Twitter Co-founder Says He'd Run for NYC Mayor Someday
We're searching for top company cultures to be featured on our annual list. Think your company has what it takes? Apply Now »
Co-founder of Twitter Jack Dorsey has always had a fascination with trains and maps, and he wants to move to the home of a sprawling subway system, New York City, and run for mayor, he tells CBS reporter Lara Logan on 60 Minutes.
"What I love about New York City is the electricity I feel right away," says Dorsey on the program, which aired Sunday night (see below). The co-founder of the microblogging, San Francisco-based company Twitter, has had a longtime love for New York City, where he moved at age 19. He followed his childhood passion for train systems and applied to work for a large dispatch center in the Big Apple. Dorsey had hacked into the dispatch center to point out a hole in the company's online security and persuaded it to hire him. Dorsey gave no indication of when he might pursue his political ambition. He currently lives in San Francisco.
The 60 Minutes interview offers other insights into Dorsey's innovative vision -- and some painful mistakes he made along the way. His pensive personality is a far cry from that of Michael Bloomberg, New York's current businessman-turned-mayor, but Dorsey has learned a few things about leadership in running a business. Consider the following lessons that surfaced in the interview.
1. Be open with your team. Dorsey is a thinker and a dreamer, but he admits that talking with his colleagues has been a struggle for him. His inability to communicate was one of the reasons Dorsey was forced out of Twitter, the company he helped found.
Dorsey has learned from his previous mistakes. In managing his newest company, Square, Dorsey makes a point of immediately emailing out to his entire staff any decisions that happen behind closed doors. San Francisco-based Square makes it possible to pay for items with a credit card from a mobile device and in the case of retailers who have the appropriate software, a customer does not even need to take out his or her smartphone from a pocket or purse. Also at the Square headquarters, Dorsey does not have an office or a desk. Instead, he works from his iPad and makes himself readily available to anybody who works for him.
2. The technology of your product or service should be hidden behind its function. Dorsey took his entire Square staff to Lands End, a popular spot in San Francisco from which to gaze at the Golden Gate Bridge. "We see the bridge as this perfect intersection between art and engineering," says Dorsey, which is how he thinks software should work. "When people come to Twitter and they want to express something in the world, the technology fades away."
3. Don't be dissuaded by competition. Dorsey's next goal is to take Square global, processing payments in Europe and Asia. As Square grows, it is running into formidable competition from the likes of PayPal, and Google, Walmart, and Target are all creating their own payment systems.
"Our take on this is you can worry about the competition, you can constantly look in your rearview mirror, and you can constantly look around and really not notice the road ahead of you," Dorsey says. "Or you can focus on what is ahead of you and drive. And drive fast. Drive within the speed limit of course, but drive fast."
Related: Big Ideas in the Big Apple
Have you ever considered entering politics? Why or why not? Leave a note below and let us know.