People don’t give technology enough credit as an art form — the specifics of infrastructure and hard science behind it ultimately overshadow its more inchoate creativity.
But the clichéd trope of a socially awkward engineer coding in a hole somewhere is on its way out. Instagram is a mass product used to cover news events, Twitter is a celebrity playground and you can use Square to pay at Starbucks: The people who build technology companies now have as much influence as Oprah. In fact, Oprah is hanging out on their platform.
There is no entrepreneur alive who exemplifies tech’s creative ethos more than Jack Dorsey, and it’s no surprise he’s got a hand, either as an investor or founder, in all of those aforementioned companies.
Dorsey’s storied life could be a cross between an Ayn Rand novel and a Wes Anderson film. His early obsession with mass-transit and dispatch introduced him to programming, but he’s had many a career turn before doing double duty at Twitter and Square. He’s spent time as a certified massage therapist, botanical illustrator and has even dabbled in fashion design. His dream job is Mayor of New York City, and he has an Integral tattoo on his forearm.
“People who know what an integral is would generally not have tattoos. It sums up what makes Jack an interesting entrepreneur—his ability to blend ideas,” Sequoia‘s Roelof Botha told Vanity Fair earlier this year.
Dorsey will be joining many other interesting entrepreneurs and Valley superstars at Disrupt including TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, salesforce CEO and Chairman Marc Benioff, super angel Ron Conway, Vinod Khosla, LinkedIn and Greylock Partners’ Reid Hoffman, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, John Borthwick, Cloudera’s Kirk Dunn, Emmy award-winning director Greg Yaitanes, Ben Horowitz, Twitter’s Biz Stone and Evan Williams, Path’s Dave Morin, Kevin Rose, Box’s Aaron Levie, Khan Academy’s Sal Khan, The Honest Company’s Jessica Alba and Brian Lee, and many more. You can view the whole list of speakers here.
We are two weeks away from one of the biggest technology conferences of the year and I for one can’t wait to see Jack and all of the above onstage (Get your tickets here!)
Co-founder & CEO, Square
Co-founder & Chairman, Twitter
Jack Dorsey is the creator, co-founder, and Chairman of Twitter, Inc. Originally from St. Louis, Jack’s early fascination for mass-transit and how cities function led him to Manhattan and programming real-time messaging systems for couriers, taxis, and emergency vehicles. Throughout this work, Jack witnessed thousands of workers in the field constantly updating where they were and what they were doing; Twitter is a constrained simplification designed for general usage and extended by the millions of people who make it their own every day.
Jack was recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people and was named an “outstanding innovator under the age of 35” by MIT’s Technology Review.