How I Innovate – Guess Who?

Today’s How I Innovate profiles the 2012 winner of the Wall Street Journal’s Innovator of the Year award and one of MIT’s top 35 innovators under 35.  He’s also the man behind the Arab Spring (and we’re not talking about Gaddafi).  Can you name him?  

He also keeps an incredibly low profile so we’ll give you a hint – he has the the same first name as Johnny Depp’s character in Pirates.

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image credit: fanpop.com

The answer – Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and founder of Square.

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image credit: Vanity Fair

So what’s the recipe of his innovation?  A few things come to mind: 

1) Passion – Dorsey’s path to creating disrupting technology is a story of passion and path.  From his childhood, Jack was passionate  about programming and had a special interest in cities.  As he revealed in an interview with Vanity Fair, as a teenager Dorsey “ wanted to play with how the city worked, so I could see it.”  

That passion is the foundation for his work at Twitter.  He explains, “My role as an observer and as a technologist is to show everything that’s happening in the world in real time and get us to that data immediately, so we can change our lives even faster, with better knowledge.”

 

2)  Collaboration – “We encourage people to stay out in the open because we believe in serendipity–and people walking by each other teaching new things,” Dorsey told Forbes. “I do a lot of my work at stand-up tables, which anyone can come up to.  And I get to hear all these conversations around the company. I spend 90% of my time with people who don’t report to me, which also allows for serendipity, since I’m walking around the office all the time. You don’t have to schedule serendipity. It just happens.”

Employees, Dorsey says, “can actually dramatically change the course of the company by presenting a good idea.”

3) Structure –  In the same interview with Forbes, Dorsey explained how he spends his time.  “The company needs to have a weekly cadence,” he explained. Here’s the schedule:

– Monday, he says, is for addressing management issues;

– Tuesday he focuses on product engineering and design;

– Wednesday Dorsey zeros in on marketing and communications, and growth;

– Thursday he holds meetings with outside partners and developers;

– Friday is about “company and culture” and recruiting;

– Saturday he takes off; in particular he likes to hike;

– Sunday Dorsey thinks about strategy and conducts job interviews.

 

4) Creativity & Vision “Everything we do is about getting people to be more open, more creative, more courageous,” Dorsey said in interview with Fast Company.  

And his vision is continuing to evolve.  When Forbes asked Dorsey what his next project might be, he explain:   “I don’t think there has been any recent revolution of our government or how we think about running governments.  I would love to see technology help with that.”

Here’s to technology helping to save the world.  Have a great weekend.

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Categories: Innovation Series

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