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How Two Brothers Turned Seven Lines of Code Into a $9.2 Billion Startup

Now, Stripe’s Patrick and John Collison are teaming with Amazon to grab even more control over the global flow of commerce. Every day, Americans spend about $1.2 billion online. That figure has roughly doubled in the past five years, according to the Department of Commerce, and it’s likely to double again in the next five as the internet continues to devour traditional retail. So it might come as a surprise that the web’s financial infrastructure is old and slow. For years, the explosive growth of e-commerce has outpaced the underlying technology; companies wanting to set up shop have had to go to a bank, a payment processor, and “gateways” that handle connections between the two. This takes weeks, lots of people, and fee after fee. Much of the software that processes the trans­actions is ...

How to Build a Reputation That Brings You Opportunity Every Day

Shutterstock As a startup, attracting opportunity to Influence & Co. was extremely difficult. We were a content marketing company operating on a national level from Columbia, Missouri. That’s right: Columbia, Missouri. I can’t count how many times I had to repeat that to people who thought they’d misheard me. That detail is now something that helps us stand out in a sea of lookalikes in big cities like New York City and Los Angeles, where dozens of media and marketing companies emerge every day. It takes a long time to build a reputation that people not only respect, but are also familiar with. At this point, there’s not a day that goes by when an opportunity of some sort doesn’t come to me simply by virtue of someone familiar with our reputation wanting to partner with us or work with...

6 Challenges To Expect As An Entrepreneur (And How To Overcome Them)

An entrepreneur specializing in social media marketing for small businesses, a corporate social responsibility advocate, and investor. Shutterstock Entrepreneurship is a field unlike any other. One of the things that I learned early in my career as a self-employed business person is that, while every day presents new opportunities, there are new challenges to contend with as well. It wasn’t until I really had a chance to put things into perspective that I realized that all (or most) of these challenges could be broken down into one of two categories: temporary or recurring. Let’s look at six recurring challenges that you’ll likely face as a business person and how you can overcome them. Handling Investment Shortages Contrary to what many may believe, being an entrepreneur isn’t a get-rich-...

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