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Who is Jim?
Jim McKelvey is an entrepreneur, glass-blowing artist + philanthropist.
He’s most well known as the co-founder of Square, the financial payments company he started with Jack Dorsey (founder of Twitter). Jim also co-founded the non-profit “Launch Code” and he’s an independent Director of the St. Louis Federal Reserve
Jim’s book, The Innovation Stack, is available for purchase. Or sign up to the email list at the bottom of this post to win 1 of 5 copies we’re giving away to listeners
Topics We Discuss:
- the origin story of Square
- Square's 14 part "innovation stack" that allowed them to win in this tough market
- reducing the cost of a card reader from $1000 to $0.97
- going up against Amazon + winning
- examples of innovation stacks from other companies
- the unbanked + underbanked
- his thoughts on digital currencies
- invention vs innovation
- entrepreneurship vs owning a business
- if "billionaires should exist" + his "billionaire moment"
- why being a billionaire ≠ happiness
We’re giving away 5 copies of Jim’s book to email subscribers, details here:
- 00:00:00 Intro
- 00:00:49 Welcome
- 00:01:50 Early Career as a Glassblower
- 00:03:10 Meeting Jack Dorsey
- 00:05:59 Beginning of Square
- 00:10:59 Underserved Markets
- 00:15:13 Studying a Market for Something That Doesn’t Exist
- 00:19:03 The Unbanked + Underbanked
- 00:24:49 Square’s Innovation Stack
- 00:28:21 Invention vs Innovation
- 00:30:21 Getting Square's First Users
- 00:33:38 What Were The Large Existing Players Missing?
- 00:42:22 The Delusion of Innovation
- 00:45:26 How Square Went Up Against Amazon + Won
- 00:50:43 Entrepreneur vs Business Owner
- 00:52:32 His “Billionaire” Moment
- 00:54:52 Being Treated Like a “Walking Wallet”
- 00:56:33 Should Billionaires Exist?
- 01:00:21 Industries That are Ripe for Innovation
- 01:05:30 Digital Currency
- 01:08:13 Advice on Investing
- 01:10:30 "If you inherit wealth, you're not rich"
- 01:12:24 Being Rich ≠ Being Happy
- 01:13:44 Philanthropy
- 01:16:39 Dealing with the hardest period of his life
- 01:19:33 Wrap Up
Thank you to our partner
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