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After leaving school, I travelled around Europe for about six months. In Denmark, I thought that was my chance to get an amazing haircut, so I went to what I thought was a great hairdresser. It turned out to be the car wash of hairdressers, and I walked out sporting yet another pudding bowl, but this time with a stripe bleached down the centre.
There's nothing in the middle of the road but a yellow stripe and dead armadillos.
This was 1978, when flying was still an occasion, a special grand event that took planning and care. I worked as a TWA flight attendant then. I stood in my Ralph Lauren uniform at the boarding door and smiled at the passengers through lips coated with lipstick that perfectly matched the stripe on my jacket. Mostly, the passengers smiled back.
Question everything. Every stripe, every star, every word spoken. Everything.
I don't have the activist temperament. I like listening to divergent points of view and hearing people out. I like getting along. I even like being liked, although activists of any stripe should get rid of that handicap at the outset.
I believe very firmly that gay people of every stripe and age should be role models for all children, and that means interacting with them.
Stripe is building payment infrastructure for the Web, so we make it easy to accept credit cards online. Before Stripe, the way you'd do this is using the legacy banking structure. It was slow, it was complex, it was expensive. It had this very chilling effect on e-commerce.
Our goal definitely isn't to sell Stripe.
There's probably a bunch of Power Stripe floating through the Def Jam offices right now.
Auctomatic was a compressed start-up experience, going from start to launch to acquisition in under a year. We spent a long time building the product before getting our first customer, whereas with Stripe we made sure we had paying customers from the very start.
With PayPal, you have to send people over to their website... whereas with Stripe, we offer a way to integrate payments into the website, on the website or into a mobile app. That is what all the best businesses care about, so we make it very easy, very fast, very simple and very cheap to do this.
With Stripe, people who previously operated online or offline in a very limited capacity now have all the tools to work like a real online business. That's a very valuable thing.
It's easy to talk to people over the Web, but it's not very easy to trigger transactions. That's the thing we set out to fix with Stripe.
When a country doesn't have a good economic infrastructure, that harms the country. With Stripe, the idea is that by providing better infrastructure, by linking the Internet economically, by making it easier for these online businesses to exist, it'll make the web better.
Stripe really did come about because we were really appalled by how hard it was to charge for things online.
Stripe makes it easy for anyone, be it an individual or a small business or a large business, to accept credit card payments on the Internet. We want to give control to the user or the business to define what the experience looks like. We work on a website or a mobile app, or whatever between that.
The part of Stripe that I've always found most interesting is the idea of facilitating new commerce that wouldn't otherwise happen. Payouts is turning out to be a big part of that. These new networks are efficient, intelligent replacements for offline behemoths.
I remember one time in my junior year, in my art class, our teacher had us doing, like, finger paints, and I went and put a stripe on a girl's shirt, and it turned into a big paint fight. Paint all over the walls, all over everybody. It was pretty fun.
Part of Stripe's vision is linking people better on the web.
Our idea with starting Stripe was to build better payments technology for people building things on the web.
Square is turning informal, cash transactions, like you would do with a taco truck, into card swipes. Stripe is more for the Internet, it's focused on the kinds of transactions that weren't possible years ago. We think about how you would buy things from a mobile phone, crowd-funding, how should that work.
We hired extremely slowly at the beginning. It took us a year to get to four people. It's hard to hire as a very small company, and we wanted to make sure we found people who cared a lot about what Stripe was doing.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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