Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Billionaire CEO Jack Dorsey Says He Is Totally "Still Punk"

Posted By on Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 9:30 AM

click to enlarge Jack Dorsey is still totally punk rock. - DAVID SHANKBONE/WIKIMEDIA
  • David Shankbone/Wikimedia
  • Jack Dorsey is still totally punk rock.

Just because one is a billionaire CEO who lives in a mansion and loves spreadsheets and oatmeal, "especially from an oatmeal bar," St. Louis' most famous tech entrepreneur insists he is still totally punk rock.

Back in the day, Dorsey rocked blue hair and played in bands. Then he stopped and became rich. But in an example of how completely punk-rock Dorsey still is, he says the lessons he learned from his punk days are what helps drive technological innovation and improves business.

"I'm still a punk," Dorsey tells CNN Money. "What was amazing to me about the punk scene, which is why I got into it, is because there was this confidence of 'I'm not going to go off, be shy about learning how to be a musician.'"

That lack of fear about sucking and continuing to improve is what punk is all about, Dorsey adds.

click to enlarge Dorsey in his more obvious "punk" days. - JACK DORSEY/INSTAGRAM
  • Jack Dorsey/Instagram
  • Dorsey in his more obvious "punk" days.

See also: Jack Dorsey: Twitter Co-Founder, St. Louis Native, Now Officially a Superhero (PHOTOS)

"The punk scene was thing thing where people would get up on the stage and they would play and they were terrible. They were absolutely terrible. And then you saw them next week, and they were a little bit better," he says. "And then you saw them the next week, and they were a little better. And then you saw them in a year, and they were the Ramones."

This is how punk rock is just like programming.

"People would write code and it was terrible, and they would write it again and it was terrible, and a year from then it was Linux, and now it's running the majority of every system out there today," Dorsey says.

See also: Did Jack Dorsey Fire the "Real Brains" Behind Twitter Before It Hit Big Time?

Although there might not be anything less punk than a billionaire giving business advice, Dorsey's statement could be taken two ways: as inspiration to not be afraid to fail or, as Valleywag put it, a myth that one can become rich as long as they try hard enough.

How one perceives that depends on their outlook. But give Dorsey some credit -- his Square company is no doubt helping at least some punk bands sell merchandise at their shows. So in a way, Dorsey really helping keep punk alive.

Follow Ray Downs on Twitter:

E-mail him at Ray.Downs@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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