Paul McKellar paves the way for safe mobile transactions with Square
If your best friend owes you money but never has cash, you need to download Square immediately and ring her up. This app and attachable card reader allows your iPhone to accept credit and debit cards to complete a safe, secure transaction effortlessly. One of the founders of Square, Paul McKellar, fills us in on the inspiration for this incredibly useful app, which (really, we mean it) you need to have if you don’t already.
- What was your inspiration?
Square was invented by Jim McKelvey when he lost a sale for a $2,000 glass faucet because his credit card terminal didn’t accept his customer’s AmEx. He realized that cell phones have all the technology required to process card payments, but with arduous bank applications and processes, it was very difficult to start accepting credit cards. Since then, a very large and strong team has developed and finessed the product into what it is today.
- Any updates coming?
Square is constantly being updated. Two very recent releases include Register, which aims to replace the outdated cash register, and Card Case, which makes paying local merchants much easier and more fun.
- What advice do you have for novice app developers?
People who are interested in starting their own companies should focus on trying lots of small projects — and making the projects for themselves. That way, they get a broad set of reactions and feedback, which helps them fine-tune their ability to measure if a product is going to succeed. And the effort is never wasted — even if it doesn’t take off on a large scale, they still created a product that was personally useful.
- What’s your favorite way to unplug?
Movies. I unplug by watching movies. Lots of them.
- Besides your smartphone, what’s your favorite gadget?
I love my Kindle. It does one thing well and that’s all I want. I can read it anywhere. Also, it feels durable.
We thank you, McKellar, for your hard work in making our plastic money card driven society ever more easy to navigate. You've earned yourself time to unplug with a movie (lots of them).
Apps I Love
Hollywood’s Heartthrob Turns App Investor
Photo credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Leonardo DiCaprio has been one of Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs since his performance in Titanic, and he has preserved his reputation as a worthy actor with other hit films such as Inception, The Departed and Catch Me If You Can. But DiCaprio is switching gears from show business—whether it be for a side gig or a change in career—by investing $4 million in the app Mobli.
Going off of the tagline, "See the world through other people’s eyes," Mobli is a social network where users can share photos and videos, and the app automatically tags each post with a location or major event in the surrounding area. Users can also follow channels that display photos about a particular topic, such as Leo himself.
Mobli CEO Moshe Hogeg told The Huffington Post in October 2011 that Leo’s not much of a tech guy, but he is very excited to be involved in the marketing aspect of the app. “He believes in the vision of the company and thinks that this is the future of media. He wanted to get on board in the beginning, influence it, and give his input into the company.”