I am a fan of the Collison brothers who founded the payments infrastructure company Stripe back in 2009. Their story and trajectory to a $35 billion behemoth is inspirational but that is not the crux of this piece. Beyond starting a company, going beyond ramen and figuring out sustainability, not many companies are deliberate about developing their markets, choosing instead to glide through and simply sell their services in what can be argued as an extractive only pursuit.
Stripe’s vision is to increase the GDP of the internet. They understood that if they were to enable more businesses work through the headache of setting up operations in a jurisdiction that while ideal for global market reach, was difficult to access, these businesses when the time comes to go international, would need a fintech partner to run with and they would be top of mind.
The Stripe Atlas program enables entrepreneurs to remotely set up shop in the US state of Delaware, providing legal assistance through global legal firm Orrick and tax consultancy through other partners to ensure compliance in what is a strict regulatory environment.
To top it up, through the program, startups can access credits that they redeem with various partners with service stacks that any business would need day to day such as cloud and communication service providers. A comprehensive book, rather a series of guides penned in collaboration with experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts is also available and covers everything from customer acquisition, pitching your startup, networking for founders, bookkeeping, contracts and agreement’s to business modeling.
They went on to launch a fully-fledged publishing arm that has since put out excellent content addressing specific things in-depth that would be critical to the success of businesses beyond their establishment. With Increment, their software engineering magazine, topics such as testing, documentation, open source, internationalisation, and security are covered with relatable and real-world use cases to support. Great for any corporate or personal library accessible in digital and print, the knowledge gained makes for a much better analysis of any tech-inclined opportunity from the technical front.
We could all pick a page from Stripe’s playbook. I hope to see more local companies regardless of their stage, become more intentional about developing and improving the markets in which they operate, not with a singular selfish motive of direct commercial benefit, but with the understanding that a rising tide lifts all ships.