Jack Dorsey was once a punk. He played in bands, his hair was a loose mess, he had *a tattoo*, and his website was littered in cuss-laden poetry. But then he traded his nose ring for Dior glasses, co-founded Twitter and Square, and amassed a fortune that affords him $10 million seaside homes.
It's safe to say the lightly-tattooed Dorsey has firmly put his blue-haired past behind him. But that didn't stop CNNMoney, the apparent Pitch4k of financial journalism, from setting him up to talk about how punk rock made the "very polished" Dorsey the businessman he is today. And he took the bait.
"I'm still a punk," Dorsey explained. "What was amazing to me about the punk scene, and why I got into it, is because there was this confidence of 'I'm not going to go off, be shy about learning how to be a musician', [...] people would get up on stage and they would just play and they were terrible, they were absolutely terrible, and then you'd see them next week and they were a little bit better, and you'd see them in a year and they were The Ramones."
Dorsey went on to compare the rise of The Ramones to open-source developers and Linux. "People would write code, and it was terrible. They'd write it again, and it was terrible. And a year from there, it was Linux." In other words, all coders are just talentless nobodies, leveling up their skills as they hack their way to greatness.
It's nonsense—the fable of Silicon Valley, failing up to inevitable riches, repeated yet again. But it's hard to fault Dorsey for perpetuating it. He threw up a few mortifying #tbts, and now he has to explain how a bunch of punks with Elmer's glue in their hair screaming about Reagan lead him found a point of sale merchant services company backed by Visa.
But in Silicon Valley, where coders are "rockstars" and PR jockeys are "growth hackers," CEOs might as well be punk.