Jack Dorsey is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of the social networking site, Twitter, and the online payments platform, Square.
Dorsey grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and took an interest in computers at a young age. At 15, intrigued by the challenges faced by taxi drivers, delivery trucks, and other vehicles that require constant communication, he wrote the dispatch software used by taxi companies for years afterward.
Dorsey spent a short time at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, before transferring to New York University. One semester short of graduating, he left NYU for Oakland, California, where he launched a business offering the dispatch software online. Soon, he developed an idea that would marry the capabilities of his software with the simplicity of instant messaging.
The concept was simple—what if there was a way you could easily share your status with your friends or followers, so they could know what you're doing in real time?
He pitched to the now-defunct Silicon Valley company, Odeo, and along with two of their executives, launched Obvious, which would evolve into what we now know as Twitter. Dorsey quickly built a basic website where users could “tweet” or post brief updates in 140 characters or less.
Twitter launched in 2006 with Dorsey as CEO, a role he maintained until 2008 when he was replaced by co-founder Evan Williams.
In its early days, Twitter was criticized as a shallow tool for self-promotion and narcissism. However, as high-profile users began tweeting, the critics quieted and it grew into a powerful social platform, capable of propelling political discourse and live updates of current events. Notably, John McCain and Barack Obama utilized the platform during the 2008 presidential election to stay connected with their supporters on the campaign trail.
By 2010, over 105 million Twitter users were tweeting a collective 55 million times per day. Dorsey already had his eyes on other pursuits, launching Square that year, a company that allowed people to take card payments from their mobile phone or tablet with a small, add-on device. In October 2015, Square filed for an IPO and went public the following month.
Twitter’s 2013 IPO had boosted Dorsey’s fortune significantly, with its share price rising from $26 to $45 in the first day of trading. He returned to the company as interim CEO in 2015 and later became CEO.
In 2018, he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss the platform’s role in political conversations online. According to Dorsey, Twitter has an incentive to maintain all voices in the conversation and remain impartial. President Donald Trump has criticized Twitter, raising concerns about his followers being removed and certain tweets being flagged for potential false information.
Dorsey’s philanthropy has increased in recent years. In October 2019, he funded the planting of 150,000 trees for the #TeamTrees climate change initiative, and in 2020, announced that he would donate $1 billion of equity in Square—almost a third of his total wealth—to coronavirus relief. Dorsey has also donated to political causes, including the 2020 presidential campaigns of Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard and the pursuit of a guaranteed basic income program.
Dorsey lives in San Francisco and is known for his unusual and sometimes controversial lifestyle choices.
During the last quarter, Jack Dorsey has sold $23,013,000.00 in shares of Square stock. Most recently, Jack Dorsey sold 100,000 shares of the business's stock in a transaction on Monday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $230.13, for a transaction totalling $23,013,000.00.