Jack Dorsey: The Man Behind the Beard

Between running both Twitter and Square Jack Dorsey found the time to do a LIVE Chat with the Product Hunt community. Thousands of people participated and hundreds of questions were asked, ranging from the future of Twitter, to his morning routine and favorite emoji. Jack’s responses ranged from thoughtful, to informative, to inspiring, and everything in-between. He showed us a side of him that we normally wouldn’t get to see, like this:

Or what his favorite rap albums might be:

You can go through the full LIVE Chat here. Tweet @ProductHunt your favorite questions and responses (we retweet 😸). Below are some of the highlights from one of the best Product Hunt Lives that we’ve had — and a big thank you to @Jack and the community!

On what Twitter is and the Potential for what it can be:

What will it look like when your vision for Twitter as a news source is fully realized? —Jason DeMorrow

Jack: Twitter is the first place you check when you want to know what’s going on in the world. It’s the closest thing we have to a people’s news network.

What is Twitter’s identity going into the next 5 years? — John H. Meyer

Jack: We stand for freedom of expression, empowering dialogue, and speaking truth to power. We want to continue to level the playing field!

“We stand for freedom of expression, empowering dialogue, and speaking truth to power.” —@Jack

How important are the Brazilian users for you and how would you make a better experience for them? — Jhonatan Orlando

Jack: We want to serve the world. Always striving to listen to what is working and not working. But I do think Twitter is a fundamental layer to public messaging. And it can scale to every culture.

What role do you think Twitter should play in the unfair or unjust treatment of humans across the globe? —Jack Rometty

Jack: I believe Twitter is great when it can bring more awareness to the issues. It holds the public conversation. The world’s conversation. And we need more of that! If we are aware, we can fix.

On Square and the Payments Ecosystem:

When you look at the payments ecosystem and the direction it’s heading away from the traditional card market and into a more NFC based style, what do you see Square looking like in 5 years? — Brad Thibeau

Jack: Our leading principle at Square is to enable sellers to accept any form of payment that comes across the counter. That way they always make the sale! Our new reader enables both NFC and EMV sales, where the world will be for the next 10 years, and what other services can we offer to help them make more sales? Square Capital is a great example of this, investing directly into our sellers to grow.

At Square you built an internal dashboard. The tricky part is choosing the right data to track. What thought process do you use to determine what to track? What are top 3 data points at Square? — Elena

Jack: An admin dashboard is the first bit of code I wrote for Square. Critical we instrument the health of the service. Makes every decision that much easier. For Square it comes down to something pretty straightforward, which is around payments volume. We can derive every decision and insight from that.

On Wall Street and Metrics:

Which metrics do you use to track the health and growth of Twitter’s network and Twitter’s business? — Chris Sacca

Jack: What I care about is building daily utility. It’s the first thing people check when they wake up because they want to see the world, and the first place to people go when they have something to say or want to have a conversation. Everything happening in the world is on Twitter, and I want to make sure everyone can participate!

“What I care about is building a daily utility.” —@Jack

Inspirational Advice for Entrepreneurs:

What kind of advice would you give a scared 24 year old whose future seems like a big question mark? — Aishwarya Hariharan

Jack: Reflect on what drives you and what you’re naturally passionate about. And find good people to support you.

What is the most important quality you look, when you hire? — Satyajeet

Jack: When hiring I look for passion. It’s the only thing that can’t be taught. Why Square? Why Twitter? If I hear passion for the purpose in the answer, then I look for leadership and skill. Passion and purpose and principles first though.

“When hiring I look for passion. It’s the only thing that can’t be taught.” —@Jack

What is your advice to someone who is working on a company in college? Is it possible to get the both worlds? — Simon Orlovsky

Jack: Yes. But really it comes down to how you learn the best. For me, I was learning more building outside of school, but that’s just me. There are a lot of different answers I admire here.

Between Twitter and Square you have a lot on your plate — what’s one thing the Product Hunt community can help you out with? — Brent Summers

Jack: I love this community. Builders. Makers. It’s inspiring to see the energy. That’s enough.

On the State of Technology:

What is one thing that you believe to be true of the future that others doubt or question? —Matt Kaplan

Jack: Technology is a lever. A tool. And great tools should make us more efficient, empowered, and creative. And I think if we build with that intent, we will continue to reduce barriers between us and keep everyone on the same level. I’m very positive and optimistic about the future, and I believe there’s a pretty negative narrative right now.

“Technology is a lever. A tool. And great tools should make us more efficient, empowered, and creative.” —@Jack

Want More?

For more interesting insights about Jack, like his sleep schedule, preference for coffee or tea, who he has been most inspired by recently, and how he find the time to run two public companies, you can read through the full LIVE Chat here. Thank you Jack for taking the time!

What’s coming up next?

We have a packed LIVE Chat schedule in January and February! You can go through the full list of upcoming guests and subscribe to those you wouldn’t want to miss. We’ll send you a reminder when the chat is about to start, and by subscribing you can also ask your questions early ;)

Follow along as they happen @ProductHuntLIVE on Twitter and Instagram.