Steve Jobs is pretty unrivaled when it comes to developing ground breaking products but there is a younger man on the block who could be waiting to step in to his boots as the world's best product visionary in the coming years...Jack Dorsey. The visionary behind Twitter and Co-Founder at payments service Square
, Dorsey is at the helm of a couple of companies that are changing the way we lead out lives. He now splits his time between two companies which is a daunting task when even trying to make one of them a success would be a huge ask of any ordinary man. Where the similarities are striking is in the product vision, the slick elegant design (Square looks like it should be an Apple product and twitter is heading that way) and most of all in the execution and bringing to market of something that nobody else could. Square products even appear in Apple stores already so there is a link and it really does look like at the age of 35 Jack Dorsey might be able to follow Steve Jobs as one of the great product innovators of his time...
Unless you are involved in the industry you probably have no idea just how hard it is to change something like payments and trying to compete with things like banks, credit cards and online services like Paypal. Jack Dorsey is the co-founder of the new payments service Square that allows you to accept payments using your iPhone or iPad. They have also just launched a checkout service that pretty much eliminates the need for cash and have been so successful that VISA recently snapped up a stake in them and everybody within the industry pretty much agrees that they will go on to be the next Paypal. You can see how this makes such a huge difference to merchants like the famous creme brulee truck in New York in this video...
Not only did Dorsey invent Twitter but he also took it through it's first couple of years of spectacular growth as CEO before stepping aside in 2008 to become chairman and hand the company over to Ev Williams. The sheer simplicity of the service was what made it the success it was and it started out as a side project that quickly evolved in to the main business focus. As Dorsey says in the video down below he had the actual idea in the late 90s but didn't do anything with it until they had some spare time and started running it as a side project. The interesting thing about the idea behind Twitter is that it is one of those things that seem so simple and that anybody could have thought of but it needs a real product visionary to bring it to market.
Running 2 Companies
To think that you would have the ability to run one company that is changing the world would be big headed enough. To think that you could do it with two companies at the same time is just plain daft but that is what @jack is doing at the moment with Twitter and Square. Just Like Steve Jobs who at one stage was running Apple and Pixar both men seem to think that one company is not enough of a challenge. What will be interesting to see is where Dorsey's head is at in the long term. Both companies have huge potential to change the world in their own ways but I'd suspect just like Jobs he will have to commit to one or the other sooner rather than later.
To the outside world Twitter was in a slump for the last year or so with very few feature updates, little innovation and little or no sign of revenue. Jack Dorsey stepped back in as CEO at the End of March 2011 and in little over 2 months has started shaping the vision and pushing the company forward again. It is no coincidence that in the last 2 months Twitter have improved their search, launched tweet buttons, launched their own photo sharing, bought Tweetdeck, unified the mobile experience and bought an ad company. Dorsey is back in control and it shows. It looks like he is taking back complete control of the company and all the outlying parts and that is probably the last step before he switches revenue on properly in the second half of this year. The future was slightly cloudy for Twitter at the start of the year but with @jack back in control things are looking far more positive. If we see a major redesign and improvement of the actual Twitter.com website (which is basically so bad it is unusable) then we will know he is fully back in charge and doing the right things. The vision in Twitter's latest video below looks very exciting and shows Twitter evolving again in to something special...
If you have half an hour to spare and want to get some insight in to the mind of a product genius who can build disrupptive technologies and change the way we all lead our life then I suggest you watch this video. It's an interview with Kevin Rose and he talks about how Twitter started, developing Square and how he is driven and built the way he is. Dorsey is clearly a very motivated individual and he has age on this side when it comes to developing more products. He seems like the sort of guy who just loves building remarkable things and you get the feeling that Twitter and Square are probably only the start of the journey. What do you think could he be the next Steve Jobs or has he just been getting lucky to date?