> I must admit to being somewhat uncomfortable that Stripe seems to be spreading themselves out into areas outside their core business
The vast majority of Stripe employees (and there are now more than 1,000) work on our core functionality today. But we see our core business as building tools and infrastructure that help grow the online economy. ("Increase the GDP of the internet.") When we think about that problem, we see that one of the main limits on Stripe's growth is the number of successful startups in the world. If we can cheaply help increase that number, it makes a lot of business sense for us to do so. (And, hopefully, doing so will create a ton of spillover value for others as well.)
As we grow, we have to get good at walking and chewing gum -- just as Google or Amazon have. However, while we go and tackle other problems, our aim is not only to continue to improve our core payments infrastructure, but do deliver improvements at an accelerating rate.
This approach lends itself to spending on many cheap things which, e.g. in this case, might not even have quantifiable benefits.
I'll extend OP's curiosity and wonder how the team behind Stripe press plans on measuring the success of their initiative, and what milestone hits/misses are needed to determine the success or failure state of the project.
Separately, my background includes vendor risk assessments. This is the kind of thing that makes me question long term investment in a platform. It's admittedly a lower risk than many technical findings, but it's not something to discount when evaluating the use of a startup for critical infrastructure (payment). Knowing Stripe's size, the various risks that PCI participants have to account for (and that's just PCI DSS specifically), and the trouble many larger organizations and startups have in meeting those obligations also makes me that much more likely to strictly score Stripe on the next vendor risk assessment when I see spend of this sort on ancillary/non-critical measures.
I'm sharing how I think because I'd be surprised if others in my field didn't think the same way.
Off topic. Why is the Stripe Brazil so slow to start working in Brazil? I believe Brazil has an huge space to growths in online payments, and if it process "boletos" (a Brazilian way to pay stuff) besides credit card will be very helpful.
The content blocks that scroll left to right lack signifiers and weren't intuitive for me to scroll them left to right.
I would say having some low opacity arrows (or something similar) would help.
Running a small press is a pretty cost-efficient way of doing this. To me, it's more like Intel's days of sponsoring high-school science fairs. It's low-key, long-horizon marketing that doesn't instantly lend itself to ROI calculations, but that can be a boon in a lot of ways both obvious and oblique.