The Two Minute Bio: Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey is an American businessman best known as the founder of the social networking site Twitter.

Inventor of Twitter Jack Dorsey was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 19, 1976. Growing up in St. Louis, Dorsey became interested in computers and communications at an early age and began programming while still a student at Bishop DuBourg High School. He was fascinated by the technological challenge of coordinating taxi drivers, delivery vans and other fleets of vehicles that needed to remain in constant, real-time communication with one another. When he was 15, Dorsey wrote dispatch software that is still used by some taxicab companies today.

After a brief stint at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, Dorsey transferred to New York University. In the tradition of computer science entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, he dropped out of college before receiving his degree. Instead, Dorsey moved to Oakland, California, and in 2000 started a company offering his dispatch software through the Web. Shortly after starting his company, Dorsey came up with the idea for a site that would combine the broad reach of dispatch software with the ease of instant messaging.

Dorsey approached a now-defunct Silicon Valley company called Odeo to pitch the concept. “He came to us with this idea: ‘What if you could share your status with all your friends really easily, so they know what you’re doing?'” said Biz Stone, a former Odeo executive. Dorsey, Stone and Odeo co-founder Evan Williams started a new company, called Obvious, which later evolved into Twitter. Within two weeks, Dorsey had built a simple site where users could instantly post short messages of 140 characters or less, known in Twitter parlance as “tweets.”

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey posted the world’s first tweet: “just setting up my twttr.” Dorsey was named the company’s chief executive officer. He removed his nose ring in an attempt to look the part of a mature Silicon Valley executive, though he kept his boyish, mop-like haircut and abstract, forearm-length tattoo whose shape represented, among other things, the human clavicle bone. Co-founder Evan Williams replaced Dorsey as Twitter’s CEO in October 2008, with Dorsey staying on as company chairman.


Net Worth: $2.8b


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