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Posted at 12:51 PM ET, 03/18/2013

‘Hip to be square’: Jack Dorsey on wanting to run for NYC mayor and whether he’s nerdier than Steve Jobs


Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey speaks during the Clinton Global Initiative, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010, in New York. (Mark Lennihan - AP)

Watch this profile from CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and try not to hum Huey Lewis and the News’s “Hip to be Square” — especially after seeing this photo of Dorsey complete with dreadlocks and a nose-ring.

In addition to his foundational work on Twitter, Dorsey is also the co-founder of Square — the mobile payment system that can turn a smartphone user into a vendor. And, thanks to his inventions, he’s now a billionaire who seeks to follow in the footsteps of yet another billionaire — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

That’s right, Jack Dorsey wants to run for mayor of New York. Not that it’s news — he said as much to Vanity Fair in 2011. But Dorsey’s ambitions are very much in line with this call from reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian for more geeks to run for office.

The CBS profile is a tour through Dorsey’s life, including his early years studying maps and mass transportation and emergency response systems — the early inspiration for Dorsey’s work on Twitter. Overall, a glowing profile (CBS titled the segment “The Innovator”), the interview also highlights another trend that has been swirling around Dorsey for a while: that he could be the next Steve Jobs.

“Many believe Jack Dorsey is the intellectual successor to Jobs,” says CBS reporter Lara Logan during the piece, citing Forbes as having called Dorsey a bigger nerd than Jobs.


Square, a credit card reader made for smartphones, is plugged into an iPhone for a photograph in New York on Oct. 25, 2010. (Jin Lee - Bloomberg)
In November, Eric Savitz indeed wrote that “at 35 this philosophical entrepreneur reminds you a little bit of another technology wizard with mystical leanings. But Dorsey is nerdier than Steve Jobs (he is a programmer first, an impresario second), and his ego seems in check.”

But it should be also noted that the same magazine also published a piece on why the search for the next Jobs is “fruitless.”

“Ignore these labels. Everyone should spend more time identifying the next big thing and the next big leader,” wrote Eric Jackson in October, “instead of trying to drive forward by looking in the rear-view mirror.”

The interview is worth watching, particularly when Dorsey acknowledges that, when it comes to communicating, he’s better with text than face-to-face (which would make campaign glad-handing a challenge). Also, a tour through Dorsey’s favorite coffee shop, which now uses a seamless payment system powered by Square, is an interesting peek at the future nature of currency.

Then, there’s the reporter’s notebook-style “Overtime” where Logan says, “If I had to think about what would a great philosopher be like today, it’s probably Jack Dorsey.” Dorsey also talks about how Twitter and Square are more than companies — they are, to his mind, “movements.”

Dorsey also discusses his mother’s love of Twitter, and how “it showed a side of my parents, and my mother and my brothers that I had not seen before,” said Dorsey. “I always know how they’re waking up, I always know how they’re falling asleep. I always know what matters to them because they’re tweeting about it.”

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By  |  12:51 PM ET, 03/18/2013

 
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