HN Gopher Feed (2017-08-01) - page 1 of 10
How the Collison brothers turned 'seven lines of code' into Stripe
380 points by coloneltcbhttps://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-08-01/how-two-broth...
willlll - 5 hours ago
> Over the past couple of weeks, Stripe began handling a large,
though undisclosed, portion of Amazon?s transactions. Neither
company will address the scope of the deal?which was only revealed
by Stripe?s addition of Amazon?s logo to its website?but it could
help Stripe greatly increase its trans?action volume.So, reading
into this, amazon presumably invested in stripe, then gave it some
transaction traffic to juice the numbers to make an S-1 look
omarchowdhury - 5 hours ago
This is quite interesting. What does Amazon have to gain from
Nilef - 3 hours ago
Amazon's overall goal is to take a cut of pretty much every
piece of economic activity. Taking a cut off of every payment
made on the internet outside of their own stores is an
objective greatly aided by a stripe acquisition
samblr - 49 minutes ago
>>>> "Stripe made its debut in 2011 .... had spent two years
testing their service and forming relationships with banks, credit
card companies, and regulators so customers wouldn?t have to".Can
somebody help throw light on:how Paypal was lagging in 2011 when
compared to stripe ?-OR-how Collisons went forming better
relationship with bank to build a system better than Paypal ?
wonderwonder - 5 hours ago
The article mentions this but for me the truly great aspect of
stripe is that they targeted the developer. I have dealt with
several payment systems and most of them have poor documentation
and getting them to work is a lot of trial and error. They appear
to be monoliths who survive because management has chosen
them.Stripe provides excellent documentation and support (on
#stripe in freenode). It just makes my life easier.(I have never
used Braintree so I can't comment on it)
basdevries - 4 hours ago
To add a bit of insight: most Payment-Service-Providers actually
pay big retailers to be listed on their site, as it improves
trustworthiness and brand awareness. So the Amazon deal might not
be as favorable to Stripe as it might sound.
edpichler - 4 hours ago
"How Two Brothers Turned Seven Lines of Code into a $9.2B
Startup"This is how NOT to do headlines.
cylinder - 5 hours ago
Anyone who dealt with Authorize.net should have seen the
opportunity in making these payments simpler... But I didn't.
jmtame - 2 hours ago
I vividly remember how difficult it was. You had to print pages
off and fill out all this stuff and mail it to someone.
amichal - 1 hours ago
I am just now in the process of completing a migration from Paypal
PayFlow (Recurring Profiles) to Stripe (Subscriptions)While
Stripe's API documentation is MUCH easier to understand on the face
there is a lot of undocumented complexity hidden away in there that
was documented in Payflow Pro (mostly -- in a hard to find 400 page
pdf).In the end it is worth it for our specific use case. But like
anything involving money over time it is much harder then it seems.
Obviously, WAY more then "7 lines of code" to do it even halfway
right.I have to give massive credit to both organizations support
engineers who helped us move the card details across without us
ever seeing them. In the end they even ended up having to do a
complex customer_id mapping for us to get it done in a way that
allowed us to recreate the behaviour we had in PayFlow in
edwinwee - 44 minutes ago
I'd love to hear more about the complexity you ran into and see
if we can make it easier. Could you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org?
jv22222 - 4 hours ago
We interviewed Patrick on TechZing back in 2012. Great
BigChiefSmokem - 5 hours ago
I love this. Simplicity and speed is what I fight for everyday at
work but it seems I am the odd man out in my field. Everyone just
wants to write over-engineered solutions that can launch space
rockets with extra extra modularization you know just in case the
Hubble fails again and of course fear of what may happen "in the
future" in case "we ever need to scale".How about we just focus on
the job at hand for now and worry about things like scaling and
robust API/interfaces AFTER we actually acquire customers and start
making the money.
heyrhett - 3 hours ago
"That figure has roughly doubled in the past five years"So, 14
lines of code?
maxxxxx - 5 hours ago
This headline really cheapens their accomplishments. It's not
enough to start a successful business with a lot of work but it has
to be just seven lines of code or over the weekend.
eggbrain - 5 hours ago
If you are wondering how Stripe could even start with just 7 lines
of code, it's a bit misleading: With Stripe, all a startup had to
do was add seven lines of code to its site to handle payments: What
once took weeks was now a cut-and-paste job. I.E. the simplicity
of the Stripe platform (taking only 7 lines of code for developers)
was how they succeeded, not that they built a startup at first with
just 7 lines of code.
forkLding - 5 hours ago
I'm thinking for the layman who doesnt code which Bloomberg also
targets, this distinction is pretty negligible so in a way its
not totally clickbait because its still seven lines of code, for
developers it seems to be the code you write whereas the title
could go anywayAlso really appreciate Stripe, registered for
Delaware with them
tajen - 4 hours ago
It participates to negating the difficulty of building and
delivering a product, thereby giving said laymen a sense of
entitlement over "undeserved wealth".
saurik - 5 hours ago
To the layman, I imagine this reads as either "they spent a few
minutes writing one paragraph and made $9B" or "they agonized
for years over something as small as a single paragraph that
was worth $9B"; neither of these are reasonable
interpretations. It is only to the advanced technical reader
that I think there is any hope of them interpreting it in the
adam12 - 4 hours ago
I think it would be even more misleading for a layperson.
Kluny - 5 hours ago
To expand, it's these 7 lines. (Actually 12)
- more or
less. Maybe not precisely that, but it's the bit where you add a
payment form to your website.It's a nice headline, but it really
leaves out the tremendous amount of back-end work that went into
making that front end easy to use.
komali2 - 4 hours ago
Wait, the /your-server-side-code bit seems like the most
difficult. Did Stripe not implement this aspect as well? I
would have no idea how to securely process credit card
ryebit - 4 hours ago
If I remember how they worked (last did stripe integration a
ways back), the script instruments your form's submit event
to do an (ajax if possible) POST to stripe's server, which
processes everything, and returns back a (merchant specific)
"token" representing a redeemable charge to the customer. The
form is then posted to your server, but all it gets is the
"token", which it can then use your private merchant key to
redeem behind the scenes with their server.So you get an
anonymous "charge" token that you can revoke if a later part
of the checkout process fails, and CC data never touches your
system.(I think the markup for that was a little bit
different than what was posted above though).
gnaritas - 58 minutes ago
Correct, and the big reason for that is it means you don't
have to be PCI compliant since the card never touches your
server, only stripes. That's why Stripe blew up, Paypal
had no such offering for allowing you to use your own
checkout form but not have to pass the card through your
shimon_e - 5 hours ago
The PayPal form is roughly the same number of lines. The real
break through for stripe was it was an alternative to PayPal
with a modern UI.
artur_makly - 5 hours ago
Another great reminder to all you founders - don't
underestimate the power of great product design.
omarchowdhury - 4 hours ago
And don't underestimate the power of new and... different.
Many founders pass on markets they think have no room for
innovation or new entrants, only to leap into some small
jonknee - 1 hours ago
The PayPal form also involved redirecting all your users over
to PayPal. Stripe has always integrated into your
site/service which is part of what made that form so nifty.
ckinnan - 4 hours ago
Nope. The Stripe advantage over PayPal is that Stripe
operates more like a merchant account, where the buyer sees
the seller's name on the credit card statement. PayPal
injects itself into the checkout process, Stripe is basically
a white label. Stripe also has easier underwriting. I
suspect Stripe is taking more business from merchant
accounts/gateways than PayPal, because they are different
Alupis - 4 hours ago
> The Stripe advantage over PayPal is that Stripe operates
more like a merchant account, where the buyer sees the
seller's name on the credit card statement. PayPal injects
itself into the checkout process, Stripe is basically a
white label.You're talking about PayPal Express, which is
the PayPal form most of us are familiar with.PayPal has a
number of other services, such as Payments Pro, and
PayFlow, which act just like a Credit Card Processor, ie.
the customer has no idea it's PayPal on the backend - they
enter their credit card info on your checkout form like
normal and click submit. The customer's bank statement will
state your company name, not PayPal.Majority (all?) of the
PayPal horror stories you hear are from folks using PayPal
Express with large amounts of money coming from weird
places. Payments Pro really is a different class of
service, complete with your own representative you can call
up 24 hours a day. You can also setup a nightly automated
sweep of any funds to your real bank account.
anonacct37 - 4 hours ago
As someone that selected stripe to process orders for a
product were were launching somewhere around 2012, it was
because of the APIs and developer sandbox.Paypal was ugly
to work with, felt crufty, etc. Stripe had pip installable
modules, awesome documentation (live code samples in docs
and sandbox), and was easy to integrate into our tests.
dboreham - 4 hours ago
PayPal had a developer sandbox back in 2010 when I wrote
our client code. Honestly I don't remember it being
difficult or tricky. The worst aspect was their confusing
documentation which tended to mix up various different
services and APIs such that it was hard to figure out
which was the current, appropriate one. Perhaps that was
the Stripe advantage: a single obvious course of action
eterm - 3 hours ago
One of my best upvoted stackoverflow answers is about a
paypal sandbox bug (or "undocumented feature") where it
would disregard the port in the pingback url.Just
generally the sandbox was horrible, it had a weird
'double login' system where it often got confused between
whether you were 'inside' the sandbox logged in as a fake
user or outside logged in as your paypal account.And
you're right about their woefully confusing
documentation, it was definitely hard to understand which
payment flow you were trying to use and which was
hawflakes - 3 hours ago
The sandbox was a big hack. I worked there internally and
it was a pain even inside.Maybe it's a bit different now,
but I haven't looked back. :-D
stickfigure - 3 hours ago
It's actually gotten worse.PayPal tried to "modernize"
their old crufty SOAP API with a REST-based API but ended
up creating a separate half-functional, poorly
documented, buggy layer on top of it that actually loses
payments sometimes. I processed millions of payments
through it and actually have their support people
admitting the problems.Their only hope is a reverse-
takeover from Braintree. I'm not holding my breath; I've
done my last PayPal integration. Forget all the "paypal
will hold your money" concerns - the real problem is that
they will loose your money in the wonky Rube Goldberg
machine they've created to process payments.
jeffasinger - 9 minutes ago
In a series of calls with the top tier of support at
Paypal, no one was able to even answer which API was the
best to use. I was told not to use SOAP (or NVP), because
they're ancient, not to use REST because it wasn't ready
yet, and that the Braintree API around PayPal would never
support the features we were trying to implement.The
project just ended up getting scrapped.
mullsork - 3 hours ago
Ease of development was our number one reason to use
Stripe for sure. We did end up adding Paypal after and it
was a pain to work with.Stripe was so reliable that we
had clickety-test that used their real sandbox API to
make sure in our CI that payment kept working.Whenever
someone brings up Stripe it always brings happy memories.
I've never worked with a third party API that was as nice
as theirs. Their Ruby SDK helped with that of course.
jacquesm - 4 hours ago
And most importantly: Stripe does not randomly decide
your funds are suddenly theirs for the next 6 months to a
hwillis - 19 minutes ago
That's the least of it. Paypal automatically puts you on
a 21-60 day rolling reserve once you hit a certain level.
Small businesses can and have had 30%+ of their revenue
unavailable for two months. That's your entire profit
margin gone. It makes it impossible to grow a small
business. And of course they will not respond to
anything for months if ever. And it never gets better!
Companies with millions in revenue still get these
problems.Paypal has no place being used by anyone trying
to start a company. They are awful.
jameskegel - 4 hours ago
This is how PayPal lost my business initially; now that
I'm a part of the payments industry, I use PayPal
sparingly for much else.
bdibs - 1 hours ago
Don't forget about their fantastic API and documentation.
pbreit - 2 hours ago
Question is when will Stripe (or someone else) operate even
=more= like a merchant account (ie, interchange+ pricing).
BillinghamJ - 1 hours ago
They already do. You just need high enough volume.
legohead - 5 hours ago
Actually it's 1 line.
korzun - 3 hours ago
Actually, it's 371 bytes.
alunchbox - 3 hours ago
and then there's this guy.
ChristianBundy - 3 hours ago
Actually it's 348 bytes.
AlphaWeaver - 3 hours ago
And then there's that guy from the CodeGolf
DC-3 - 2 hours ago
"I shaved off 3 bytes with eval() and a regex"
aidenn0 - 2 hours ago
You can shave 4 bytes off of your comment by omitting the
redundant "www." in your first link.
Dirlewanger - 4 hours ago
There always has to be that guy...
kafkaesq - 3 hours ago
It's a "nice" headline for Bloomberg's advertisers (and hence,
for Bloomberg) in that it gets people to click on the link.But
in terms of information content, it's a horrible headline (for
the reasons you so succinctly describe).
codazoda - 2 hours ago
I feel like I just wasted 15 minutes digging for that and being
disappointed that their MVP wasn't a 7-liner. Guess I should have
come to the comments first.
adventist - 1 hours ago
That is what i do :)
kbenson - 3 hours ago
I don't think it's misleading, it's just that there are different
preconceptions based on the audience. If there was an article
about "How two brothers turned a 3 oz piece of metal into a
billion dollar startup" and it was a highly machined part that
fit a really useful case in the auto industry, we would rightly
assume they were talking about what they sold, and that a lot
more work went into actually making and perfecting it. If the
same article was read by machinists, they might take issue with
it like people are taking issue with this headline, but that's
because of the context they are perceiving it in.
dschiffner - 5 hours ago
I hate click-bait headlines as much as anyone else... but nowhere
in this headline does it say that they started with 7 lines of
tedunangst - 5 hours ago
The typical interpretation of "turned 7 X into Y" isn't "7 X
plus another million X turned into Y". Last night I turned a
pat of butter into a steak dinner. Never mind I also started
with a steak, thats an irrelevant detail.
quickthrower2 - 3 hours ago
Jesus turned water into wine. But really he had a bottle of
Pinot to start with.
adam12 - 4 hours ago
The only reason why I started to read the article. I guess
that's why they call it clickbait.
free2rhyme214 - 3 hours ago
That's exactly what I was thinking. The API is definitely more
than 7 lines of code.
mmahemoff - 5 hours ago
So it's the equivalent of saying "How this inventor made $X
billion with the flick of a switch" after they spent decades
inventing the light bulb.
failrate - 2 hours ago
More like how turning on lights is easy for billions of people
because someone else did the hard work of the power lines,
generators, switches, light bulbs, etc.
failrate - 2 hours ago
Actually, it would be more like all of that stuff already
existed, but it was a woeful and Byzantine process to get all
of it lined up for your particular lightbulb.
johndavidback - 4 hours ago
It was a bit interesting to see, and perhaps not at all
surprising, that they've been around since 2010. And they
crossed the billion-dollar-valuation threshold 4 years later.
michaelthiessen - 5 hours ago
Thanks for un-click-baiting this.
riazrizvi - 5 hours ago
Contrary to some of the other commenters I think figuring how the
title is true is an interesting game. It's the type of clickbait
I don't mind.
wang_li - 5 hours ago
"How two brothers from Ireland raised prices and added friction
to the flow of money."
WheelsAtLarge - 3 hours ago
It is misleading. It deemphasizes what can be learned from the
article. What helped this company get traction was ease of use,
the 7 lines of code made it easy to use, and also, that the
reason this company even got off the ground is the 2 brothers and
their focus on getting the company to where it is. It seems to
me that whatever they would have chosen to do would have had some
success.Again, it highlights the point that it's not the idea,
they're a dime a dozen, it's the people that implement the idea.
tracker1 - 5 hours ago
There's a few misconceptions in the article beyond that. and
the more modern bits are written by banks, credit card
companies, and financial middlemen, none of whom are exactly
winning ?hackathons for elegant coding. Hackathon code is
never elegant... it's always piecemeal at the end in order to get
smsm42 - 4 hours ago
I suspect whoever wrote that sentence has an extremely vague
idea of what a hackathon is ("some coding contest??").
rpod - 5 hours ago
Thanks. There's a misleading headline if I ever saw one
balls187 - 5 hours ago
Seems all kinds of shitty to have an article about "Two brothers"
yet feature a photo where only one brother is in focus.
skrebbel - 3 hours ago
I guess Patrick is the singer, John is the drummer.
vuyani - 5 hours ago
I opened the site and thought "oh, I didn't know scump is also a
whipoodle - 5 hours ago
The bit about Amazon is the actual news contained in the story, if
anyone here is interested in discussing that.
jessaustin - 5 hours ago
The new "Radar" service was the interesting thing to me. They're
just throwing fraud protection in for free? Nice!
Animats - 5 hours ago
Payment systems are mostly about fraud protection, as PayPal
discovered in their early days. The default case is simple.
It's dealing with problems that's expensive.
strictnein - 5 hours ago
Yeah, this is really, really interesting:> Stripe?s new
partnership with Amazon. com Inc., the largest and most
sought-?after customer on the internet. Over the past couple of
weeks, Stripe began handling a large, though undisclosed, portion
of Amazon?s transactions.Lots of questions about why Amazon would
do something like that. Is it so they have a backup in case their
systems go down? Or was Stripe actually able to get better rates
than Amazon was, so this will save them money?
pas - 3 hours ago
Amazon needs data to know where to expand, how to price things.
Stripe has a lot of exactly that. Maybe...
bb611 - 2 hours ago
I setup my brother's small business stripe integration, and I
wrote and tested the API calls to charge customers. Stripe
doesn't know anything about his business except transaction
sizes, and a bunch of info they definitely can't resell (TIN)
or is already public knowledge (business name, billing
address). I doubt they have anything helpful for pricing,
though they might be able to analyze gross transaction rates
and geography. I have never checked what their contractual
obligations are with that data, I imagine if they started
sharing it that would get out pretty fast, and result in them
losing customers rapidly.
dawson - 4 hours ago
I suspect Amazon will, if this isn't already part of that
discussion and or negotiation, acquire Stripe.
wumbolad - 4 hours ago
Yup, amazon has been all about acquisitions and broadening
their horizons lately. When they acquired twitch, they had
regulations put in place first test if things would stick.
Then twitch was acquired after. Seems they're probably doing
the same with Stripe.
mschaef - 5 hours ago
~12 years ago, it was Patrick Collison that was named young
scientist of the year for developing a dialect of Lisp called
Croma:http://lemonodor.com/archives/001038.htmlI'm glad to see he
has continued to do well.
ghostbrainalpha - 5 hours ago
That's really interesting. How did you know that?
mschaef - 5 hours ago
I've plinked around with Lisp implementations for quite a
while, and remember the press he got back in 2004 for Croma.
This was before all of the startup stuff of the last 12 years,
so at the time it was just a story of a really smart high
school student doing something awesome with a style of
programming language I really liked.
pkilgore - 5 hours ago
The article: "Surely the smartest redhead in Ireland,? read one
headline about 16-year-old Patrick being named Young Scientist
of the Year for developing a programming language and
artificial intelligence system."
defen - 5 hours ago
Are "redheads in Ireland" stereotyped as being particularly
smarter or stupider than other Irish? That's the only way I
can make sense of that headline - it makes as much sense to
me as "the smartest black-haired person in Ireland"
magic_beans - 3 hours ago
Because redheads are so unbelievably common in Ireland,
calling him the "smartest redhead in Ireland" is a clever
little joke that draws a contrast between his exotic
intelligence (building an AI system, desigining a
programming language) and his incredible ordinariness
(having red hair in Ireland).
Symbiote - 4 hours ago
There's discrimination against red-haired people in Ireland
s_dev - 4 hours ago
No -- "smartest red head in Ireland" just an arbitrary
qualifier and a throwaway comment -- if anything it just
emphasizes the number of red heads in Ireland.
barking - 4 hours ago
10% of Irish people are redheads while about a half carry
the gene apparently. I'd be willing to bet the dark
haired brother has forearms covered in freckles
Scramblejams - 14 minutes ago
Thanks for that. I'd like to know why he decided first class
macros were a bad idea.
akhilcacharya - 5 hours ago
I read these stories and feel like I was the only good kid that
actually focused in class.
komali2 - 4 hours ago
I read them and see how all these smart entrepreneur types
dicked around in class reading books, just like me, except they
turned out to be geniuses, and I ended up just derping around
Asia and frittering away my youth.What did I do wrong? I blame
agumonkey - 5 hours ago
Very interesting story
fpgaminer - 3 hours ago
I hadn't worked with payment systems for a number of years, but
recently added Stripe to a quick MVP I built (bitcoinvoice.com).
It took two hours. I couldn't believe how easy it was, and how
nice the UX of the whole thing was.I imagined the usual song and
dance of writing a bunch of back-end code to handle all their weird
requests, worrying about double checking everything in the requests
to make sure nobody can spoof them, etc, etc. Ya know, the dumb
stuff that takes hours to write, hours to test, and days to wait
for support to get back to you because their test servers are
broken.And then I imagined waiting days for them to approve my
account for live transactions, requiring scanned copies of my
driver's license with me flashing some sort of gang sign while
reciting page 452 of the 1993 re-print of Moby Dick.Nope. Turned
out they have a synchronous API for processing payment so I don't
need to handle callbacks on the backend. Turned out the front end
code was, yeah about 7 lines (more with a few tweaks). And their
documentation injects your keys into the sample code for you (wow)!
On top of all that ... they had Go sample code!And when I went to
enable my live account, I'm pretty sure all they asked for was name
and address, maybe TIN. Nothing else. No wait. Just ... bam, I
was enabled and could start accepting live payments.It was perhaps
the most pleasant API integration I've ever done.There are _some_
rough spots. They don't really explain Radar, their fraud
protection very well. It wasn't clear to me if it was
automatically included and handled. shrugs. And though they
advertised support for Bitcoin payments, it turns out you have to
use their async API to accept Bitcoin payments. I was willing to
accept zero-conf payments, so I figured I could just keep using
their synchronous API, but I guess not.
jajern - 3 hours ago
I had pretty much the same experience. I programmed an API to
talk to a payment gateway connected to a chase merchant account
some years ago. It was not fun. When I setup Stripe I was
confused when it was done and there weren't 25 more steps before
smaili - 5 hours ago
Though not the primary focus of the article, this struck a chord
with me:> When bored in class, Patrick read books. ?I would line up
the angles so I was hidden from the teacher?s view,? he says,
adding that he found out years later that an enlightened principal
had instructed teachers to allow it.
ice109 - 5 hours ago
jozzz - 5 hours ago
Presumably you weren't reading books on music theory.
mrisoli - 52 minutes ago
I used to do something similar, I had quite a few bad teachers in
college on some very interesting classes, I would cut class to go
to the lab and study the same subject being taught there.
abalone - 2 hours ago
> Over the past couple of weeks, Stripe began handling a large,
though undisclosed, portion of Amazon?s transactions.Take this with
a large, disclosed portion of salt. Amazon is big enough to pay
essentially nothing in processor markup. Not to mention they sell
their own payments service. If Stripe is actually handling any
Amazon processing they are making no money on it, and quite
possibly taking a loss to buy the volume.Think Square's deal with
Starbucks. They ended up losing $56M.
whipoodle - 2 hours ago
Since, as you point out, they're probably not making money on the
processing directly, maybe there is another reason Stripe would
find it useful to process a large amount of transactions...
nouveau0 - 5 hours ago
How Two Brothers Fought Against All Odds And Things As Such As
droidist2 - 5 hours ago
I need to finally watch this show!
rdiddly - 4 hours ago
"There?s such an improbability to their story -? that these
brothers from a little village would come to build what could well
be one of the most important companies on the internet.?But is it,
in fact, improbable? If you believe Paul Graham, the most
revolutionary ideas are always going to come from off the beaten
path -- from some backwater, either of geography and/or of ideas.
Lordarminius - 3 hours ago
?They have the advantage of coming to California without being
tainted and polluted by what?s in the water supply and air of
Silicon Valley,?That made me laugh.But you are right: to create
something really new, you must bring in a different perspective.
Frequently, this is possible only as an outsider.
Kiro - 5 hours ago
The biggest thing for me with Stripe was that I no longer needed a
card redemption agreement. Before that I had to deal with both my
bank and the provider and it was a bureaucratic mess.I still wonder
how Stripe managed to get around that.
cperciva - 5 hours ago
There is an analogous agreement, but it's hidden behind 'terms
and conditions' which you click through without reading.
crazypyro - 5 hours ago
Isn't part of the innovation the fact that almost all users can
click through that part of the process instead of spending lots
of time in bureaucracy?Is there justification for everyone who
wants to process payments needing to understand that type of
legal document? Is there some major liability that people are
agreeing to when they accept the T&Cs?I honestly just don't
know anything about card redemption agreements and google
wasn't very helpful.
Silhouette - 3 hours ago
Is there some major liability that people are agreeing to
when they accept the T&Cs?The agreements between payment
services and merchants are some of the most one-sided legal
contracts you are ever likely to encounter. Unless you are a
huge merchant, they are probably non-negotiable. Typically
they grant the payment service and/or its associates the
authority to literally take money straight out of your bank
account, impose often unspecified levels of fees for vaguely
defined transgressions, etc. They will also typically make
the merchant responsible for almost anything that goes wrong
in terms of fraud, other than perhaps a few specific
exceptions where facilities like 3-D Secure were used.Stripe
seems to be little better than anyone else with much of this,
though as I understand it that is partly because the card
networks impose their own terms and intermediary services
like Stripe are essentially just passing them on without
having much say about it themselves either.To give credit
where it's due, I've never personally encountered Stripe
actually abusing those sorts of terms, and getting signed up
with them in the first place was dramatically easier than the
alternatives available at the time other than possibly entry-
level PayPal (+ accompanying horror stories, depending on who
downandout - 5 hours ago
I don't know Patrick, but he has personally jumped in here on HN
where appropriate, publicly given out his own email address to
handle issues, etc., and continued to do so even after Stripe
achieved a $1b+ valuation. While most of their billionaire Silicon
Valley contemporaries are very hard people to root for, I am
rooting for these guys. They seem like genuinely good people whose
success is well deserved, and so far they have not let it go to
hluska - 5 hours ago
I agree on every single point. I've been amazed reading threads
on here where Patrick jumps in and offers his help. I've never
met them, but Patrick and John seem like wonderful people. I'll
always root for them!
michaf - 4 hours ago
So far I didn't use their service, but I fondly remember their
security CTFs, which were lots of fun, and very well run. Still
hoping for another incarnation of those...
pieterhg - 4 hours ago
Patrick is awesome! He asked me to have lunch after I tweeted
feature suggestions about Stripe. Indeed, which founder of a
billion dollar company does that (or has time for that)?Another
time, I had trouble getting the Stripe code to work and Stripe's
former CTO Greg Brockman debugged my PHP code (!) to fix it for
me. I'm not making this up.The CEO wants to have lunch with me (a
nobody) and the CTO debugs my code.It's one of the few VC-backed
companies I really root for.Stripe has a great product, great
service, solid business model (it can't get more simple than % on
transactions really), great engineering (their USP is/was their
API) and it seems they really support small and medium business
owners (and bootstrappers especially).My only hope is anyone who
will acquire them (and I think this will happen soon) keeps the
product at this level.
skrebbel - 3 hours ago
> me (a nobody)Well, you're got quite the Twitter following,
probably nearly entirely in Stripe's target demographic :-)But
yeah, that is cool.
jacquesm - 4 hours ago
My hope is they will not be acquired and will keep this stand-
alone as a true alternative rather than be eaten and then to
lose all their advantages. Acquisitions of companies like this
usually spell the end of the line. Here's to hoping Stripe will
IPO and will go on to acquire who could now potentially acquire
jameskegel - 4 hours ago
I'm not sure who'd have the ability to make that type of
acquisition, to be honest. Maybe First Data? That would may
even be a stretch.
jeffasinger - 13 minutes ago
I think a majority of their processing traffic goes through
Wells Fargo. They would be a possible acquirer.
adventured - 3 hours ago
To add to the other list (all plausible):Google, dozens of
international companies (eg Softbank or SAP), Walmart,
Target, Costco, IBM, Oracle, and numerous others.Basically,
several dozen companies are serious potential buyers. And
that's before getting into the secondary list, which
includes companies like Intel, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc.
jacquesm - 4 hours ago
Card issuers (VISA, MC), Amazon, Microsoft, major banks,
Ebay, Paypal, Due, Payline, Paysquare. A leveraged buy-out
would enable many more potential takers.
discombobulate - 2 hours ago
Heard Patrick on The Ezra Klein Show. Astute af.
IgorPartola - 5 hours ago
For me, Stripe was a revelation because they eliminated fixed
monthly costs. When I ran a side project that took credit cards, I
found the cheapest option to be a $20/month merchant account +
$20/month to Spreedly. Others had a few months free trials, etc.
but ended up being more expensive over the first year.Stripe, while
being more expensive than these options per transaction, actually
cost me a lot less to start out. While $40/month doesn't seem like
a lot, for a hobby project that likely won't make that much money
in the first months to a year, it's huge.
robinjfisher - 4 hours ago
So much this. When I started Leavetrack in 2011, it was so
difficult to get setup for recurring payments. I was using
Chargify to handle the recurring payments/credit card storage, a
company in New Zealand (I am in the UK) to handle the interface
to my merchant account in the UK. Total costs:- c. US$40 per
month for Chargify (which kept increasing) - ?20 per month for
the payment gateway - ?25 per month + transaction fee for
merchant accountSo happy when Stripe landed in the UK and I could
migrate to a flat fee per transaction which scaled with me.
Migrating is hard as you need customers to re-enter card details
but an offer of reducing their monthly subscription due to
savings in processing costs helped that process. :)
edwinwee - 15 minutes ago
> you need customers to re-enter card details:scream:We can
work directly with your previous payments provider to import
card details directly, which helps take the burden off when
migrating (and keep things PCI-compliant ;) ).
IgorPartola - 31 minutes ago
Re: migrating customers: I just grandfathered all paying
customers to a perpetual free plan. Weren't that many of them.
Sadly that app never gained traction. You'd think reliable
up/down monitoring of unlimited servers at $4/month would be a