Collaborate part 2: The dual CEOs

I am a fan of Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk because they run multiple firms with big ideas and successes. I used to feel if you aren’t running at least two tech companies then you are just not in this elite class. While they may be elite, individual greatness only gets you so far. Truth is, there has to be a high level of collaboration going on in order to oversee both Square and Twitter. Each company has to command significant attention, require a clear vision and have separate and sometimes competing stakeholders. The same factors impact Tesla and SpaceX. When researching these companies I learned to key in on important aspects of their histories. Dorsey talks about the seeds of ideas that started long before Twitter with his fascination with maps and how they worked. With his interest in coding and how he combined that with his other interests to write dispatch software. When he started collaborating with a group of friends at Obvious, an idea for communicating using SMS developed into what we today know as Twitter. Think about it for a moment did Twitter set out to solve a problem, disrupt an industry, or leverage the Internet to build a business? Was Jack Dorsey’s coding talent key to Twitter’s success? Maybe, but I would argue that his ability to collaborate with Biz Stone, Ev Williams, Noah Glass, and the rest of the Obvious team was what led to something special. Both Musk and Dorsey are visionaries with great ideas that are still developing. At the core of these ideas is the ability to collaborate. A critical skill set for both leaders.

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