The power of Square, the weight of bricks, coming full Circle

"Blockchain makes cryptocurrencies the inevitable future of money, more transparent since it helps filter good businesses from bad businesses." — Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta

The Big Block

Jack Dorsey’s Square has always been a brave and innovative company, focused deeply on simplicity of product and design as a core part of the DNA. Founded in February 2009, Square’s first product was a gorgeous, square-shaped dongle that instantly turned a smartphone into a merchant credit card processing machine. Square has taken a methodical approach to growing its core business, moving from individuals to small businesses to medium sized firms over the past decade.

In 2013, Square introduced an iPad-based product, Square Stand, aimed at coffee shops and other small retailers. This hardware solution enables an iPad to be used as a payment terminal or full point-of-sale solution. And in 2017, the company introduced Square Register, an all-in-one offering that combines hardware, point-of-sale software, and payments technology. Today, Square’s large-business customers account for nearly 50% of total payment volume, a vast difference from the company’s early roots. Square’s focus on simplicity of design and gradually moving into new customer segments has helped to spawn an empire that served more than 2 million merchants by 2016 and serves ~30% of independent businesses that accept credit cards in the US.

In addition to increasing the merchant segments it serves, Square has also methodically expanded product offerings beyond payment processing. Square’s oft-stated ambition is to be the “operating system for small and medium sized businesses.” To that end, it has introduced products such as Square Capital (funding to help businesses grow) as well as software for invoices, payroll, appointments, location and inventory management, CRM/marketing tools, and more. Today, a company can run much of its operations on Square hardware and software. 

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Around The Block

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