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Square is incredibly common these days at farmers markets and coffeeshops. This class of products has a lot of win going for it; I don't know if Square is going to own that market, but they have a huge advantage right now. I look forward to reading their financials.

edit: a roundup from the WSJ, Fortune, and other random news places suggests strong concern over the CEO situation. That seems fair. I would definitely discount the value of a non-profitable company with a part-time CEO. :-/

That said, having a "stupid simple and ubiquitous payment platform" should be a really easy way to print money. Why hasn't it? I think that story is the interesting one.




This is anecdotal, but I feel like I see Square's competitors just as much as Square at coffee shops and other small businesses these days. I wonder if there are some easy-to-find numbers for how many businesses use Square vs. Flint or others?


Furthermore Stripe is highly visible in places like the Bay Area, where I believe many HN members are located. I wonder what the numbers are for Stripe adoption outside of major tech hubs.


Stripe doesn't do POS systems. You're not likely to see a lot of Stripe POS systems in the Bay Area or elsewhere. Their prominence in the Bay Area is because they cater to developers who build stuff that uses credit cards.

Square primarily does POS systems. I don't believe the two companies really compete in any real way yet.


Square, in terms of market share, is relatively tiny.

First Data is practically 90% of payment terminals in the US.


Maybe the reason it hasn't is because farmers markets and coffeeshops don't represent significant cashflow. They are a good fit in those markets, but in that area they have a big piece of what amounts to a small pie.


That seems, based solely on how my gut feels, reasonable: they may have effectively saturated the untapped credit card swiper market in the US, which doesn't deal in high-cost items. I would, however, suggest that there's a whole credit card swiper market that exists that can be muscled in on that has much higher values - all grocery stores, for instance.

In any case, I should find the filing and read it. I came up with a similar and much worse idea about 6mo before Square came out, and I've been a total fan of Square ever since.




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