Jack Dorsey on Innovation and Life

March 1, 2013

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square, spoke at Cleveland Clinic last night. Certainly a humble guy but also highly focused on using technology to solve problems. Here is the twitter stream from the presentation. Also, check out this cool 360 view.
As you can see, some very quotable lines, such as, related to the blocking of Twitter by Syria, Iran and China, “Information, like water, will always find a way.” And who does he like to read on Twitter – his mom and mom’s dog as well as his favorite authors.

Other quotes:
“The biggest thing I learned from Steve Jobs is that you can’t follow in someone else’s footsteps.”
I love this principle of showing not telling. Doors open when I show, not tell.
@jack was asked whether he’s more artist or entrepreneur, he said artist but can never really call yourself one!
“When we drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, we don’t think about it. It’s a utility to reach destination.”
“The most precious thing we have is our health, and it’s the thing we understand least.”
“Design is immediately presenting the function through the form. Determine what is the most meaningful thing and focus on that.”
“Design is more than visual, it’s a practice – process”
“The power of the message to bring value to the receiver. ”
Great quote from @jack talking about social media making people relatable. “The small details of life are what bind us together”
“I want to build things that will last, that are timeless…”
“Some view programming as a practical, mechanical interface, but I see it as very beautiful.”
“I believe we should build technologies that will disappear.”

But most significant was his business philosophy: Square and Twitter both founded on the premise of being a tool that “gets out of way” so people can focus on important stuff. That made me wonder about health information technology and particularly EMRs. Many (especially providers and patients) that the technology often gets in the way of the encounter instead of disappearing. How can that change? Mostly, I think in the user interface and device level. Can the EMR be mobile rather than having a desktop computer in the exam room? How about the provider being able to dictate and have that information inserted into the record. Are mobile apps for patients and quantified self transparent enough that they get out of the way or are they as clunky as large EMRs?

I think we need @Jack to teach us about the “art” in the UI and to think from the users perspective rather than starting with the technology.

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2 Responses to “Jack Dorsey on Innovation and Life”

  1. I find it interesting that Jack is speaking to some many healthcare audiences. Is this is a predictor of a future company? We could use some of Jack’s magic in healthcare.

    I’ve been completely fascinated by Jack’s idea that a beautiful interface disappears. I think it’s the perfect way to describe it. I saw a few examples at HIMSS that I described in this post: http://www.emrandehr.com/2013/03/05/improving-the-ehr-interface-and-topol-saves-patients-life-on-flight-home/ I don’t think we’re there yet with EHR, but I see some inklings that a lot of people are working on it.

  2. Jai Catalano says:

    I totally agree… “The biggest thing I learned from Steve Jobs is that you can’t follow in someone else’s footsteps.”

    I don’t agree…. “The most precious thing we have is our health, and it’s the thing we understand least.”

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