Thursday 10 July 2014

Patrick Collison tells how his start-up became a €500m success

Peter Flanagan New Technology Correspondent

Published 17/10/2012|11:14

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Paddy Cosgrave, Founder of Dublin Web Summit speaking on the main stage

IF you want a successful to run a successful technology start-up, you must have an original idea, and you must be prepared to work hard.

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That was the message from Limerick native Patrick Collison at the opening of the Dublin Web Summit.

In his keynote address to the morning session of the event, Mr Collison who runs the payments site Stripe from Silicon Valley, said it was vital for a successful firm to not forget where it has come from.

“The thing about start-ups is so few people tend to see them up close.

“The stories about people desperately trying to get extra servers to deal with all their extra demand are a lot different to the conversations we have about trying to get things to work.

“When Facebook famously moved out to Palo Alto there were people in the same house Facebook was based in working on different ideas. It is vital to remember that,” he added.

Mr Collison, who set up Stripe along with his brother John some two and a half years ago, did so after chatting among themselves about it. Both eventually quit college and moved out to Silicon Valley to set it up.

“We focused for so long on making sure the technology worked well. We didn’t formally launch until nearly two years in, up to then we were invitation only,” he said.

Growth for the company has only really taken off in the last six to 12 months, and the firm is now valued at more than $500m. Investors include Peter Thiel, a founder of Paypal and early backer of Facebook.

Mr Collison was the highlight of the opening of this year’s Dublin Web Summit, which features speakers from around the world and some 4,000 attendees and exhibitors. Now in its third year the event has grown to be the highlight of the Irish tech calendar and one of the biggest technology event in Europe.

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