I have a friend in a local hip-hop duo. He does concerts, records albums, and sells merchandise. On Twitter I saw this tweet:
“@Hurris: Hey peeps make sure to get in your orders for the Hurris & Gig apparel… Cash, Paypal or card. Sweaters $20-25, tees $10. #murk”
I like to support local business, artists, and of course he is my friend so I replied to this tweet letting him know I was interested. He sent me this text later that day:
“Yo man if you want a H&G sweater or shirt let me know. We are ordering on Thursday. Holla”
I quickly responded to his text, letting him know I wanted a sweater. He asked me how I wanted to pay and mentioned he could take credit cards through Square, a mobile app that allows you to accept credit card payments. I gave him my information got and email with a receipt of the purchase.
My friend should really thank Jack Dorsey, founder and CEO of Twitter and Square. Dorsey’s two companies are what helped my friend spark my interest and complete the transaction without going through a complicated process. I recently just watched an interview on Dorsey from 60 minutes called, “The Innovator: Jack Dorsey”. Here is what I learned from watching this interview:
Apply real life experience to new ideas
Twitter and Square have real life experiences that led to their creation. Dorsey, as a child, listened to emergency calls on a police scanner. While eavesdropping he noticed the short and quick bursts of communication. “They’re always talking about where they’re going, what they are doing, and where they currently are…” says Dorsey when describing where the idea for Twitter came from.
Dorsey’s idea for square came from a friend and artist’s misfortune of not being able to sell some artwork because he couldn’t take a credit card. Dorsey tells how he and his friend came up with the idea after they “…spent the week trying to figure out why no one has done this before.” His friend wouldn’t have to miss out on $2000 sales anymore.
Don’t be afraid to change the world
Dorsey doesn’t have to use a police scanner to find out what is going on around him. While talking about Twitter, he pointed out, “Now I get to see the entire world and how they are thinking, how they’re feeling, what they’re doing, what they care about, and where they’re going.” Twitter has changed the way we communicate, share news, and personal updates.
Where Twitter has changed the way we communicate, Square is changing the way small businesses interact with customers. It allows anyone with a smartphone or tablet to accept payments via a credit card swiper that plugs into your headphone jack. It then helps out the customer through Square: Wallet by letting customers pay without taking out their wallet or phone. Making this process simple, fluid and easy is what Dorsey’s main goal is when perfecting his products.
Stop checking the rear view mirror
Twitter may be used by millions of users each day but Square is still considered a start-up company. Dorsey has several competitors including PayPal, ISIS: Mobile Wallet, and Google Wallet. He compares his company and worrying about competitors to driving a car in a race, “…you can constantly look in your rear view mirror and you can constantly look around and really not notice the road ahead of you or you can focus on what’s ahead of you and drive—drive fast.” Don’t waste your time and efforts worrying about competition when you could be using that to further your company.
After looking at all of Dorsey’s innovations that have affected the world, it is no wonder why The Wall Street Journal named him “Innovator of the Year” in 2012. Personally I think its time that his name gets put up there with Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Larry Page because he is a successful serial entrepreneur and not by choice. It goes to show he has passion to better the world through his personal experiences and the ideas that come from them.
What personal experiences gave you insight to starting your company?