The Life of Jack: Twitter/Square co-founder details his grueling workweek

Managing a fast-growing tech start-up is not a job that everyone is cut out for.

Managing two of today’s hottest start-ups simultaneously? That’s a feat that could overwhelm even some of the corporate world’s biggest egos.

Somehow, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of microblogging service Twitter and mobile payment company Square, is managing to pull it off, putting in 8 hour days at each of the two companies every day, without collapsing into a pile of jello.

How does he do it?

Dorsey, who serves as Chairman of Twitter and CEO at Square, shed some light on his double-duty worklife during a talk at the Techonomy conference in Tucson, Arizona on Sunday.

The key, Dorsey explained, is to “theme” his workdays, with each day of the week dedicated to specific matters. Below is the schedule of Dorsey’s grueling workweek, as explained at the conference:


Monday: Focus on Management and running the company — Directional meeting at Square, Op Com meeting at Twitter. Dorsey also has his management one-on-ones on Monday.

Post-Shaq, video service Tout prepares to spread the word

San Francisco start-up Tout made headlines in June when NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal used the little-known service to create a video announcing his retirement.

Now the service, which allows users to create and share 15-second video messages with their friends and social networking contacts, is taking steps that could give it another big visibility boost.

In the next few weeks, Tout will introduce new features (an API, or application programming interface, for the technically-literate) that will allow Web publishers to integrate user videos directly onto their sites.

Shoes, glorious shoes (even in footloose Silicon Valley)

Silicon Valley is known for being more fleece than Ferragamo. But former Google executive Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is working on giving the place a makeover via her new shopping site, Unlike other high-end shopping sites such as Gilt Groupe and Rue La La that are based in the fashion hub of New York, Joyus calls the dress-down Bay Area home.

That means she raises lots of eyebrows with her wardrobe. The picture below, snapped by a friend in the audience and uncropped, shows Singh onstage at tech confab AllThingsD Asia last month with Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg. No prize for guessing which shoes are hers.

Ironically, given her love for shoes, she says they are one of the toughest sells on her site, which features products ranging from cosmetics to baby presents to clothing in limited-time sales.

For IVP, Twitter investment came from the gut, and quickly


In late 2008, Institutional Venture Partners general partner Todd Chaffee had never heard of Twitter. Two months later, it was one of the company’s biggest backers.

Speaking at Venture Capital Journal’s Venture Alpha conference Thursday, Chaffee described how a then-junior Institutional Ventures employee, Jules Maltz, came back from a December event organized by the Churchill Club, an organization that holds talks in the San Francisco Bay area. He had heard Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter talk and was impressed, but couldn’t get through the throngs to talk with him afterwards.

Chaffee realized that Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson, whom he knew in part through a shared investment in research company comScore, was a member of Twitter’s board of directors, and called him up. “Yeah, we don’t need any more money,” he recalled Wilson saying. But Chaffee persisted, and Wilson arranged an introduction.

Tech wrap: Samsung, Google scream for Ice Cream Sandwich

Samsung and Google unveiled the first smartphone running on Google’s latest version of the Android operating system, dubbed “Ice Cream Sandwich”, which combines software used in tablets and smartphones, as they step up competition against Apple. The high-end model Galaxy Nexus was unveiled at an event in Hong Kong, after being delayed last week as a tribute to the late Steve Jobs.  “This will be our strategic product for year-end holiday season, as (Apple’s) iPhone 4S just came into the market,” Samsung’s JK Shin said.

The Galaxy Nexus features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, super AMOLED HD 4.65-inch display, face recognition to unlock its screen,the ability to share content by tapping another phones equipped with a Near Field Communication chip, a camera boasting no shutter lag, and even a barometer. The global launch kicks off in November.

Twitter is looking for a director to bolster its board’s business credentials and diversity, and candidates include a former Google executive, a person familiar with the matter said. The search is in its early stages. But some names that have come up include Mariam Naficy, chief executive officer of paper goods company, and Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, chief executive officer at fashion retail site Joyus and the former president of Google’s Asia-Pacific and Latin American operations, the person told Reuters.

Another day, another social network: Bill Gross chimes in

How many social networks does the world need?

Bill Gross, the man credited with pioneering the search advertising business, believes there’s room for one more.

On Monday, Gross’ Ubermedia unveiled, a social media “platform organized around interests.”

The idea is to make it easier for people to cull the sea of social media content and home in on specific topics of interest, whether it’s photography, Indian cuisine or neighborhood-specific news.

Inside Zynga: Tour the office that’s raised the ante in Web start-up workspaces

Remember when a foosball table or a massage chair at the office was all it took for a company to flaunt its Web street cred?

Today, such on-site accoutrements seem as passé as a cathode ray tube monitor sitting atop a desk – a fact reporters discovered on Tuesday when they were invited to the new headquarters of Zynga, the social gaming giant that’s poised to do an IPO of up to $1 billion.

At the event, Zynga’s top brass took the stage to unveil a flurry of new games. But the event also gave the five-year-old company, whose hit titles include FarmVille and Mafia Wars, the chance to show off the new theme-park-like digs it moved into over the summer.

Tech wrap: Autonomy a done deal

Hewlett-Packard completed its $12 billion buy of British software firm Autonomy on Monday, the centerpiece of a botched strategy shift that cost ex-chief executive Leo Apotheker his job last month.

HP said its 25.50 pounds-per-share cash offer — representing a 79 percent premium that many HP shareholders found excessive — had been accepted by investors representing 87.34 percent of the company’s shares, well ahead of the 75 percent threshold needed.

The rushed announcements and concerns about the lofty price offered for Autonomy sent HP’s stock, and Apotheker’s credibility, plunging. But according to analysts, it would have been nearly impossible under British takeover rules for HP to extract itself from the Autonomy deal.

Tech wrap: RIM’s missteps stir talk of sale

Research In Motion’s dismal quarterly results, the latest in a string of disappointments by the BlackBerry maker, could prove a boon to prospective buyers eyeing its treasure trove of wireless patents.

RIM’s shares took a beating on Friday, tumbling as much as 24 percent, a day after it reported earnings and issued an outlook that gave shareholders little reason to expect an imminent turnaround by the once proud Canadian technology giant.

Seven states have joined the U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit to stop AT&T’s proposed purchase of T-Mobile USA, the Justice Department said.

Connecting on Facebook, friendship no longer required

For years, connecting with people on Facebook has been a consensual act.

But that’s about to change as Facebook, the world’s largest Internet social networking service, introduces a new feature that means people will no longer need to be friends to form a relationship.

A new “subscribe” button announced on Wednesday will allow Facebook users to essentially tune-in to updates from people they are interested in, but don’t necessarily know personally, such as artists, political figures, corporate executives, or columnists.

If that sounds similar to the way things work on Twitter, where an individual can “follow” anyone who is on the service and read their “tweets,” that’s because it is.  Perhaps more importantly, it’s similar to the capabilities available on Google+, the Internet search giant’s recently-launched social networking service.