Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, speaks at St. Louis' Webster University


I really enjoyed watching the live broadcast of Jack Dorsey's speech at Webster University. I typed out a lot of the quotes that really stuck with me and also took some additional notes of concepts below. I think these notes serve as a good recap of the event. Jack is simply a wealth of information and insight into many areas: mobile messaging, instant messaging, social behavior, product development, product management, product marketing, product support, user experience....Wow! (photo courtesy of friend, Jordan Koene, @jtkoene)
  • "If you have immediacy, it's a lot easier to inspire transparency."
  • "Health is the most precious thing we have as human beings....and it needs innovation."
  • "The greatest lesson that I learned in all of this is that you have to start." "Start now, start here, and start small. Keep it Simple."
  • "I am burdened every day by email. It is a nightmare. I will go back tonight to 500 emails which are, basically, TO DO's that I hvae to work through. This is an area where we've lost the idea of keeping a singular focus and a way to be effective. There are times that I have to give up because I can't keep up with it." 
  • "Twitter is one of those things that's easy to get into and also easy to get out of....it's more of an information network...completely recipient controlled." Because it's 140 characters, you minimize the canvas size.
  • "Twitter doesn't make any money right now. In fact it has no revenue." But this is a risk because we're building a utility. "People build products on top of utilities. People build products on top of utilities." 
  • "We raise money to be patient enough so that we can recognize when there's a model that speaks to the entire network." 
  • "The company, right now, today, is trying a bunch of different models."
  • "Google also, for 5 or 6 years, had no revenue. It waited. It tried a bunch of things, and then it built a revenue model that spoke to what the product is doing, which is returning search results."
  • "We wanted to evoke a physical sensation with the name."

One of the times where immediacy has compelled him most was when Barack Obama gave his speech to Congress while legislators like Claire McCaskill tweeted the event. He said he has never felt more close to his own government.

He was able to get the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq on Twitter, and (more importantly) he updates 3 times per day. His updates were direct, frank and they connect people. It helped to solve the issue of the Iraqi people not trusting their government.
"If you're allowed to have communication with a head of state like that, and you feel that things are being taken care of, you can start taking risks." The Iraqi people can begin starting companies, going to school and doing more with their lives publicly and in trust with their government.

Because our government and the government of Iraq have adopted these technologies in the process of democracy, he feels this is one of the greatest things ever.

He said the two greatest industries that stand to benefit from micro-blogging and the immediacy and transparency of them are: 1) Health Care, and 2) Finance. He said there's too much ambiguity in finance (banking, etc.) that needs to be brought into the open. He said that the body is one of our most precious assets and that this massively complex and fragile system needs innovation.

Company name started as twitch because it was founded on SMS messaging - your phone would buzz when you got any tweet. Noah, one of the co-founders, searched the TW's in the dictionary as an inspiratoin from twitch.

The definition of "twitter" by Oxford English dictoinary at the time was a "short, inconsequential burst of information. Chirps from birds."


Follow: @jack | @websteru | @websteru_biz | @webstersoc