With Twitter, everyone can join a “dinner conversation” and be informed of what happens around the world. With Square, a mom-and-pop store no longer needs to turn away customers without cash in their wallet. What I just described is simply tip of the iceberg of the Twitter and Square revolutions.
Interestingly, in an age where many are rushing to be an “entrepreneur” and “founder” is a sexy title, Jack never wanted to be an entrepreneur /founder growing up. Jack has been a coder, spent a lot of time thinking, and was fascinated by maps, trains and the gold gate bridge (that it never falls and people who cross it only need to think about point B without worrying about its falling).
In fact, at age of 14, Jack’s first employer was her mom, and he made cappuccino in her mom’s coffee shop in Missouri. At age of 15, Jack coded for a local glass artisan Jim McKelvey, who later Jack founded Square to solve Jim’s dilemma of not able to receive credit card payments.
(A Golden Gate Bridge model is on a wooden desk with Squares, and a Rothko No. 8 color block with reflection of Square logo in addition to the Square carpets - such high attention to detail in the office design carries a lot about a company’s philosophy)
In an interview, Jack crystalized what a “founder” really means
“A founder is not a job. It’s a role. It’s an attitude. It’s something that can happen again and again and again.” Jack talked about how a company can have multiple founding moments.
To me, this view is important to share and corrects the black and white “founder” definition of a company. At the same time, it signals to me that Jack strives to stay humble and distribute credits to those who deserve. In his Stanford GSB talk, he talked about how Twitter product kept improving because the team listened and observed the users, and made it better and better.
In Nov 2011, Princeton TigerTrek group visited Square HQ and I had a chance to listen to Jack in person.
Take a look the carefully arranged Squares in this conference room.
The original painting I based off and the different versions:
(1) I noticed that Jack used the photo below for his Twitter profile picture for a while, which might be a good picture to use to paint. In this photo, Jack’s pose suggests that he is thinking and his intense gaze conveys a sense of deep thought and somewhat melancholy. It seems as if a genius idea is under development.
(2) Below I applied a filter to my original painting to show consistent color scheme with the photo I used.
(3) After finishing the first draft, I posted on WeChat moments to ask for feedback. I then changed the mouth and the hand, and added logos of Twitter and Square.