Mentioned Companies: SQ

Innovation Isn’t Voluntary with Jim McKelvey, Cofounder of Square

Jim McKelvey, Square, FYI podcast, ark podcast
By: Maximilian Friedrich
Jim McKelvey, Square, FYI podcast, ark podcast

Innovation Isn’t Voluntary with Jim McKelvey, Cofounder of Square

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What does it mean to be a true entrepreneur? And what does it take to build a resilient, world-changing company? Jim McKelvey has some ideas. Today, we’re joined by the Cofounder of Square, who has recently published a book called The Innovation Stack. In this episode, we talk about the book, its implications on Square, but also on the broader business environment, especially under the current circumstances – as we are all together in this unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus. Jim elaborates on his story, including Square’s battle with Amazon in 2014. It’s a curious tale, for sure, and Jim will explain. We explore the origins of Square and its offerings, as well as Jim’s definition of an entrepreneur and why he believes that innovation isn’t a choice. Finally, Jim tells listeners about his nonprofit, LaunchCode, and how it has really taken off during the pandemic. Tune in to learn more.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Jim tells listeners more about his book and the graphic novel it was meant to be
  • How Jim met Jack Dorsey and ended up founding Square with him
  • The pyramid structure of product offerings
  • Building a business that already exists and using an old definition of ‘entrepreneur’
  • Replicating existing solutions versus being forced to innovate
  • Innovations stacks as a competitive advantage
  • How Square chose to handle Amazon copying their product in 2014
  • The importance of sharing tools and skills during a crisis
  • How Cash App represents disenfranchised individuals
  • Cash App as a valuable solution during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • More about Jim’s new nonprofit
  • Why Jim believes innovation isn’t voluntary and is often sparked by crisis
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