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How I Think

🍷 jack dorsey loves lemon water and wine

Published almost 2 years ago • 1 min read

Jack Dorsey created $100 billion of value with Twitter and Square.

But you probably never read past that headline.

So I binged hours of interviews to learn how he thinks.

Here are 10 of Jack's principles on productivity, startups and life:


1) "140 Reasons Why Square Will Fail"

Jack pitched Square with a slide with all the reasons why they would fail.

And then rejected each reason and explained why.

The fastest way to a yes is to tackle all the reasons they could say no.

2) Building a great product is writing a screenplay about your customer.

• How do they find it?

• How do they use it?

• Why would they come back?

• How would they tell a friend?

The more vivid the story, the clearer your roadmap for building what someone loves.

3) Do's and Don't's List

Open a note on your phone and name it "Daily"

List what you must do and never do.

Check it in the morning.

Check it throughout the day and before bed.

This simple manual frees you from the noise to focus on what matters.

Jack's list from 2013:

4) How to prioritize your work:

Is what I'm doing now the most important thing I could do?

If I were to look back in 10 years, would I be proud of the hour I'm spending right now?

5) In developed countries, innovation comes from desire.

In developing countries, innovation comes from necessity.

6) You are building what you want to see in the world.

Your bet is that others want the same.

You can win or lose that bet.

But building for yourself is infectious.

And the only way to attract the best and brightest to your cause.

7) The biggest mistakes when scaling startups:

• Failing to criticize answers you find

• Trying to solve too many problems at once

• Failing to find a way to accurately test what you think is right

8) You build a big business by solving the most critical need today.

While ensuring you don't forget about tomorrow.

9) How to fundraise:

"For Square, we set up 2 weeks of investor meetings.

The 1st week we met with everyone we did NOT want money from.

And we got all the tough questions.

The 2nd week we met with our top choices.

And had all the answers."

10) How to validate your startup idea:

1) Write it down immediately or hack together a prototype

2) Show a few friends

Reactions you will get:

1) Wow

2) Meh

With a wow, spend more time.

With a meh, put it on the shelf for another time.


Keep crushing it,

Chris Hlad

p.s. my favorite video from Jack was a talk he gave at Y Combinator's in 2013. You can check it out here

How I Think

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