SAN FRANCISCO: Jack Dorsey may shy from being called the Steve Jobs of his generation, but there’s no question he’s on a hot streak.
Square, the mobile-payments startup company that has landed $340 million in venture capital, just moved into sprawling new offices in San Francisco after doubling its head count in less than a year.
The new location sits — coincidentally, Dorsey insists — a block from that of Twitter Inc., which he co-founded in 2006 and whose looming initial public offering of stock figures made Dorsey his second billion dollars in the past 13 months.
In an interview, the 36-year-old declined to say much about Twitter, citing federal “quiet period” rules that precede an IPO.
But asked how it felt to have invented two products whose users number into the hundreds of millions worldwide, the notoriously buttoned-up hacker allowed himself a moment of introspection.
“If you’re climbing on the mountain, it doesn’t look that massive to you,” he said from the glass-and-wood accented headquarters into which CEO Dorsey and most of Square’s 600 other employees recently moved.
Twitter’s long-rumored IPO filing revealed the microblogging service has more than 200 million active monthly users. Square, meanwhile, claims to process $15 billion annually in credit card transactions — not including a deal cut last year to handle all of Starbucks’ card payments.
But said Dorsey, “We don’t feel we’re at even 1 percent of our potential with either company.”
Dorsey, a bachelor who grew up in a blue-collar St. Louis family, owns 5 percent of Twitter and a reported one-third of Square. Each of those holdings is worth at least $1 billion, according to the estimated valuations of both companies.
To his admirers, though, Dorsey’s accomplishments aren’t measured in dollars, but in influence and vision.