Why retailers should know Jack Dorsey

I’ve just read the profile of Jack Dorsey, the man credited with creating Twitter, in this month’s issue of Vanity Fair.

It’s inspiring. At 34, Dorsey’s life has been insanely productive – everything from program writing to botanical illustration student, alongside a brief flirtation with fashion design in between.

Now, still chairman of Twitter and second majority shareholder, he’s also the CEO (and co-founder) of Square, a service that allows anyone to easily accept credit card payments via their smartphone by attaching a small square-shaped device. As author David Kirkpatrick writes: “Square can make anyone a merchant.”

For retail at every level, this is undeniably something to watch. The surge of m-commerce and the role of mobile payments are in heavy discussion at present; no one has nailed it on the head just yet, which is exactly why it makes for such good debate.

Dorsey’s plans for Square are big. Where Twitter became the new communications tool, this, he says, is the future payments network.

Sean Parker, of Facebook fame, comments: ““Maybe Square can become for Craigslist what PayPal is for eBay.” A big shout, but if Dorsey’s past experience is anything to go by, no doubt an achieveable one.

Dorsey’s ambition is to make life easier for people, the article explains; something he’s seemingly facilitating one invention at a time.

Add to that his devotion to design – the result of a childhood obsession with maps – and commitment to echoing this throughout his company, and I for one am sold.

I urge you to read it: Twitter Was Act One