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The great legacy of Jack Dorsey at Twitter

Jack Dorsey stepped down as Twitter CEO for the second time this week. Photo: IANS

Jack Dorsey stepped down as Twitter CEO for the second time this week. Photo: IANS

Published Dec 5, 2021


Jack Dorsey stepped down as Twitter CEO for the second time this week. This time around he leaves the social media platform in a far better position than his first term as a leader.

Although his second term was clouded by his dual roles at Twitter and Square he turned Twitter around to become a public utility.

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When he booted out the 45th president of the US from the platform the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth fought tooth and nail to keep his Twitter account of million followers.

Dorsey does not get enough credit for the role he played at Twitter.

Under his leadership, Twitter was not just a piece of technology but a values-driven company that took seriously its role as a platform for global conversations.

Although Dorsey failed at times to keep order and decorum on the platform, we can’t blame him for not trying.

The establishment of a decentralised social media protocol called Bluesky is a great example of a kind of Twitter Dorsey was building. Bluesky is an initiative to develop a decentralised social network protocol, such that multiple social networks, each with its systems of curation and moderation, can interact with other social networks through an open standard.

Mike Solana referred to this as an attempt by Dorsey “to build a platform with no boss” by leveraging blockchain.

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Although this project is still in research mode, if it achieves its objectives it will become one of the most important contributions by Dorsey at Twitter.

Dorsey was a different kind of leader and an open book. The Twitter community always knew what he was thinking about the platform. He was a tweeting leader. He kept Twitter relevant and innovative.

His last years at Twitter were some of the best and most difficult. He led during a pandemic with teams working from home and yet the platform delivered great product features.

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Many users will remember that when Clubhouse was launched many felt left out and Twitter came through for everyone by launching Spaces.

Today Spaces is probably one of the leading audio platforms in the social audio space. Jack struggled to make money for Twitter.

Lately, he tried a monetisation programme for creators and a form of subscription service.

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The impact of these programmes will probably be felt years after his departure and they will remain an important legacy for Dorsey at Twitter.

For now little can be said about the leadership qualities of his successor, Parag Agrawal. What he does with Twitter going forward will either dent or enhance the legacy of Jack Dorsey at Twitter.

The man who brought us Twitter is not done, he now leads another giant called Block (formerly Square now with other tech platforms such as Tidal and CashApp).


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