I am a fan of Jack Dorsey and find the way his mind works as an entrepreneur fascinating. He shares his success factors on creating Twitter and Square. He has changed the way we communicate and interact today on a global scale.
I often find that what makes entrepreneurs amazing is how they define the problem. It is one of the most important aspects for entrepreneurship. Jack encourages drawing and getting the concepts out of your head and onto paper. From there, implement something and start iterating. The work moves the ball forward.
In my own experience, whether the work gets used or not, it helps the thinking, innovation and entrepreneurial process by getting something out and allowing the right opportunity to focus the technology, platform or idea into something profitable.
Dorsey talks about the concept of getting lucky – It is “being able to recognize when it’s happening around you…and being able to recognize the situation that encourages build-out and execution of an idea.” He talks about how SMS became mainstream and usable in our country. This became an opportunity which catalyzed Twitter as a broadcast and collaboration standpoint. The right timing allowed for the incubated idea to take root. Similar opportunities with the financial crisis and emerging technologies paved the way for Square to become a micropayment processing solution.
The video is worth watching and replaying repeatedly. Some things I think are important to absorb:
- Note how Dorsey frames the world. He isn’t blind to pure technology. He looks for the use case.
- Timing may not be right. Note how he sees opportunity opening up markets.
- Iteration is important to an idea. Success happens in stages sometimes.
- Working with talented people can make the difference between waste or resonance with a market.
- Saying “No” is good until it hurts.
- Being an editor is a critical skill. Having both taste and insight into what matters for features is part of the DNA of a product.
What kind of lessons have you learned?