Jack Dorsey Talks Square, Twitter, And Instagram-Facebook With Charlie Rose

Twitter co-founder, and Square CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey sat down with Charlie Rose yesterday to talk about the two companies he’s developed as well as Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram and the “digital revolution.” The entire interview is just under 18 minutes, and is worth a watch, but here are some of the highlights:


As Square revealed yesterday, the payments company is now processing $5 billion in annual payments (or around $416 million in payments per month), which is up from $4 billion in annual payments in March. Dorsey says that Square is moving fast, and this year will be expanding internationally, both to local shops and larger merchants. “We want to be the point of sale for every merchant,” he tells Rose.

He says that the best technologies disappear, and are relevant when you use them but get out of the way when you don’t. He believes Square falls into that category, especially with Pay With Square’s hands free payments experience.

Rose asked Dorsey which company has the biggest upside potential, Twitter or Square? Dorsey diplomatically answered that both companies did because of Twitter’s role in transforming communications and Square’s place in the exchange of value. “These are two foundational, essential things,” he added.


Dorsey says that CEO Dick Costolo “is an amazing leader,” and doesn’t get enough credit for Twitter’s revenue products that were developed and driven very quickly. And he adds that the company’s revenue products (i.e. advertising) beat all of their goals last year. Dorsey also believes that Twitter can monetize and says that the company is seeing 3-5 percent engagement on promoted products.

“Twitter is more than where I wanted it to be…truly great companies reinvent themselves…our users are helping reinvent Twitter…,” he explains. As for how will Twitter change, Dorsey explains that the service will be more focused on discovery.


Rose pointed out that Dorsey was an early investor in Instagram. Dorsey explains that co-founder Kevin Systrom was an intern at Odeo, where Dorsey initially developed Twitter. Dorsey, who says he taught Systrom javascript, recalls that even then, Systrom impressed him with his love for photography. Dorsey explains that it was this passion and pride in the craft to do it the right way that helped sell him on investing in Instagram. “Kevin is an amazing craftsman and I knew would build a company of craftspeople.”

On the whole Facebook acquisition, Dorsey said it made sense for Facebook to pick it up. In his opinion, this is because Facebook’s core competency is in photos. But Facebook is known for being in the past tense, he says. Instagram represented the present, the now, which are a lot of the ideas that Twitter brought into the world. His remarks are interesting, of course, considering the recent report that Dorsey and Twitter were interested in buying Instagram.

Dorsey is always a fascinating interview, so the video is worth a watch if you have the time.