(p. B6) It was 2009, and Mr. McKelvey—a glassblower, computer scientist and serial entrepreneur—had lost a sale of one of his artworks because he couldn’t accept American Express cards. Though neither he nor Mr. Dorsey, now CEO of Square and Twitter Inc., knew much about the world of credit-card transactions, his frustration inspired the creation of Square’s signature white readers, a technology that would revolutionize payments by allowing anyone to accept a card with a smartphone or tablet.
In his new book, “The Innovation Stack,” Mr. McKelvey uses the story of Square’s early days, and its success in fending off a rival product from Amazon.com Inc., to encourage other potential founders with a dearth of credentials to fix unsolved problems and start novel businesses.
“If you’re going to do something that’s never been done, by definition, you cannot be an expert,” he said. “Take it from a glassblower who started a $30 billion payment company: You don’t have to be.”
. . .
“. . . there are no experts anymore. We’re living in a world without expertise, and that’s the world of the entrepreneur, like it or not.”
For the full interview, see:
Peter Rudegeair, interviewer. “Square’s Co-Founder Sees Openings in Recessions.” The Wall Street Journal (Tuesday, May 26, 2020): B6.
(Note: ellipses, and quotation marks around last two sentences, added.)
(Note: the online version of the television review has the date May 24, 2020, and has the same title “BOSS TALK; Square’s Co-Founder: A Recession Is a Great Time to Start a Company.” The first several paragraphs quoted above are from Pter Rudegeair’s introduction to his interview of Jim McKelvey. The last couple of sentences are from McKelvey’s response to the last question in the interview.)
The book, mentioned above in the introduction to the interview, is:
McKelvey, Jim. The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time. New York: Portfolio, 2020.