. "We will always need a medium that carries more words."
Dorsey reminded his Twitter followers that the company's name was based on the definition of "twitter" in the Oxford English dictionary: "a short inconsequential burst of information, chirps from birds."
Jack Dorsey is a young imaginary American Entrepreneur, an optimistic and inspiring leader, Computer programmer and architect, a full time innovator with great vision who was instrumental in sparking revolution to share personal expression. Jack’s vision also proved to have a dramatic and immediate impact on human connections, literally making the world a much smaller place to live in and making the world more empathetic. Jack’s vision essentially created a real-time system for tracking the pulse of a global community and the experiences of people day-to-day. Jack took the reins as CEO of the company in 2006 and stepped down in October 2008 and since then he is holding the responsibility as Chairman of the company.
Jack Dorsey is very well known, as the creator of Twitter, a social media tool that uses short messages to share personal expression. Twitter was a transformed version of a computer program that started in 2006, March 13. Amidst of controversies like being ego-centric and shallow, Twitter gained popularity, as it was used by major organizations and as a powerful platform for political, social, and personal campaigns. Today more than three million people use it to send out less than or equal to 140-character updates, called "tweets" through Twitter's website or by text message over mobile devices. Twitter started out as a "side project", and rapidly evolved as a vibrant communication platform used by millions worldwide to update friends, family and colleagues about news and views, or to canvas opinion. As of 2011 the service gained tremendous popularity with over 300 million users, handling approximately 1.6 billion search queries a day, with revenues of nearly 140 million per annum, and is widely described as “SMS of the Internet” . This was all possible by the envisioned idea of a born innovator, Jack Dorsey.
In this context, Jack says, “The more we share what’s happening around us, the more we understand how someone lives their life. The greater the understanding we have, the more empathy we have for each other thus reducing conflicts. When you have an understanding of how someone else lives, the less likely it is that you conflict with them”. Jack also says that with hard work and tenacity “Sky would be the limit”. This inspires young and upcoming entrepreneurs with agile ideas, right from the gut.
Jack Dorsey’s first Tweet
It has been already five years, that Jack Dorsey made his first tweet (21 March 2006).
Twitter was born and since that, Dorsey has been making his way, along with his associates Biz Stone and Evan Williams. When Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, (aka @jack) sent his first tweet it was pretty simple and straight forward.
Educational and Career Outlook
Jack Dorsey has enormous interest in computer communications and started programming right from his high school days, in Bishop DuBourg High School. He was taken away by the technological challenge of coordination and real-time communication between the taxi drivers, delivery vans and for that reason any fleet of vehicles; and this is when little Dorsey was just 15yrs old, wrote a dispatch software to solve the problem of the cab drivers that is used by few taxicab companies even today.
He enrolled himself at Missouri University of Science and technology, and after a brief tenure there, he transferred to New York University, but dropped out of the college without receiving degree, like other computer entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, the late Steve jobs etc, where he found himself busy in designing dispatch software for taxi companies.
After leaving the New York University, he moved to California, a hub for technology start-ups in 2000, and approached a company called Odeo, where he met Biz Stone, who was working on the idea of a communication service that helped friends keep in touch through status updates. Odeo, a podcasting company was co-founded by Evan Williams, founder of Blogger, which was sold to Google, and Evan eventually left Google to start up Odeo. Evan wanted to work with Dorsey, so Dorsey took up a job at the podcasting company though not much interested. The next big consequence after Dorsey joined the company was; Apple has announced free podcasting through iTunes, and this resulted in Odeo losing business.
The Trio Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Evan Williams did not have any clue, about what they would do. In 2006, as the usage of SMS messaging was at its peak, Jack revisited his previous idea of doing updates and realized for the first time that there was every possibility of the idea to click, and SMS messages could be send across different carriers. Dorsey managed to convince Evan, and Dorsey and Biz together got involved in making working prototype of Twitter, within a short period of two weeks. Later all the cofounders, family, and friends were invited to try the system and this was how the Twitter was born. The SMS message had 140-character limit and it just worked the same way until today. They brainstormed about how, when you get an update, your phone would vibrate and they wanted to play around words that conveyed a message off that feeling. Finally, they came across the word Twitter in the Oxford Dictionary with one definition of “a short burst of inconsequential information” and felt that it was perfect. They bought the domain for roughly $7,000 and the rest was history.
Eventually Jack happened to leave Twitter in 2008, he got connected with his first boss, Jim Mckelvey, with whom he was in touch for all the past years. Jim was a glass artisan and explained Dorsey that he incidentally lost business of $2,000, as the customer did not have cash and he did not have a way to accept credit card. Jack thought that his friend Jim would lose thousands of dollars if this continues. Jack thought about it and how both of them had iPhones, basically high tech computers next to their ears, and yet in this day and age, there was no easy way for them to accept credit card payments even with these astonishing devices in their pockets. With that in mind, together with Jim, they decided to build a solution.
The Company Square, founded by Jim McKelvey and Jack Dorsey in 2009, is headquartered in San Francisco with additional offices in Saint Louis and New York City. Jack Dorsey's mobile payment company Square allows anyone to accept credit cards through their iPhone or Android Phone. A new free app, called "Register" makes it affordable for small businesses to accept credit cards, automate checkouts, and measure and manage everything they sell. Square's also introducing an app called "Card Case" to make it easier for customers to shop. It allows iPhone and Android users to pay with their phones and track their purchase history. Customers can set up a "tab" at retailers they frequent, like a coffee shop or hardware store. When they walk- in they can pay instantly with their phone by just asking the store to put it on their tab, without even pulling out their wallet.
Jack is currently Chairman at Twitter and playing an active role there again while running Square as CEO.
More about Jack Dorsey
The born computer programmer, the creator of great social tweeter “The Twitter” was born on November 19, 1976, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A, where he grew up.
Awards and Honors
The great innovator Dorsey, who succeeded in connecting people, companies and news instantaneously; deserves many honors and here are few mentioned below
Potential users of Twitter
Twitter, the five-year-old free microblogging site that is racking up high-profile enthusiasts, who deem the site to be both a “hypergrapevine” and good news resource and an innovative business tool for great customer service.
Among its high profile users, the company has The New York Times, Huffington Post, Comcast, General Motors, You Tube, and U.S. presidential candidates. Twitter is good at supporting massively shared experiences like the U.S. election. The biggest user at this moment is Barack Obama; his campaign has been very quick with new technologies on twitter. The Obama campaign frequently uses Twitter and usually updates from Obama are done once or twice a day, pointers to speeches and positions on policies.
“Twitter” Vs “Other Social Networks like Facebook, Google etc?”
Because of its immediacy and easy mechanism to push out information, people have very quickly embraced twitter. It is not hard to think and is very very simple, transparent and easily accessible. The more powerful capability of Twitter is, it gives a kind of report “what’s going on” from any where on the globe right away. One such amazing example of Twitter’s immediacy is, Twitter provides a great man-on-the-street account of what's happening right now. The minute the Los Angeles earthquake struck, in July 2008; there was an update on Twitter, which was followed by thousands of more updates, until nine minutes later the first reports came out on the AP wire. Twitter is very good at immediacy.
Twitter is an eruption in new form of communication, where you just follow the updates from the accounts which you find interesting, immaterial of the accounts are of people, companies or topics. In Twitter the principal focus revolves around the magical question "What are you doing?” that can be interpreted in numerous ways, depending on the context that the reader brings and how you make use of it. For example, people who are not known to us may bring variant context to our updates than our next desk colleagues. Twitter always requires a medium that carries, more words and profoundly explore a topic to a most specific detail. Twitter may not replace traditional blogging, newspapers, journalistic research, video, and images; but best complements them.
One more important feature that Twitter carries is that the text messages carry only a maximum of 140 characters. This is because Jack Dorsey is a strong believer of “constraint inspiring creativity”. Dorsey says when you put boundaries around something you tend to get a lot more creative. We're not asking users to type out four paragraphs of text; we're asking them to take just a moment and write something, whatever they want. Limiting yourself to 140 characters tends to make you focus in on a more off-the-cuff manner that naturally allows for directness.
Twitter has potential for different moneymaking paths; best among them is that emerges organically. The company observes how people use Twitter and establish patterns around that. By considering that they make those patterns more convenient and potentially charge for those. The company noticed that Twitter has a lot of commercial usage, which is very interesting. Twitter has many people asking questions, which is also very interesting. Twitter also has many people providing answers, some of which are commercially driven. Therefore, these are all things that the company takes into consideration. However, Twitter did not want to force any particular model onto the user base until the organization is comfortable doing that.
Jack Dorsey’s future plans for Twitter
Dorsey says that they are focusing on building up the technology as a utility, something that is so trustworthy that it becomes a natural mainstream activity. In the future they’ll have more and more ways to interact with this technology so that it becomes a much richer tool to immediately get a sense of what's happening right now, what's happening in the world, what's happening in your city, what's happening in your workplace, what's happening in your family. Something like that has not really been seen before.
During a visit to the School of Journalism at Columbia University, Dorsey known for his penchant for website design lays stress on user interface, and it’s only natural to believe he’s going to have something to say about twitter. In general, he wants to make the site easier to navigate while also finding a way to harness “what’s most relevant and most meaningful” to the individual user – and to do it in real time. Dorsey wants to create “a cohesive user experience,” in the same breath mentioning his interest in Tweet Deck’s multicolumn format.
Dorsey said, "They have a lot of mainstream awareness, but mainstream relevancy is still a challenge," the Twitter inventor, as a product leader stated, one of Dorsey's major hurdles will be to turn Twitter into a more efficient mode of consumption for its users. Dorsey said that Twitter's "value" could be measured by the immediacy with which it allows users to connect and share information. His goal, he told his audience, will be to "refocus on that value" rather than on Twitter's "brand."
Dorsey also commented on the site's recent call for third party developers to stop building client apps. Dorsey also provided a little insight into Twitter’s recent change of policy towards developers. “It’s up to any good platform company to really guide its developers in the right way, to inspire them to create interesting and useful applications. The interesting products out on the internet aren’t building significantly new technologies. They’re combining technologies,” he said.
Few inspiring quotes from the Trio of the Twitter “Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Evan Williams”
Lessons from the Twitter Trio
After years of focus on their new invention Twitter, the Trio shares with us few lessons of entrepreneurship with us.
“Creativity comes from constraint”
Jack Dorsey is a strong believer of “constraint inspiring creativity”. Dorsey says when you put boundaries around something you tend to get a lot more creative. We're not asking users to type out four paragraphs of text; we're asking them to take just a moment and write something, whatever they want. Limiting yourself to 140 characters tends to make you focus in on a more off-the-cuff manner that naturally allows for directness.
“So what if it’s just fun?”
"We were working at Odeo, but we weren't as passionate about the podcasting service as we should have been," recalls Stone. "We weren't using it, and that was a problem. Twitter got started because Evan gave us some freedom to think along different lines." That freedom meant that Stone and Dorsey had two weeks to build a demo of their new idea. "Build it, try it out over the weekend. If it sticks we may keep working on it," recalls Stone. "I was ripping out carpeting during a heat wave and then my phone vibrated in my pocket, and it was Evan. Moreover, it said he was sipping pinot noir. I realized I was totally engaged in this product. So we decided we should keep working on it."
“There is something healthy about friendly competition”
"There's a lot we can learn from smart people out in the world," says Stone. "One of the things I like so much about President Obama is his global vision that it's not a zero-sum game, where one country is going to win the game of earth. We have to work together."
The co-founders of Twitter have taken a unique approach to their operations. They are choosing collaboration over competition, the promotion of open information exchange where once it might have been blocked, and instilling that culture throughout their company.
“We focus a lot on culture”
"Watching Evan really sink his teeth into the role of CEO, take it very seriously," says Stone. "He very genuinely wants to innovate - not just from a product or technology standpoint, but from a company standpoint. For me, I've learned about what it means to focus on a culture, to build social responsibility and the idea of a company as a super-organism." Stone, Williams, and Dorsey are doing just that - trying to build Twitter into more than just a microblogging service, but into a super-organism, into a company that cultivates a healthy work environment and culture as much as it does technological innovation.
"We focus a lot on culture specifically...we don't want to end up like the child actor who found success early and grew up all weird and freaky," says Stone. "We want to remain ok; just because we found success early and in many ways got lucky doesn't mean we're all a bunch of geniuses. It means what it means."
“We’re holding on to the ship with our fingernails,”
"I remember Evan going home one weekend and coming back with this genius plan for Odeo, and he asked me to read it," recalls Stone. "It was this whole plan for how we could make it a successful business. I thought wow this is genius, but then again so is podcasting. Then slept on it. Do we want to be kings of podcasting? We were constantly gut checking." Once the trio committed themselves to Twitter, there was no turning back. From being at the receiving end of harsh criticism to turning down lucrative buyout offers, Dorsey, Williams, and Stone refused to step back from their baby.
"Fun, trivial, someone called it the ‘Seinfeld' of the Internet," recalls Stone of how Twitter was described in its early days.
"People were asking why you are filling the web with all of this crap?" adds Williams. "I went for years defending blogging."
Hope viewers caught up spark…