I spent 45 minutes yesterday interviewing one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, Twitter and Square founder, Jack Dorsey. It was one of those rare privileges (thanks to the American Chamber of Commerce) which challenge the way you think. He is a remarkable man – thoughtful, inspiring, and humble.
These are the five most important lessons I learnt from my chat with Jack;
1) He starts every day investing in himself
Jack is a man of routine. He rises early, meditates, works out and then walks 90 minutes to the office listening to podcasts.
“Even before I start work I know the day has been a success because I achieved and learnt so much personally. I’m in the right mindset,” he said.
He has built that particular early routine because it can be achieved anywhere…there is no excuse not to achieve it. He can meditate anywhere, all he needs for his 7 minute work out is a wall and a chair, and he can walk anywhere. So no matter whether he’s at home or traveling there is simply no excuse.
The podcasts Jack listens to are interview or health-themed.
2) The three roles which define Jack
I asked how on earth he could balance being the CEO of not one (Twitter) but two (Square as well) companies each valued at over $1 billion.
He explained his three responsibilities as CEO were;
. Build a great team
. Make sure decisions are made in the context of the people that they serve
. Raise the bar of what you thought was possible…inspire customers and staff
3) Nothing is ever perfect
Jack loves failure and learning from failure. While conventional business thinking is to develop a product and launch it when its development is as close to perfect as it can be, Jack just launches a new product as early as he can. He then watches the reaction of customers and constantly makes changes to respond to their criticisms and needs. He believes no product is ever perfect and never will be. It has to be constantly adjusted and evolve.
4) Be decisive in getting rid of toxic staff
Jack admits one of his early weaknesses was being too slow in moving out toxic staff who had a negative impact on the business and the culture. It’s ironic that one of the highest of high tech companies in the world has the same problem as any other company: human resources. Business is always all about the quality of the people.
Jack has a policy now that it doesn’t matter who the person is, or how critical they are to the business, if they are a negative impact on culture and morale they are out. He is amazed at how the remaining team rise to the challenge and fill any gaps.
5) Not interested in new customers
Twitter and Square grow their business by providing the best possible product, service and experience to their existing customers. They ignore potential customers. Jack’s rationale is that committed satisfied customers will be your best salespeople by referring you to others.
Oh, and he and his mum text each other every day. She is a small business owner and has been one of his mentors during his entire career.
— Twitter Australia (@TwitterAU) May 24, 2018
Image: David Koch and Jack Dorsey.