Dan Primack

The latest on private equity, M&A, deals and movements — from Wall Street to Silicon Valley

How Jack Dorsey used Square to con venture capitalists

February 11, 2011: 10:54 AM ET

Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder who currently runs mobile payment startup Square, this week gave a talk about entrepreneurship at Stanford's new Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center. Lots of good stuff about the early days of Twitter -- back when it was a podcasting company called Odeo, even though no one there had interest in podcasting -- and the founding of Square.

He also explained why payment startups might be the most lucrative of all startups, when all you have is an early proof of concept:

In a month we built a very early prototype of what is now known as Square, which is a credit card reader that plugs into the audio jack of your iPhone or your Android or you iPad… I could actually swipe a card and generate an electronic receipt via email and then send it out to a person. And I loved this because I would go around to all these angel investors and VCs and charge them $5 or $50 to show them my new idea. I made $600 from that by the way. It was awesome.

Here is video of the entire talk, about half of which is Q&A (go here if you're having troubles viewing):

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About This Author
Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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