“I don’t think there’s anything more important in my life to work on, and I don’t think there’s anything more empowering for people around the world,” he said. told the public at a Bitcoin conference in Miami in June.
Mr. Dorsey, whose oracular beard and quirky wellness routines have made him a cult figure in Silicon Valley, has become a crypto influencer in recent months. Bitcoin fans applauded his resignation on Monday, assuming he would spend his new free time advocating for their cause. (A more likely scenario is that he will continue to push crypto projects in Square, where he has already started building a decentralized financial business.)
Mr Dorsey did not respond to a request for comment, so I can’t be totally sure what is behind his release, but it’s easy to see why he would become agitated on Twitter after more than 15 years of involvement. He cut his teeth during the internet boom of the late 2000s and early 2010s, when being a co-founder of a trendy social media app was a pretty good gig. You’ve been invited to sophisticated conferences, investors have showered you with money, and the media has portrayed you as a disruptive innovator. If you’ve been lucky, you’ve even been invited to the White House to hang out with President Obama. Social media were changing the world – Kony 2012! The Arab Spring ! – and as long as your usage numbers continued to move in the right direction, life was good.
Today, running a giant social media company is – at first glance – pretty miserable. Sure, you’re rich and famous, but you spend your days dealing with a bloated bureaucracy and being blamed for the downfall of society. Instead of disrupting and innovating, you sit in boring meetings and fly to Washington so politicians can yell at you. Cool kids don’t want to work for you anymore – they’re busy flipping NFTs and building DeFi apps in the web3 – and regulators are breathing down your neck.
In many ways, today’s crypto scene has inherited the loose, free spirit of early social media companies. Crypto startups raise tons of money, attract huge amounts of hype, and embark on utopian missions to change the world. The crypto universe is full of weird geniuses with unusual pedigrees and a great appetite for risk, and web3 – a vision of a decentralized internet built around blockchains – contains many types of complex technical issues that engineers love. to resolve. These factors, along with the huge sums of money invested in crypto, have made it a tempting landing place for exhausted tech workers looking to reconnect with their youthful optimism – and possibly CEOs, too.
“Silicon Valley tech is the old guard, distributed crypto is the frontier,” Naval Ravikant, another crypto booster and one of Twitter’s earliest investors, tweeted this month.
Square, which builds mobile payment systems, has always been the most natural outlet for Mr. Dorsey’s crypto dreams. But he tried to incorporate some of the principles of Bitcoin into Twitter. The company added the Bitcoin tip and last year launched a decentralization project called Bluesky, with the goal of creating an open protocol that would allow outside developers to create Twitter-like social networks with different rules and functionality than those of the main Twitter application. (Mr Agrawal, who succeeds Mr Dorsey on Twitter, has been closely associated with these initiatives, meaning they are unlikely to go away when Mr Dorsey does.)