HN Books @HNBooksMonth

The best books of Hacker News.

Hacker News Comments on
The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time

Jim McKelvey · 1 HN comments
HN Books has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention "The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time" by Jim McKelvey.
View on Amazon [↗]
HN Books may receive an affiliate commission when you make purchases on sites after clicking through links on this page.
Amazon Summary
From the cofounder of Square, an inspiring and entertaining account of what it means to be a true entrepreneur and what it takes to build a resilient, world-changing company In 2009, a St. Louis glassblowing artist and recovering computer scientist named Jim McKelvey lost a sale because he couldn't accept American Express cards. Frustrated by the high costs and difficulty of accepting credit card payments, McKelvey joined his friend Jack Dorsey (the cofounder of Twitter) to launch Square, a startup that would enable small merchants to accept credit card payments on their mobile phones. With no expertise or experience in the world of payments, they approached the problem of credit cards with a new perspective, questioning the industry's assumptions, experimenting and innovating their way through early challenges, and achieving widespread adoption from merchants small and large. But just as Square was taking off, Amazon launched a similar product, marketed it aggressively, and undercut Square on price. For most ordinary startups, this would have spelled the end. Instead, less than a year later, Amazon was in retreat and soon discontinued its service. How did Square beat the most dangerous company on the planet? Was it just luck? These questions motivated McKelvey to study what Square had done differently from all the other companies Amazon had killed. He eventually found the key: a strategy he calls the Innovation Stack. McKelvey's fascinating and humorous stories of Square's early days are blended with historical examples of other world-changing companies built on the Innovation Stack to reveal a pattern of ground-breaking, competition-proof entrepreneurship that is rare but repeatable. The Innovation Stack is a thrilling business narrative that's much bigger than the story of Square. It is an irreverent first-person look inside the world of entrepreneurship, and a call to action for all of us to find the entrepreneur within ourselves and identify and fix unsolved problems--one crazy idea at a time.
HN Books Rankings

Hacker News Stories and Comments

All the comments and stories posted to Hacker News that reference this book.
Related: Jim's book "The Innovation Stack" [1]. He's a great storyteller, and really enjoyed learning more about the early days, the struggles, the insights, or how he met Jack Dorsey.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Innovation-Stack-Building-Unbeatable-...

daniellenewnham
Absolutely - we talk a lot about the lessons in the book in this episode. Thanks for sharing.
amayne
My favorite takeaway was how Square focused on businesses the credit card companies thought were too small bother with. McKelvey realized there were a lot more of them than the credit card companies realized and they added up to a sizable customer base.
daniellenewnham
Yes, indeed - so many great lessons and even how they took on Amazon and won.
HN Books is an independent project and is not operated by Y Combinator or Amazon.com.
~ [email protected]
;laksdfhjdhksalkfj more things
yahnd.com ~ Privacy Policy ~
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.