Last week Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square and winner of most attractive yuppie lumberjack, did an AMA on Product Hunt. Dorsey was asked a handful of great questions but his answers were overwhelmingly…dull.
Dorsey is currently the CEO of two publicly-traded companies, is known to obsess over the tiniest of details, and used to be anarchist hacker. And because he’s often compared to Steve Jobs and Elon Musk (both leaders of two companies at the same time) I thought Dorsey would give charismatic and exciting answers.
Instead, he responded mostly with two or three word answers and emojis.
However, Dorsey did mention something that caught our eye: his sleep routine. During the AMA, Dorsey said of his morning routine:
Regardless of his wet blanket answers, if there’s any takeaway from his AMA it’s that Dorsey is a beast.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Dorsey works 18-hours a day on the weekdays, sometimes holding investor and advisor meetings in the car on the way to the office. Of course, 6 hours of sleep and 18-hour workdays doesn’t add up if he’s also doing meditation and exercising, but the point remains: Dorsey’s ability to run two companies is a phenomenal feat.
Hopefully the yoga and meditation isn’t taking more than half an hour. Back in 2008 when Dorsey resigned as CEO of Twitter it was reported that his extra-curricular activities of yoga and fashion caused a rift between him and his coworkers and caused him to be a poor leader.
Dorsey seems to be doing well these days thanks to the routines and habits he’s created. For example, current and former Twitter employees say he is known to abruptly get up at the designated end time of a meeting, simply saying, “I’ve got to go.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Dorsey starts his days with coffee at Blue Bottle, located between the two headquarters. On Monday mornings Dorsey arrives at Twitter for a five-hour meeting with his eight senior executives and Mr. Kordestani to review the business operations and projects. At 1:30 p.m., he heads to Square to for another five- hour meeting. He doesn’t have a desk at the either office and reportedly bans phones and laptops during the meetings.
Only time will tell if Dorsey’s long hours will hold up. At a recent conference, Elon Musk said that running two companies was a bad idea and that he’ll soon hand over the reigns at Tesla. _(ツ)_/¯
A few of the most interesting answers from his AMA
On how he balances his time between Square and Twitter. I look to build a lot of consistent routine. Same thing every day. Allows a steady state that enables me to be more effective when I do have to react to something out of band.
On hiring. I look for passion. Only thing that can’t be taught. Why Square? Why Twitter? If I hear passion for the purpose in the answer, then I look for leadership and skill. Passion and purpose and principles first though!
“What insight about life have you acquired, that seems obvious to you but might not be obvious to everyone else?” The importance of building a great team dynamic. Not just looking for individual superstars but focusing on how someone adds to the team.
On the biggest distractions he’s faced as an entrepreneur. Being reactive to external noise.
On what led to Twitter and Square’s fast growth. The importance of metrics and being able to see them, culture and team, and a strict prioritization (with ability to take some bets that may or may not work out)
On he thinks will exist but others don’t. Technology is a lever. A tool. And great tools should make us more efficient, empowered, and creative. And I think if we build with that intent, we will continue to reduce barriers between us and keep everyone on the same level. I’m very positive and optimistic about the future, and I believe there’s a pretty negative narrative right now.
On his morning routine. Up at 5, meditate for 30, 7 minute workout times 3, make coffee, check in. I sleep from 11-5a usually. Blackout shades help. Meditation and exercise!
On how young people can figure out what’s to do with their life. Reflect on what drives you and what you’re naturally passionate about. And find good people to support you.
His most prized possession. A copy of Tao the Ching given to me by a friend.
His entire AMA can be found here.
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