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Monday, January 17, 2022

Yoga, Bitcoin and a Goat: The Life of the Man Who Founded Twitter

With the resignation of co-founder Jack Dorsey, an entire era for the company ended

One of the largest social networks in the world this week opened a new page in its history. It is safe to say that an entire era for Twitter ended with the resignation of its co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey.

“It’s finally time to leave,” he said Monday, adding that the company was “ready to move on.” He then shared his resignation with his 6 million followers on Twitter.

“After almost 16 years of working for our company … from co-founder and CEO to board chairman, CEO and interim CEO, only to later become CEO again … I decided it was finally time to leave, “he wrote. “Why? … There are 3 reasons why I believe now is the time.”

The philanthropist and business entrepreneur further explains that he feels comfortable leaving the company in the hands of his successor Parag Agraval and is confident in the leadership of the chairman of the board of directors Brett Taylor. The third reason is his belief in the skills of the whole team behind Twitter.

Unlike Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg, it cannot be said that Dorsey’s name is so well known. He is certainly not one of the “stars” in the world of digital technology, but this does not mean that he has less influence.

On the contrary – Dorsey is not only among the biggest in the industry, but is also one of the most authoritative, eccentric and colorful figures.

He became interested in computer programming as a kid, and at the age of 15 he created software that is still used by some taxi companies overseas.

Although he attended courses at the University of Missouri and New York University, he never completed his higher education. However, this has never been a problem for talented people like Dorsey, who is just going his own way.

While earning extra money working as a model, he is working on a platform to coordinate taxi drivers with the idea of ​​extending it to all public transport in one city, where all vehicles maintain constant real-time communication.

This is how he opened his first company back in 2000, and around that time he started working on the idea of ​​creating an option for sharing short messages and statuses between users of web-based platforms. Over the next few years, he worked in this direction, drawing inspiration from older social networks such as LIveJournal and AOL Instant Messenger.

As a result, the first prototype of Twitter as a micro-blogging system appeared, where users could publish and distribute short statuses within a certain number of characters. The project grew with the founding of a company around the platform in 2006, and Dorsey surrounds himself with already prominent names in the industry such as Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Noah Glass.

However, the first years of Twitter were not easy. Dorsey is the company’s CEO, but his behavior is not very leadership. He does not tolerate criticism and often shows his eccentric nature. In fact, he spends so much time on his hobbies related to yoga, painting and sewing that he is often late or does not attend important meetings at all.

He is such an avid yoga enthusiast that he undergoes 10-day periods of Buddhist meditation, completely excluding speaking, communicating or any physical contact with other people.

Naturally, the prioritization of such practices is not particularly tolerated in the tough corporate world, and in this case there are constant conflicts with Evan Williams, who provides the initial funding for Twitter. Eventually, in 2008, Dorsey was fired as CEO of his own company, only to return to the helm seven years later.

All the while at the top of the technology world, the co-founder of Twitter can’t help but create personal relationships with his competitors. For example, in 2011 Mark Zuckerberg invited him to a dinner that they will probably never forget.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Dorsey recounts how his host fed him meat from a goat killed personally by Zuckerberg, who has repeatedly said that he eats meat only from animals he raised and killed himself. The reason is that he considers this a kind of responsibility to nature.

“I don’t know exactly how,” the co-founder of Twitter recalled. “I think he does it with a shock gun. He stuns her and then finishes her with a knife. Then he gives her to a butcher.”

They wait about half an hour for the dish to be ready, and when Zuckerberg serves dinner, it turns out to be cold, according to Dorsey’s memoirs.

“It was memorable. I don’t know if he put it back in the oven because I only ate the salad,” he said. “It may have been a metaphor. Revenge is still a dish that is best served cold.”

Dorsey’s eating habits can be just as unusual, as he is a big fan of current fasting practices. And while some forms of intermittent fasting are milder, Dorsey relies on a more solid approach and eats once a day, and every weekend he stops any food intake.

“The first time I felt weird. But when I repeated it, I began to see how much of our time was spent eating,” Dorsey said. “When I fast for a long time, I feel like time is slowing down for me.”

After all, if you are a billionaire, you can eat whatever you want, when you want and in whatever way you want. And the 45-year-old entrepreneur is truly a billionaire. His fortune is estimated at about $ 11.9 billion and he often donates large sums to charity.

For example, in May this year he donated $ 15 million to India to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, he sold his first tweet in the form of an irreplaceable token (NFT) for $ 2.9 million. The publication is from March 2006 and reads: “Just setting up my twttr.” Proceeds from the sale went to a charity operating in Africa.

“The Musk Effect” – like the “Butterfly Effect”, only on Twitter

It is not known if he is aware of the impact, but tweets can cause him trouble

From now on, Dorsey will no longer be part of Twitter, but that doesn’t mean he will retire.

He will simply focus on his other major project, the Square Financial Services Platform, which he co-founded with Jim McElly in 2009.

He will be able to deal with cryptocurrencies much more seriously. For years, he has been one of the brightest supporters of blockchain technology, especially Bitcoin, which he describes as “a fundamental Internet idea of ​​the future, beyond the control or influence of individuals or companies.”

“If I weren’t in Square and Twitter, I would definitely be working on Bitcoin,” he said at a conference in June.

Well, obviously there will be more time for that.

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