Jim McKelvey founder of Square and lord knows what else!
Key, keynote in my mind. #futureofmoney
What is the future of money? Paypal Galactic! No really, covers everything that is bad about money.
Jim worries about people talking about the future. People who are given a microphone are usually successful but how much is luck.
Jim isn't going to talk about the future of money but the past of Square. He's a big story teller so the below doesn't make huge sense as it lacks Jim's charm but hey ho...
What is square? Small device that plugs onto phone that allows anybody to accept a credit card. This is a huge problem for small business. Square now has 1/5th of merchants in US
Made second protoype with aluminium (to be like apple), turns out that it was a really bad choice as people held it whilst taking payment which just turned it into a heart monitor :)
Started over a hotdog and champagne. They had no idea if it would work or not. Had a slide of 140 ways it would fail in investor pitches. It started as a problem. Jim couldn't sell his art to someone with AMEX yet his phone had the potential to do it. What he didn't know was if others had this problem. Jim told a story of a guy called Bob who was a better glass blower than Jim yet Jim made a living from it but Bob lived in his car as he couldn't scale. There was a human dimension to the problem. They focused on the problem of how could they get Bob out of the car, not the opportunity.
In looking at the money in processing, found that for every dollar processed Walmart spends 45 times less than people like Bob.. "The industry is fundamentally corrupt"
To sign up as a merchant there was a 45 page form. Square is growing because "its simple truth, not complex lies". "That's why its such a rocket ship".
The world's best glassblower has a very over subscribed course. One of the unique things about the course is he only allows students to ask one question each on the course. that's it. Jim asked a very basic question. The answer:
Wait, wait, wait...now. Timing is critical. He had been doing the right thing at the wrong time. Square is growing fast because it launched at the right time.
Jim was driving to a ski resort and the snow blinded his view. But the snow indicators in the road, the small indicators were the only thing he could see. One at a time and by the time he got to one he couldn't see the next one but knew he had to keep going, the next indicator would come. That's how growing Square felt - they couldn't see the road ahead fully, they drove on instinct picking up clues on the way.