How Jack Dorsey’s Lifelong Obsessions Became World Changing Companies
Jack Dorsey wasn’t your average kid in St. Louis. He had a speech impediment. He loved maps. He studied trains. He listened to the emergency dispatch center. And he noticed something interesting: Everybody was talking with short bursts of sound.
The Takeaway: The dots will connect. Like Dorsey’s fascinations brought him from St. Louis to New York to Silicon Valley, entrepreneurial energy has a way of taking you into unexpected—and fitting—places.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THAT 100 MILLION DOLLAR NEWARK SCHOOLS DONATION:An email chain including Bill Gates, Square’s Jack Dorsey, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and founder Mark Zuckerberg reveals how stage-managed charity can be.
Before Twitter was Twitter, Twitter was Twttr. And before that, Twitter was Odeo, a podcasting company.
Making sense of Twitter’s history is a bit like trying to follow a discussion on Twitter: It depends on who you listen to.
What everyone agrees on is that it started out in 2005 as Odeo, a podcasting company founded by Evan Williams. When Apple iTunes moved into podcasting, Odeo found itself going nowhere fast, and so it needed to pivot. Here’s where it gets murky. The official story is that one of Odeo’s engineers, Jack Dorsey, had developed a messaging service that allowed instant updates; Williams gave back $5 million in seed capital he had raised to his investors, and Twttr (vowels were added later) was born…
He tells me a story about how his father, an engineer and semi-serial entrepreneur, helped him build a model of a mass spectrometer out of Legos, ball bearings, and magnets when he was 11. (A few weeks later, Dorsey’s father, Tim, tells me his version of the story, taking the time to teach me the concept of mass spectrometry. In the Lego device, the magnets were there to encourage ball bearings of different sizes to arrange themselves by weight, just as a real device would do with gases of different weights. “Did it work?” I ask. “No! It was a disaster!” Tim Dorsey laughs. “But we had a great time!”)
From our story about Jack Dorsey, cofounder of Square and Twitter. Read more->