Square just posted the “Top 10 Myths About Square.” Jack Dorsey and his superstar investors respond to the six they really care about.
Lately, Square CEO Jack Dorsey has been binge watching Friday Night Lights. The uplifting TV series, about a high school football team called the Dillon Panthers, is centrally themed around underdog comebacks. And after the week Dorsey has just endured—during which Amazon launched a product aimed at stealing away Square’s customers, a move that compelled the startup to publish a blog post debunking the “10 myths” about Square, including whether its business is struggling—one might think Dorsey is due for a Panthers-style comeback of his own.
Based on the time I spent with Square, including interviews with Dorsey, his investors, and his key lieutenants, here are their flesh-and-blood responses to the myths they really care about:
Square, the payments startup from Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, has prototyped a Square credit card. The plastic card is all black, and save for the card holder’s name emblazoned on the face, features no logos—not even Square’s. Over the past year, multiple sources indicate Square employees have been carrying the card—seen here below, partially blurred to protect the card holder’s identity—around in their wallets.
However, despite buzz about the potential of a Square credit card, other company sources indicate the project was recently killed.
Details of the rumored prototype came to light during reporting for Fast Company's profile of Square, published this week. As Square seeks to unearth new sources of revenue beyond its core business of payments processing, the company has launched a slew of new products, including Square Market, Cash, Feedback, Invoices, Capital, Dashboard, and on Monday, August 11, Appointments. Some insiders expected the Square credit card would be a promising addition to the mix, potentially opening the company up to a swath of lucrative consumer loyalty and rewards services. But after pressing the company multiple times about the project, Square finally confirmed that it’s not launching a credit card. Or, should we say, the company is no longer launching one. And the reason why highlights the difficulties Square faces in the immensely complex financial space.
How Jack Dorsey’s Lifelong Obsessions Became World Changing Companies
Jack Dorsey wasn’t your average kid in St. Louis. He had a speech impediment. He loved maps. He studied trains. He listened to the emergency dispatch center. And he noticed something interesting: Everybody was talking with short bursts of sound.
The Takeaway: The dots will connect. Like Dorsey’s fascinations brought him from St. Louis to New York to Silicon Valley, entrepreneurial energy has a way of taking you into unexpected—and fitting—places.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THAT 100 MILLION DOLLAR NEWARK SCHOOLS DONATION:An email chain including Bill Gates, Square’s Jack Dorsey, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and founder Mark Zuckerberg reveals how stage-managed charity can be.
Before Twitter was Twitter, Twitter was Twttr. And before that, Twitter was Odeo, a podcasting company.
Making sense of Twitter’s history is a bit like trying to follow a discussion on Twitter: It depends on who you listen to.
What everyone agrees on is that it started out in 2005 as Odeo, a podcasting company founded by Evan Williams. When Apple iTunes moved into podcasting, Odeo found itself going nowhere fast, and so it needed to pivot. Here’s where it gets murky. The official story is that one of Odeo’s engineers, Jack Dorsey, had developed a messaging service that allowed instant updates; Williams gave back $5 million in seed capital he had raised to his investors, and Twttr (vowels were added later) was born…
He tells me a story about how his father, an engineer and semi-serial entrepreneur, helped him build a model of a mass spectrometer out of Legos, ball bearings, and magnets when he was 11. (A few weeks later, Dorsey’s father, Tim, tells me his version of the story, taking the time to teach me the concept of mass spectrometry. In the Lego device, the magnets were there to encourage ball bearings of different sizes to arrange themselves by weight, just as a real device would do with gases of different weights. “Did it work?” I ask. “No! It was a disaster!” Tim Dorsey laughs. “But we had a great time!”)
From our story about Jack Dorsey, cofounder of Square and Twitter. Read more->