60 Minutes: The Innovator
Few have done so much to revolutionize communication as Jack Dorsey. His name not be familiar, but his work definitely is. Lara Logan profiled Twitter and Square creator Jack Dorsey.
60 Minutes: Jack Dorsey
Dorsey considers himself a shy person, but he has created a whole new way for people around the world to communicate. Now he has moved on to Square and has aspirations of the mayor’s office in New York City.
Jack Dorsey is a programmer, and if that makes him a nerd, so be it. He created Twitter, the instant communication system that is used by millions around the world. But it all began just seven years ago.
60 Minutes: Twitter Creator Jack Dorsey
Twitter has since exploded to 200 million users and billions of tweets. It was part of the Arab Spring, forced a congressional resignation, and become a major marketing tool. World political leaders take their voices to the service as well.
“I’m most proud of how quickly people came to it and used it in a million different ways,” he said. However, Dorsey does not consider himself a great communicator in person.
60 Minutes: Jack Dorsey Communication
He said that he does a lot of silent reflection to get to the answers. He is still working on being vocal and communicating. Dorsey was eventually pushed out of Twitter, probably in part due to his communication issues.
Dorsey now admits that he was angry at the time that happened. Though he thinks he is stubborn, he said he does not hold a grudge. He has since reconciled with Twitter.
60 Minutes: What Is Square?
In the meantime, Dorsey created Square, which could reshape the way the world pays for goods and services. He changed his communication style at the new company as well.
At Square, he does not have a desk or an office, making himself accessible to all employees. Square makes merchant processing available to all businesses and vendors, breaking down barriers to accepting credit card payments.
60 Minutes: How Square Works
Square was born when an artist friend of Dorsey’s became frustrated at losing a sale because he could not take credit cards. They set out to devise a way to accept payments via any cell phone.
The fast, simple software enables any cell phone to swipe a credit card through an adapter. The customer then signs electronically on the phone screen. It is a hit with small businesses and political campaigns already.
60 Minutes: Square Processing Fees
Fees for Square are lower than other means of processing credit cards, and the company has quickly grown to $12 billion in annual transactions in only three years.
Dorsey grew up in St. Louis, and had a speech impediment that left him at home. He learned computer programming as a young boy and loved trains and maps.
60 Minutes: Jack Dorsey Trains
That love of trains led to an obsession with making communication virtual. He also spent a lot of time listening to police scanner messages, using short codes and communication. Those ideas were the roots of Twitter, Dorsey said.
Dorsey once used software to track the movements of emergency vehicles based on radio traffic. He attempted to get a job with a New York dispatch company, eventually exploiting a security flaw in their website.
60 Minutes: Square Competitors
Finding that flaw and handing the company its solution landed him the job he wanted. That was when he was 19 years old. Now he wants to move Square into the international market.
Competitors include Paypal, Google, and traditional retailers like Walmart and Target. Dorsey said he does not focus too much time or thought on what’s around or behind him, but rather what’s in front of him.
60 Minutes: Land’s End San Francisco
Dorsey took his employees to Land’s End in San Francisco, to think about the Golden Gate Bridge, a “perfect intersection between art and engineering.”
He believes that software should work functionally, much like a bridge or a utility. Then there is Square Wallet, which expands the company’s marketing abilities.
60 Minutes: Square Wallet App Review
GPS technology allows a business, such as a coffee shop, to know that a Square Wallet user is in the business. The Square Wallet app works like a virtual credit card, yet again simplifying the process and sending a receipt via email.
Dorsey said that he thinks Square will change interaction once again, just as Twitter did. This could change the way people feel about their relationship with money, which is not always positive.
60 Minutes: Technology Innovator
He was recently named Technology Innovator of the Year by the Wall Street Journal. That brought him back to New York, a hub of trains and efficiency. What is next on his to do list?
Dorsey said he loves the electricity and chaos of New York City, and would consider running for mayor of the city. A mayor who communicates electronically could change the office in a whole new way.
60 Minutes: Jack Dorsey NYC Mayor
He also admitted that face-to-face conversation is not his natural state. Maybe he’ll get there eventually. Anything is possible. But in the meantime, you can find him on Twitter.