THE BLOG

Is Twitter's Jack Dorsey the Next Steve Jobs?

06/25/2015 11:10 am ET | Updated Jun 25, 2016

Can Jack Dorsey do for Twitter what Steve Jobs did for Apple? That's the million-dollar question.

As Twitter CEO Dick Costolo gets ready to step down from his role, some industry experts are wondering whether Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey can become the next Steve Jobs. Like Jobs, Dorsey was forced to step down as leader of the company he helped piece together, only to take the lead years later as interim chief. Jobs' 1997 return to Apple is often referenced due to the extensive growth the company experienced afterwards. Apple's market capitalization went from $3 billion at the start of 1997 to $350 billion, after Jobs introduced us to beautiful technology that consumers can't live without. Twitter's future could hold similar events.

There's definitely room for improvement. With the social networking site experiencing slow growth rates and a very competitive and crowded social space, the company's next move is critical. Perhaps Dorsey is the right person for the job. For now, as he said, "It's really up to the search committee." Though his role as interim CEO is temporary, keeping him around long-term might not be a bad idea. Twitter needs a CEO who is passionate about the future of the company and who has vast experience in emerging technology.

Dorsey's zest for Twitter is obvious. He left his CEO post after conflicts between himself and Evan Williams, but still played a key part in decision-making as chairman of the board. Dorsey often met with Costolo for dinner to discuss company developments. He helped oversee product development from 2011 to 2012, and recommended that the company acquire Vine, demonstrating the former CEO is committed to continue supporting what he started.

As a teenager, Dorsey began making headway in the world of technology, developing dispatch routing software for taxicabs. He later used this experience to create an integral component of the way we communicate online today.

Twitter was up and running for 3 years, 2 months and 1 day before it notched its one-billionth tweet. Now, the service handles a billion tweets every week. And Dorsey not only changed the way we communicate, but also the way we process payments. As founder and CEO of Square, a payment company, Dorsey has gained tremendous respect from his peers.

Though he has a burning desire to see Twitter flourish and has the experience to do so, there are some objections to bringing him along as full-time CEO. The biggest conflict is Dorsey's position at Square, which requires much of his time. Although he believes he can manage the two, some investors feel differently.

Twitter says the firm will only consider candidates who can make a full-time commitment to Twitter. It is unknown who will take on the permanent position as the new CEO, but it is clear they have their work cut out for them. The number of people actively using Twitter hit a high of 145 million in August of last year, but the number has tumbled to 129 million since then. Luckily for Twitter, investors decided that revenue performance, which is healthy, outweighs the user growth.

Whoever becomes new Twitter CEO has to be able to take it to the next level and fully capitalize on its unique platform. This needs to be a win-win for all its stakeholders, from users, to advertisers, to employees. Dorsey has the potential to do this, but will he be given a chance to show what he's got?