Y Combinator Podcast: Jack Dorsey On The Books That Helped Him Succeed

Full podcast here.

  • I’m going to read to you from some books that have helped me along the way. There’s so many lessons in these books. (0:39)

  • Book recommendation: The Art Spirit by Robert Henri (1:10)

  • One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is how important the work is. Not just the end product. But the craft. Doing, inventing. (2:44)

  • We are not here to do what has already been done. (3:38)

  • Don’t worry about the rejections: everybody that’s good has gone through it.(5:05)

  • With motive you will become clairvoyant of means, you will cease and command them. Without motive you will wobble about. What is your purpose? 
    (6:12)

  • Book recommendation: The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy on Leadership (8:10)

  • He took a team that was at the bottom and brought them to the top. He focused on the details. He didn’t say you need to win games. He said you need to tuck in your shirts. You need to clean your lockers. This is how we answer the phones here. He set a new standard of performance. (8:19) 

  • 1. Be yourself. 2. Be committed to excellence. 3. Be positive. (11:29)

  • Many startup folks that start early have the least pressure in the company. They should actually have the most pressure in the company. (13:57) 

  • Recognize that mastery is a process. Not a destination. (17:36)

  • Make a note that you will look at daily (jack uses apple notes). Make two lists DO and DON’T. You have a list of things you want to do every day. Then things you do not want to do. His Do’s: be present, be vulnerable. Only drink water or red wine. squats and pushups, planks. Stand up straight etc.. His Don’ts: be late, eat sugar, wheat or dairy, set expectations that can’t be met. (19:39) 

  • You are the ones that have ideas in your head. You’re the only ones that can actually build it yourself. That is your task. (28:16)