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“I never wanted to be an entrepreneur,” Jack Dorsey revealed during his keynote at DisruptSF to an audience of technology entrepreneurs. He dreamed of being a surrealist artist, a tailor, or a sailor. For him, entrepreneurship lies at the intersection of all these childhood dreams.

Dorsey, the cofounder of Square and Twitter, addressed a packed house in San Francisco this morning with a discussion of the history of great founders. According to the young CEO, being a founder is not a job or a one-time event. It’s a role or an attitude.

He gushed that today’s 20-something startup founders have inherited an entrepreneurial ethic from our nation’s Founding Fathers. Without innovation, he said, “our nation would not evolve, this organization would not evolve, and neither would companies.”

Dorsey added that most entrepreneurs will experience a series of founding moments, and for him, bringing on Dick Costolo as the CEO of Twitter cemented the direction of the company. He also drew on his personal experiences to remind fellow entrepreneurs to overcome failure, and the importance of pivoting. “Twitter was started because we had a good idea,” he said. “It started out of a failed company. That can happen in any company today or any organization.”

In July, Square made Dorsey a billion-dollar man, when the startup closed a $200 million funding round at a $3.25 billion valuation. VentureBeat touched base with him that month at a breakfast to announce Square’s partnership with Starbucks. Months later at Disrupt SF, Dorsey revealed that one of his mentors is Howard Schulz, Starbucks’ chief executive.

His parting words for the audience?

“I want you all to consider … how we recognize disruption and how we recognize these intersections ahead of us. The tools that all of you are building will accelerate that … We want a direction, we want a purpose. You have to have a good idea and convince other people of those ideas. You have to push as quickly as possible.”


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