Jack Dorsey in Canada: Fireside Chats Versus Keynote Speaker Presentations #AccelerateTO



Yesterday, AccelerateTO presented Mike Serbinis, founder of Kobo, and Jack Dorsey, founder of Square/Twitter. Both speakers came to the event and presented in a fireside chat style conversation, where the host talks to them in what’s supposed to be a casual and frank manner, with the goal of getting more of a personal, insider’s view into the guest’s mind. This sort of discussion is sometimes really well done, and will often press the speaker to talk about things they might be otherwise uncomfortable with. Sometimes this isn’t the case, and you can tell that the interviewer is just taking it as an opportunity to be buddy-buddy with the speaker. In this case it was Chris Albinson talking to Jack Dorsey about everything we’ve already read about a million times.

Feel like you missed the Jack Dorsey talk? Let me recap exactly what he said with links to where it was already said before.

First, Albinson asked Jack about his roots, where he grew up and how he came to Twitter. This story about his love for dispatch systems is well documented and already talked about ad nauseum. Here is Jack talking about growing up and loving dispatch systems way back in 2011:

Albinson also asked Jack about the Golden Gate Bridge, which was a segue to how Jack brought the Twitter team out to the bridge to tell the story of its construction. This story is also 2 years old and TechCrunch even has video of it.

Here is the video:

Jack Dorsey also talked about his love of Punk Rock which came out of a NYMag interview over a year ago.

Also documented over a year ago and talked about during the fireside chat, was the fact that Square was almost called Squirrel.

What else did they talk about? Well, I do remember Jack ending the fireside chat with a discussion about editing and how it’s important to the business. Which is a lot like this video from a year ago (where he also talks about his dispatch roots yet again):

When you’re as rich and influential as Jack Dorsey, you’re under a lot of pressure to say the same personal story over and over again. You don’t want to stray too much from the story for fear of having a negative impact on your company or the future of your career. The story of Jack being into maps, hacking a dispatch system, getting a career in dispatch and ultimately starting Twitter, is a fairly interesting story that ties his personality and company nicely together. The problem is that if you’re at all in touch with the tech industry, you’ve heard this story a million times and it’s now pretty boring.

Perhaps Dorsey is tired of telling it too. Maybe the best approach here would have been to either get Jack Dorsey to do his own talk about whatever he’s most passionate about at this moment, or ask risky questions in a fireside chat. If you’re not getting the speaker to say “no comment” or “I can’t talk about that at the moment”, maybe you’re not asking the right questions. To do neither does a disservice to both the listeners and the speaker.

The one piece of information that was new during his talk? Square announced at AccelerateTO that they would be opening a new office in Waterloo. Cool.

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