ISIS threatened to end Jack Dorsey’s life for shutting down Jihad Twitter accounts. The threat hasn’t stopped Dorsey from continuing to unleash Twitter’s social media super powers to fight terrorism.
There’s no denying Twitter’s influence on the world and the 2.7 billion dollar co-founder could in fact be the man responsible for the election of Barack Obama in 2008; the reason Chris Strouth received a new kidney simply by tweeting, “Sh!t, I need a kidney;” the reason Aaron Durand was able to save his mom’s bookstore; and the reason Mark Hayward was able to save a stray dog’s life which collapsed in front of his home.
Jack Dorsey built two behemoth companies that have technologically changed the way we communicate, obtain news, and make payments (Square).
What are the sources of influence behind the mind of the successful internet entrepreneur?
Dorsey singles out two books in a speech given to a group of startup enthusiasts at YCombinator. The speech consists of Dorsey reciting his favorite influential passages from The Art Spirit and The Score Takes Care of Itself. Dorsey presents a powerful passage taken from The Art Spirit:
When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressive creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens for better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it and shows there are still more pages possible. The world would stagnate without him and the world would be beautiful with him. For he is interesting to himself and he is interesting to others. He does not have to be a painter or sculptor to be an artist. He can work in any medium. He simply has to find the gain in the work itself and not outside of it.
There’s a starving artist in all of us and we do not have to be Picassos in order to invent and create. The Art Spirit looks to tap into and unleash the inner artist for those who seek it regardless of profession. A tax accountant at H&R Block can create, disturb, and invent if he chooses to do so. The world will always need self-expressive artists in order to flourish. The hard part is learning how to revive the inner artist that’s disappeared or has been buried deep down.
The one book given to every new employee at square
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right – Atul Gawande
According to a Business Insider report, new employees at Square are given a welcome kit that includes The Checklist Manifesto—a book about how a simple checklist can help people manage complex situations. Gawande suggests it has become increasingly difficult to distribute complex and vast amounts of knowledge to people. A good ole-fashioned checklist can simplify the knowledge complexity and can be used across all mediums including science, medicine, and technology.
Yogi, personal freedom, and the devil visits the Soviet Union
Dorsey took to Twitter to list a few more of his favorite books:
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjaki by Swami Satchidananda: Sutras serves as the how-to manual of Raja Yoga. Learn how to harness your chi and get in touch with your spiritual side.
- The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz: Ruiz believes there are four steps to personal freedom: 1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Don’t take anything personally. 3. Don’t make assumptions. 4. Always do your best. The book uses these four steps to enhance spiritual knowledge while improving the mind, body, and wellness.
- The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakovn: The satirical novel set in Moscow during the 1920’s during Stalin’s regime, is the only fiction book listed out of the six. The story is about the experiences a writer and his mistress have with the Devil who visits Russia. The book is a powerful combination of history, religion, love, philosophy, satire, fantasy, and adventure.
All six books hit on important topics used for personal growth relating to business, spirituality, leadership, adventure and creativity. These reads served as essential building blocks for Jack Dorsey’s continued success as a business leader and can teach you a few life lessons as well.