The 5 books that most influenced Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey


jack dorsey

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Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey's most prized possession is a copy of "Tao Te Ching" given to him by a friend. 

Unsurprisingly, the ancient manual is also one of his favorite books. 

"I love reading!" Dorsey revealed in a Q&A session Product Hunt Tuesday afternoon. 


With the 39-year-old Dorsey doing double duty as CEO of Square and Twitter, it's not clear when he has time to read. Dorsey may have structured some built-in book time to his tightly regimented daily routine.

Here are the five books that he said had the greatest influence on his life, with their descriptions:

"Tao te Ching": Believed to have been written in the 6th century BC by Lao-tzu,  "Tao Te Ching" or "Book of the Way" is about "art of living." 


It's one of those books that the same person can read many times and continue to glean new insights from with each reading:

"Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership" by Bill Walsh: This book compiles all the leadership advice of Bill Walsh, former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and then Stanford University's foodball team, who died of leukemia in 2007. From the book's Amazon description: "Bill Walsh taught that the requirements of successful leadership are the same whether you run an NFL franchise, a fortune 500 company, or a hardware store with 12 employees."


between the world and me


"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates: This bestseller explores the history of race in the United States. 

It offers "a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis," according to its Amazon description. 

"The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom" by Don Miguel Ruiz: Ruiz, a shaman and a Toltec spiritualist, outlines the philosophies necessary to live a life "filled with grace, peace, and unconditional love."


In case you're curious, the four agreements are, in a nutshell:

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
  2. Don't Take Anything Personally.
  3. Don't Make Assumptions.
  4. Always Do Your Best.

"The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway: This story of a fisherman's attempt to hook a big marlin out in the Gulf Stream is one of Hemingway's most-read books. 

But more than just an interesting story, it dives deep into "the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss."


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