Before Twitter, Jack Dorsey Wasn’t So Big on Capitalism

Forget IPOs and shareholders, co-founder once wanted to revert to the barter sytem

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder, is about to make a fortune, but there was a time he wanted nothing to do with the almighty dollar.

In old Internet posts, which were published today by Valleywag, Dorsey wrote about wanting to revert to a barter system.

“I also wish to end my dependence on the American Dollar ($), and in that vain am setting up a bartering network,” a younger Dorsey wrote.

Dorsey’s thoughts in the online posts were mostly scrubbed from the Internet but were brought back thanks to, which keeps snapshots of older Web pages. Valleywag examined some of 36-year-old Dorsey’s postings under the pseudonym JakDaemon. His online writings from last decade before Twitter’s 2006 founding portrayed him as a seemingly sensitive, poetic and anarchist-leaning techno-loving techie.

It was no secret that Dorsey was more punk than straight laced in his younger years with blue dyed hair. Still, it is interesting to see his evolution from looking for a couch to crash on to one of the world’s top tech titans.

Twitter is on track to sell shares in the company publicly for the first time, raising billions of dollars, and growing the value of Dorsey’s stake in the company. Taking a company public is a hallmark of capitalism, a clear evolution from Dorsey’s “down with the dollar” musings.

Dorsey also founded Square, an electronics payment company that looks to rival the biggest financial companies in the world like Visa and MasterCard.

In the online posts from years ago, Dorsey said he would be willing to barter computer lessons for “a floor to sleep on in your city.”

The revealing look at pre-Twitter Dorsey through his online entries comes amid renewed interest in the charismatic co-founder. The New Yorker published a profile of the man this week, which delves into the now disputed founding myth behind the hot company. And Nick Bilton of The New York Times, who wrote a book on Twitter's origins, claimed that Dorsey was responsible for pushing out an early founder, Noah Glass. 

The New Yorker piece tells the same story from Dorsey's side. "I didn't give an ultimatum," said Dorsey. Per The New Yorker, Dorsey also said his co-founder Ev Williams asked him if he wanted Glass gone.