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Jack Dorsey Cements Reputation as Intense, Product-Obsessed Nerd in Product Hunt Q&A

He sleeps six hours and he likes to meditate. A lot.


Jack Dorsey, CEO of both Square and Twitter, when described aloud, sounds like a mythical startup figure that a venture capitalist would conjure through a thick haze of marijuana smoke while chatting with a group of friends.

He is a Jobsian “product visionary” who is said to obsess over the tiniest details of every project; he is an experienced executive with two companies in two different spaces that have gone public; he used to be an anarchist programmer with piercings; he is able to frame even the most basic of questions about Twitter and Square’s business as existential queries about the nature of humanity’s relationship to technology; he is a white male tech executive with a fondness for Eastern philosophy.

In a live question and answer session on Product Hunt today, Dorsey touched on all of these points. He talked about his favorite hip-hop albums, what he looks for in prospective hires and his most-used apps. He even took the time to type a reply to notorious Twitter activist investor Chris Sacca.

Here are the highlights:

Replying to Chris Sacca on which metrics he thinks are useful to track Twitter’s growth and business: “What I care about is building daily utility. It’s the first thing people check when they wake up because they want to see the world, and the first place people go when they have something to say or want to have a conversation. Everything happening in the world is on Twitter, and I want to make sure everyone can participate!”

How he relaxes and “de-stresses” outside the office: “Meditation, exercise, dinner with friends. Nothing too out of the ordinary.”

His top three mentors:Ray Chambers, Bob Iger, Lauryn Hill (who I haven’t met but learn a lot from!)”

The most important thing he looks for in prospective hires: “I look for passion. Only thing that can’t be taught. Why Square? Why Twitter? If I hear passion for the purpose in the answer, then I look for leadership and skill. Passion and purpose and principles first though!”

Books that he likes: “Tao te Ching, score takes care of itself, between the world and me, the four agreements, the old man and the sea. … I love reading!”

Top five apps that he uses the most: “Twitter cash caviar periscope vine!” (Ed. note: He is the CEO of companies that own all of these.)

Who inspires him the most: “Recently: Malala”

On whether his company is still looking for a CMO: “Yes!”

His definition of success: “Impact”

And finally, his sleep schedule, and some “hacks” he uses to get through the day: “I sleep from 11-5a usually. Blackout shades help. Meditation and exercise!”*

* Curiously, this does not square with what the Wall Street Journal has reported about Dorsey’s work routine. The Journal says that Dorsey “works as much as 18 hours” as the CEO of both Square and Twitter. If Dorsey gets six hours of sleep, meditates for a time, exercises, has dinner with friends and/or commutes from home, it would appear that he is either sleeping less or working less than he’s letting on.

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