≡ Menu

John Collison Quotes

John Collison Stripe

John Collison quotes: the baby billionaire co-founder of Stripe says the following about success.

“One of the myths you see in entrepreneurship is that people have this dream one night, wake up the next morning, and start building it.  It’s actually much more of an iterative process.”

“If someone is a known spectacular quantity, then they’re probably working in a job and very happy with that.”

“The internet is a testament to a connected system that works – it’s a global network where any computer can reach another and easily transfer information across.”

“You know the way trees break through the canopy in the rainforest and they go from having this tiny column of light to having all this light?  The internet is kind of like that.”

“There’s no such thing as the ‘Irish Internet.’  It’s just… the internet.”

“In the desktop world, you could build a successful business where a consumer only came back to you once or maybe twice a year.  I don’t think you can build that kind of business on mobile.  You need higher frequency, or otherwise you fall off the home screen and the user never comes back.”

“No batch of 10 people will have as much an influence on the company as those first 10 people.”

“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.”

“Help each user personally.  Sure that won’t scale to a very large size, but when a startup is just starting out, it really helps you have an advantage as a small and nimble company.”

“The tools and the infrastructure for building web products were getting better at a very fast rate, but when it came to running an internet business and the services available for that, entrepreneurs were really, really stuck.”

“I think an important force that drives entrepreneurship is a productive dissatisfaction with the way the world works.  There are so many places where clearly a better service or a better business could exist, or there’s some opportunity to fix an inefficiency in the world.”

“You can think of many of the most successful startups of late, in a way, being answers to frustrations with how the world worked.”

“Our initial idea with Stripe was that for people like us – those building apps and websites – it was incredibly difficult to take payments.  So with an open mind, and maybe a useful lack of knowledge about the industry, we started building a payment product.”

“Auctomatic was a compressed startup 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.”

“Part of Stripe’s vision is linking people better on the web.”

“For Stripe, being inventive is just about applying the right solutions from other areas.”

“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.”

“We want to grow the total amount of online commerce.”

“As long as the internet economy continues to grow, Stripe will continue to grow.”

“I think the question is less about how much can be attributed to my skill and intelligence and instead to the skill of the hundreds of people that have gotten Stripe to where it is.”

“Had there not been so many people who just came up with so many smart ways of doing things and, you know, in many cases, toiled at such length, there’s not a chance, not a sliver of a chance, that we would be here.”

“But I also think that luck was required too.  There are, again, groups of people who are smarter and harder-working than us who just didn’t get the same good fortune.”

“Culture is what happens when the CEO isn’t in the room.”

“Marketplaces by their nature tend to grow faster than most other companies.”

“One of the really fascinating areas is marketplaces that take advantage of mobile devices.  Ride-sharing is the obvious example, but that’s just the start of it, of selling goods and services with lightweight mobile apps.”

“I think the challenge for all technology companies is to modify what they’re doing to be what the market needs at that point.”

Advertising obviously helps with awareness, but if you look at some of the most successful companies, they’re actually not generally ad-driven when it comes to customer adoption.”

“Fundraising is a long and distracting process, and by the end of it, all you want to do is go back to building the product that you’re working on.”

“You could use many adjectives to describe Silicon Valley.  I don’t think ‘normal’ is one of them.”

“I think there is this very nice, if at times dangerous, untethered optimism that exists in Silicon Valley.”

“People tend to pay too little attention to history – the history of Silicon Valley and American business – and think they’re the first people to come across a problem.”

“My brother and I were born in an Irish county called Tipperary.  We were both very math and science inclined in high school.  My dad trained as an electrical engineer, and my mom is in microbiology.”

“I think a lot of people learn to code messing around with things while in secondary school.  And for me, it started up as a hobby and a plaything, and I just became more curious over time.”

“The values we developed were instrumental in gaining a competitive advantage.”

“Coming from Ireland, it’s quite hard to do a startup because you’re culturally so far away from what everyone else is doing.  In the Bay Area, it’s much easier.  It’s the equivalent of an actor or actress moving to Hollywood.”

“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.”

“If we can actually allow new online commerce and online businesses to exist, by virtue of making it easier for people to trade internationally, make it easier for businesses to get off the ground, then we think that’s a really worthwhile thing to be doing and a really healthy force in the world… which encourages new job creation and which gives people fundamentally more access to the online economy.”

“That’s what gets us excited and that’s how we talk about success.”

Elon Musk is a cool cookie.”

“A billion dollar startup earns its stripes.”

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.