Sunday 24 March 2019

Worldwide web: John and Patrick Collison are said to be worth up to $3bn each, but the brothers eschew ostentatious displays of wealth and are focused on building Stripe and expanding online trade globally
Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Long way from Tipperary: how to build a €20bn firm 

They're now regularly portrayed as the poster boys for Ireland's potential in the tech world. Patrick (30) and John (28) Collison have created one of the most talked-about tech companies in the industry. Stripe is an online payments system that lets online stores accept payments through ordinary means (such as credit cards) without any special measures being taken. The success of the system is largely down to the relative ease by which it can be installed by tech people setting up a company's online shop. It's basically a few lines of code that slots in without any fuss.

Harvey Norman CEO Blaine Callard inside the flagship store in Tallaght. Photo: Tony Gavin

'Bad stores kill retail - not Amazon' 

Blaine Callard is wound up and ready to pounce. "I'm giving you facts and you're giving me back sentiment," he says, waving a dossier at me. We're sitting in Harvey Norman's new flagship outlet in Ireland, a giant, 58,000ft Ikea-like retail superstore in Tallaght. Surrounded by 65-inch TVs and custom sofas, Callard is giving me chapter and verse on a topic that bugs him: why internet shopping is not killing physical retail. We in the media keep perpetuating this line. Worse, we wrongly attribute retail's demise to a single player- Amazon.

Keeping watch: the Nest Cam Outdoor

Our technology editor tackles your trickiest tech problems 

Question: My mother lives alone in the countryside. For quite some time, she has been experiencing issues with someone interfering with items outside. My family and I have tried various security cameras but they are not user-friendly and by the time we attempt to look back at footage from the previous week, it's an onerous task. Can you recommend a system that is not overly expensive and is very user-friendly? Perhaps myself and my siblings could connect it to our phones? There are lots of entry points into the yard so it's also challenging to have enough cameras to catch all angles.