What does a 33 year old do after building a company to $3 billion in 4 years? Start over again and get to $3 billion in 2 years… That’s what Jack Dorsey has just done.
Step 1: Follow your passion?
What was Jack’s passion when he was 13 years old? Designing dispatch routes for his friends on bikes, that’s what. Then he did it for taxi companies. Jack then tried his hand in botanical illustration and as a massage therapist, but kept coming back for his love of dispatch routes. Eventually, he had the idea of a ‘group dispatch’ for instant messaging. He convinced the founder of Blogger, Ev Williams, to back the idea, and in 2006 at the ripe age of 29 he launched Twitter.
To begin with, many people thought Twitter was a dumb idea. But it began to catch on and by 2010, just 4 years later, Twitter was hitting 50 million tweets per day, and was valued at $3.7 billion. What did Jack do then? He did it again…
Step 2: Do it again!
Jack was now 33 years old. So he wondered how he could top Twitter, and came up with the answer: Squirrel! Why not do for mobile payments what he had done for mobile media? On the night Jack decided to start his new business – using iphones to swipe payments – he saw a squirrel run across the hood of his car and he thought of squirrelling money away. His new company, Squirrel, was born.
Step 3: Keep it SIMPLE
Undeterred by another payment company that had already captured the prized ‘Squirrel’ name, his team looked through the dictionary and found another name close enough: ‘Square’. Jack launched his first ‘square’ iphone swipe in May 2010, catching the mobile payment wave. The company grew rapidly on the principle of doing one thing well – the easiest way to take payments with a mobile phone. As Jack says ‘“We don’t want to add things—we take things away to make them more simple.’
Jack’s small square is now swiping $700 million in payments each month. Last month, Square announced a partnership with Starbucks, which is rolling out their mobile payment system across their stores. This week, Starbucks and a group of investors have invested $200 million into 35-year-old Jack’s 2-year-old company at a $3.2 billion valuation.
Does this mean, if you follow these three steps, you’ll hit the Jack pot like Jack did? Of course not. There’s more to it than that (As Jack says, “It’s really complex to make something simple.”)
But the point is, he didn’t get there by doing the opposite – the three things many think they need to do to achieve financial success: ignoring their passion, trying things once, and making things really complicated.
3 Steps to Knowing Jack: Follow your passion, do it again, and keep it simple.
You may not get to $3 billion (and then again you may) but to follow these three steps is to put you on the same path as Jack, jack pot or not.
Keep Making Magic,
Roger James Hamilton
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SANG and Singularity University
I’ll be in the United States in October to be a part of Singularity University’s executive meet and i’ll be speak at the SANG event along with Alex Mandossian, Mari Smith, Brendon Burchard and others.
About SANG Event: 400 of the Most influential business leaders, all gathering in one place, for three days, in the spirit of generosity, to help each other with their biggest goals and projects…
SANG is a powerful community of trendsetters and change agents, billionaires, iconic business moguls, bestselling authors and speakers, top thought leaders in the fields of tech, media and entertainment, cause marketing, investment capital from private equity, hedge fund VC and angel financing, green tech, and publishing that come together to hear the best of the best share insights on the latest hot business topics, brainstorm on furthering various causes and new cause initiatives, to collaborate on new business and strategize about the challenges they are facing in their current businesses.
About Singularity University: With the support of a broad range of specialists in academia, business and government, Singularity University creates a global network of like-minded entrepreneurs, technologists and young leaders to participate in crafting a road map to guide the evolution of these disruptive technologies. SU helps create solutions and applications of these technologies for the benefit of humanity. SU is based at the NASA Research Park campus in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Changemakers Forum Video – FFyB London – WDeo Exclusive
Here’s the changemakers video from Fast Forward your Business London event.
There is no better way to gain perspective that to see things from different points of view. The forum we run in our fast forward events is an interactive session for the participants to hear from entrepreneurs and changemakers in their own city who are part of this transformation. You are experiencing the changes in your industry first hand, and your success is coming from the way you are quickly shifting your strategies to suit the changes. Being smart is no longer as important as being nimble.
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