All posts in “jack dorsey”

Jack Dorsey hangs out in an EMF-shielded ‘tent,’ once turned entirely orange

What do you get from an EMF-shielded tent? A pain in the neck and an IQ of ten.
What do you get from an EMF-shielded tent? A pain in the neck and an IQ of ten.

Image: photo:  Phillip Faraone / Getty. Illustration: Vicky Leta / Mashable 

Jack Dorsey once turned completely orange. 

His skin was orange. His hair was orange. Even his eyes were orange. But as he biohacked his way toward mental clarity, becoming an overgrown Oompa Loompa was just another necessary step on the journey. 

This bizarre detail about the CEO of Twitter and Square was just one of many shared by Dorsey on the March 16 episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast — an episode highlighted in a recent New York Times article addressing Dorsey’s affinity for “salt juice.” The rambling roughly hour-long conversation covers a range of topics, and paints a picture of a man who can barely figure out what to do with his own body let alone Twitter. 

But that doesn’t mean Dorsey doesn’t have ideas

For starters, the CEO told Greenfield that he recently purchased a sauna that is an electromagnetic field-shielded “little tent” with a freestanding stool in the middle.  

“No radiation EMF from power, from Wi-Fi, from cellular” gets through, he observed. “[It] feels a little bit different because you’re not getting hit by all the EMF energy.”

The Faraday model sauna from SaunaSpace.

The Faraday model sauna from SaunaSpace.

Image: saunaspace

In case you’re curious, the World Health Organization notes that “despite extensive research, to date there is no evidence to conclude that exposure to low level electromagnetic fields is harmful to human health.”

But hey, that’s just the science talking. “I feel a lot more energized,” Dorsey explains of the EMF-free experience. “I feel a lot cleaner.”

In addition to going away to his personal pillow fort, Dorsey bragged about his shower routine. “All my showers are cold showers,” he told Greenfield. “I just do not do, I don’t do hot anymore.”

But back to Dorsey turning orange. He explained on the podcast that, during a two-year stint as a vegan (before moving on to a paleo diet), he briefly left his circle of enablers for a trip to the Midwest. 

“At one point midway through I went back to my parents for Thanksgiving and my mom opened the door and said, ‘Jack you’re orange,'” he recalled. “And I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’ She’s like, ‘You’re orange. Your skin is orange, your eyes are orange, your hair is orange. You’re orange.'”

It was all the beta carotene supplements he was taking, it turns out. He commented to Greenfield that neither he, nor his friends, had noticed the transition. 

For Dorsey, this all comes back to the importance of experimentation. Just like his two-year habit of only eating one meal a day and intermittent weekend-long fasts, the CEO appears to believe that if he just keeps tweaking the inputs he will one day reach maximum efficiency. 

Well, either that or turn an entirely new color. Maybe chartreuse? It would, after all, present a nice visual contrast the next time he sits down with Donald Trump.  

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Diving into TED2019, the state of social media, and internet behavior

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. Last week, TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha gave us his recap of the TED2019 conference and offered key takeaways from the most interesting talks and provocative ideas shared at the event.

Under the theme, ‘Bigger Than Us’, the conference featured talks, Q&A’s, and presentations from a wide array of high-profile speakers, including an appearance from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey which was the talk of the week. Anthony dives deeper into the questions raised in his onstage interview that kept popping up: How has social media warped our democracy? How can the big online platforms fight back against abuse and misinformation? And what is the Internet good for, anyway?

“…So I would suggest that probably five years ago, the way that we wrote about a lot of these tech companies was too positive and they weren’t as good as we made them sound. Now the pendulum has swung all the way in the other direction, where they’re probably not as bad we make them sound…

…At TED, you’d see the more traditional TED talks about, “Let’s talk about the magic of finding community in the internet.” There were several versions of that talk this year. Some of them very good, but now you have to have that conversation with the acknowledgement that there’s much that is terrible on the internet.”

Ivan Poupyrev

Image via Ryan Lash / TED

Anthony also digs into what really differentiates the TED conference from other tech events, what types of people did and should attend the event, and even how he managed to get kicked out of the theater for typing too loud.

For access to the full transcription and the call audio, and for the opportunity to participate in future conference calls, become a member of Extra Crunch. Learn more and try it for free. 

Twitter makes ‘likes’ easier to use in its twttr prototype app. (Nobody tell Jack.)

On the one hand, you’ve got Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lamenting the “like” button’s existence, and threatening to just kill the thing off entirely for incentivizing the wrong kind of behavior. On the other hand, you have twttr — Twitter’s prototype app where the company is testing new concepts including, most recently, a way to make liking tweets even easier than before.

Confused about Twitter’s product direction? Apparently, so is the company.

In the latest version of the twttr prototype, released on Thursday, users are now able to swipe right to left on any tweet in order to “like” it. Previously, this gesture only worked on tweets in conversation threads, where the engagement buttons had been hidden. With the change, however, the swipe works anywhere — including the Home timeline, the Notifications tab, your Profile page, or even within Twitter Search results. In other words, it becomes a more universal gesture.

This makes sense because once you got used to swiping right, it was confusing that the gesture didn’t work in some places, but did in others. Still, it’s odd to see the company doubling down on making “likes” easier to use — and even rolling out a feature that could increase user engagement with the “Like” button — given Jack Dorsey’s repeated comments about his distaste for “likes” and the conversations around the button’s removal.

Of course, twttr is not supposed to be Dorsey’s vision. Instead, it’s meant to be a new experiment in product development, where users and Twitter’s product teams work together, in the open, to develop, test, and then one day officially launch new features for Twitter.

For the time being, the app is largely focused on redesigning conversation threads. On Twitter today, these get long and unwieldy, and it’s not always clear who’s talking to who. On twttr, however, threads are nested with a thin line connecting the various posts.

The app is also rolling out other, smaller tweaks like labels on tweets within conversations that highlight the original “Author’s” replies, or if a post comes from someone you’re “following.”

And, of course, twttr introduced the “swipe to like” gesture.

While it’s one thing to want to collaborate more directly with the community, it seems strange that twttr is rolling out a feature designed to increase — not decrease — engagement with “likes” at this point in time.

Last August, for example, Dorsey said he wanted to redesign key elements of the social network, including the “like” button and the way Twitter displays follower counts.

“The most important thing that we can do is we look at the incentives that we’re building into our product,” Dorsey had said at the time. “Because they do express a point of view of what we want people to do — and I don’t think they are correct anymore.”

Soon after, at an industry event in October 2018, Dorsey again noted how the “like” button sends the wrong kind of message.

“Right now we have a big ‘like’ button with a heart on it, and we’re incentivizing people to want to drive that up,” said Dorsey. “We have a follower count that was bolded because it felt good twelve years ago, but that’s what people see us saying: that should go up. Is that the right thing?,” he wondered.

While these comments may have seemed like a little navel-gazing over Twitter’s past, a Telegraph report about the “like” button’s removal quickly caught fire. It claimed Dorsey had said the “like” button was going to go away entirely, which caused so much user backlash that Twitter comms had to respond. The company said the idea has been discussed, but it wasn’t something happening “soon.” (See above tweet).

Arguably, the “like” button is appreciated by Twitter’s user base, so it’s not surprising that a gesture that could increase its usage would become something that gets tried out in the community-led twttr prototype app. It’s worth noting, however, how remarkably different the development process is when it’s about what Twitter’s users want, not the CEO.

Hmmm.

Hey, twttr team? Maybe we can get that “edit” button now?

Twitter co-founder subtweets Jack Dorsey into dust following Trump meeting

Can you block your co-founder?
Can you block your co-founder?

Image: Drew Angerer / getty 

The subtweet is coming from inside the house.

Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey was on the receiving end of a not-so-subtle own today following an April 23 Oval Office meeting with Donald Trump. It seems that Biz Stone, one of the company’s original co-founders, doesn’t think too highly of the CEO’s justification for meeting with the President. And so, Stone did what many frustrated Twitter users do: he used the platform to make his displeasure known. 

“I’ve got a meeting today that could result in division,” wrote Stone. “I’m letting you know so you don’t hear it from someone else first. I’m volunteering at a grade school math center. I’m hoping both parties will learn from the exchange.”

Stone’s condescending tweet was in reference to a Twitter staff email, reported by Motherboard, in which Dorsey acknowledged that his meeting with Trump will not be universally well received within the company. 

“Some of you will be very supportive of our meeting [with] the president, and some of you might feel we shouldn’t take this meeting at all,” he reportedly wrote. “In the end, I believe it’s important to meet heads of state in order to listen, share our principles and our ideas.”

The meeting, according to a Twitter spokesperson, was ostensibly about the upcoming presidential election and the country’s opioid crisis

“Jack had a constructive meeting with the President of the United States today at the president’s invitation,” wrote the spokesperson via email. “They discussed Twitter’s commitment to protecting the health of the public conversation ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections and efforts underway to respond to the opioid crisis.”

Notably, the statement did not include an explanation as to why the parents are fighting in public. 

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Talk media and TED2019 key takeaways with TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha

Anthony just returned from Vancouver, where he was covering the TED2019 conference — a much-parodied gathering where VCs, executives and other bigwigs gather to exchange ideas.

This year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got the biggest headlines, but the questions raised in his onstage interview kept popping up throughout the week: How has social media warped our democracy? How can the big online platforms fight back against abuse and misinformation? And what is the Internet good for, anyway? Wednesday at 11:00 am PT, Anthony will recap the five-day event’s most interesting talks and provocative ideas with Extra Crunch members on a conference call.

Tune in to dig into what happened onstage and off and ask Anthony any and all things media.

To listen to this and all future conference calls, become a member of Extra Crunch. Learn more and try it for free.