Jack Dorsey — Founder, Square, Twitter
Reading to us from books that have helped him along the way, adding his own thoughts.
Robert Henri — The Art Spirit
- One of the biggest lessons is how important the work is — not just the end product itself, but also the craft.
- If you do something meaningful, you are going to have to pay for it and all the work, but you will enjoy it for the rest of your life.
- We are not here to do what has already been done.
- It's so easy to fall in the footsteps of others — to do what they do because you think it's the right way. You have to find your own path.
- You have to be a master of your own tools — that mastership is not a destination, but a process, and constant practice will get you there.
- We have so many ideas, but what really matters is the work that you put into these ideas.
- We work so hard to get some sort of acceptance in the world, to get some sort of positive feedback. We look at others and their success seems so fast, just a moment — but it takes years of patience.
- In building a team/organization/company, you cannot build anything without a shared sense of purpose. You will wobble, not do anything that is timeless.
- One of the most important things about what we do is that we're building what we want to see in the world, and making a bet that others want to see the same things in the world. The most important thing is that you have the passion to build for yourself. That's what is infections and will bring other people to your cause.
Bill Walsh — The Score Takes Care of Itself
- One of the hardest transitions is to go from individual creation to actually leading a team — Jack fumbled with this along the way.
- Start first with a philosophy, idea, purpose, mission, then go find people to help you implement it.
- As you start building a team, you need to set expectations around how people need to perform around the company, how people need to act in the company. If you react to the outside instead, you are building someone else's roadmap, not your own.
- One of the hardest things to do when you start building a technology/a company is to be positive.
- Not so much that people are lucky, they're prepared to recognize fortunate situations + act on them when they occur.
- 13 tenets to be a leader
- In many startups, the folks who start early are on cruise control and have the least responsibility in the company, when they should have the most.
- You want a contrast between fun and having a good amount of tension.
- As you continue to build and succeed, you develop a "success disease". Avoid it. Getting to the top makes everything harder, not easier.
- There is never a better time to do the hard things than when things are going extremely well — both as an individual and as a team.
Jack has a note for everyone at his company, everyone he talks to.
Find something you check on a daily basis. Create a new note, name it Daily, write Do:, Don't: headings. Put in everything you want to do, everything you don't want to do. The easiest way to add to the Don'ts is noticing something you never want to do again.
- Stay present.
- Be vulnerable. Show people your mistakes and fears, because they can relate.
- Drink only lemon water and red wine.
- Do x squats, run 3 miles, etc etc.
- Stand up straight.
- Say hello to everyone.
- Get 7 hours of sleep.
- Don't avoid eye contact.
- Don't be late.
- Don't set expectations for someone and not meet them.
- Don't eat sugar, wheat, lentils, dairy...
- Don't drink hard liquor or beer on weekdays.
Doing this gives you focus, helps you ignore everything else that's going on, all the noise. Square has a Do and Don't list which has been fundamental in helping them move fast, continue to innovate, push the boundaries, question + reset everything they think about the organization.
What's the end product? Something that delights people, something people can't help but engage in. We want to create something that resonates with every single person on the planet.
Leave you with one of my favorite songs: "Angoisse"
If you take away anything from this day, it's that you are the future, you are the ones that have the ideas in your head, you are the only ones who can build it for yourself, and that is your task — you are building what you want to see in the world, you're making a bet with the world that you're building something useful to other people.