I love this story (from Inc.). It’s a great demonstration that innovation doesn’t have to be revolutionary and “new” to be exciting. This is straightforward example of an entrepreneur identifying a latent, unmet need and bringing an evolutionary solution to it. It’s not surprising that this solution came from outside the card payment industry, which is an observation I wrote about in an earlier blog entry.
Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, says he “hate[s] getting change.” So yesterday, he announced the launch of his new start-up Square, a mobile payment service provider that will allow just about any merchant, big or small, to cheaply accept credit card payments. “Square is a small plastic device that plugs into a gadget’s headphone jack,” the LA Times explains. “Buyers swipe their credit cards through the machine, which then transmits the payment data to an application running on a connected iPhone or iPod Touch.” Applications for other smart phones will be available in the future. Dorsey told the paper that the company will most likely give the plastic devices away for free and charge $1 for the mobile application. Not surprisingly, TechCrunch went into a bit of a frenzy with the announcement. Michael Arrington wrote that Square is already worth $40 million (even while it is still in private beta). Inc Magazine, Max Chafkin.