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How A Missouri Tech Company Became a Global Success

Jim McKelvey, Co-Founder and Director of Square has seen tremendous growth since the financial services firm invested in St. Louis, Missouri. The tech mogul will be a panelist for the June 8, 2021, London Tech Week discussion around “Innovation and Opportunity in the Heart of the USA,” and recently sat down to discuss how the company overcame serious competitive challenges with “the surprising power of an innovation stack.”

“In the summer of 2014, Square was just over five years old. It was still a simple business that had started in St. Louis, Missouri: we gave away a cool little white square credit card reader, charged 2.75 percent for our service, and had a happy collection of small businesses using our product.

“Although we didn’t see it or at the time, Square was operating using an Innovation Stack, something that forms when you set out to do something truly new.  Jack [Dorsey] and I started with a single problem: making it possible for small businesses, those that credit card companies profited from at a rate of forty-five times higher than big corporations, to take credit cards without exorbitant fees.  By solving it, we created another problem or sometimes sets of problems that also require unique solutions. This problem-solution-problem chain that repeats is an Innovation Stack.

“Each block in our Innovation Stack works in conjunction with all the others, and the entire Stack fails if one block is missing.  It’s a dynamic system, nearly impossible to duplicate.”

Check out the full article from Jim McKelvey here.

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