Jack Dorsey and Running Two Companies

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jack Dorsey for the Distributed podcast, a conversation that ended up going a bit deeper and longer than previous episodes.

In preparation for the interview I kept coming across people critical about the fact that Jack is the CEO of two companies simultaneously, Twitter and Square, each having over 5,000 employees.

I think what people miss is that at that scale, running a company is not that different from running a large division of a company. No one asks Jeff Bezos how he’s CEO of both a retail company and a cloud computing one (AWS), or Tim Cook how he’s CEO of a hardware business and a services business, and of course with both of those examples the breadth of what the companies cover is much wider. Also as an added benefit, shareholders can choose to invest in Square and Twitter together or not.

All of that said, I think having a CEO-level seat at two of the most influential technology companies today does allow for accelerated learning, as organizational experiments will naturally happen at each company and then the best practice can be shared to the other. Jack wasn’t aware how much peer executives at each company meet with each other to share learnings, but that seems like an obvious win.

Readers of this blog will especially appreciate how much we talked about open source and cryptocurrencies, and his view on the three things he’s responsible for as CEO. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

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