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The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time

NEW

RELEASE

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD A RESILIENT, WORLD-CHANGING COMPANY?

From the co-founder of Square, an inspiring and entertaining account of what it means to be a true entrepreneur and what it takes to build a resilient, world-changing company.

LIMITED-TIME SPECIAL OFFER

When my publisher told me that The Innovation Stack couldn’t be a graphic novel I was bummed, so I teamed up with an incredibly talented artist and created a full fledged comic book. The Birth Of Banking tells the story of A.P. Giannini’s quest to solve an age old problem, and how his company’s innovation stack helped rebuild San Fransisco after the great earthquake of 1906. This company, named The Bank of Italy, later became the biggest bank in the world—The Bank of America.

Every single order of The Innovation Stack receives a copy of the comic book. Just enter the information below to download your copy!

After you’ve ordered, download The Birth Of Banking below!

The Birth Of Banking

About
the Book

In 2009, a St. Louis glassblowing artist and recovering computer scientist named Jim McKelvey lost a sale because he couldn’t accept American Express cards. Frustrated by the high costs and difficulty of accepting credit card payments, McKelvey joined his friend Jack Dorsey (the co-founder of Twitter) to launch Square, a startup that would enable small merchants to accept credit card payments on their mobile phones.
Jim McKelvey
Jim McKelvey

With no expertise or experience in the world of payments, they approached the problem of credit cards with a new perspective, questioning the industry’s assumptions, experimenting and innovating their way through early challenges, and achieving widespread adoption from merchants small and large. But just as Square was taking off, Amazon launched a similar product, marketed it aggressively, and undercut Square on price. For most ordinary startups, this would have spelled the end. Instead, less than a year later, Amazon was in retreat and soon discontinued its service.

How did Square beat the most dangerous company on the planet? Was it just luck, or had they done something uniquely successful?

These questions motivated McKelvey to study what Square had done differently from all the other companies Amazon had killed and stuffed into smiling cardboard boxes.He eventually found the key: a strategy he calls the Innovation Stack. McKelvey’s fascinating and humorous stories of Square’s early days are blended with historical examples of other world-changing companies built on the Innovation Stack to reveal a pattern of ground-breaking, competition-proof entrepreneurship that is rare but repeatable. The Innovation Stack is a thrilling business narrative that’s much bigger than the story of Square. It is an irreverent first-person look inside the world of entrepreneurship, and a call to action for all of us to find the entrepreneur within ourselves and identify and fix unsolved problems–one crazy idea at a time.

Advance Praise

Peter Thiel

“Who can say they went up against Amazon — and won? Jim McKelvey can, and this book tells how.”

Entrepreneur, investor, and author of Zero to One

Steve Case

“McKelvey tells the remarkable story of how with Square, he started a business that would transform an industry, along the way unlocking a whole new model for innovation—an…

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“McKelvey tells the remarkable story of how with Square, he started a business that would transform an industry, along the way unlocking a whole new model for innovation—an inspiring call to action for entrepreneurs who want to tackle problems that affect our everyday lives, with perseverance and some crazy ideas.”

Steve Case

Eric Ries

“The Innovation Stack is a deeply useful book about the characteristics of successful companies and how and why to build one, complete with inspiring case studies that…

Entrepreneur and bestselling author of The Lean Startup

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“The Innovation Stack is a deeply useful book about the characteristics of successful companies and how and why to build one, complete with inspiring case studies that literally span centuries. But it’s also much more than that: a witty, humane exploration of living in the complicated, inequitable world we all share and working to make it less so.”

Eric Ries

Entrepreneur and bestselling author of The Lean Startup

About
Jim McKelvey

James McKelvey is a serial entrepreneur, inventor, philanthropist, and artist.

He is the co-founder of Square, was chairman of its board until 2010, and still serves on the Board of Directors. In 2011, his iconic card reader design was inducted into the Museum of Modern Art.

McKelvey also founded Invisibly, a project to rewire the economics of online content; LaunchCode, a non-profit that trains people to work in technology; and Third Degree Glass Factory, a publicly accessible glass art studio & education center in St. Louis.

In 2017, he was appointed as an Independent Director of the St. Louis Federal Reserve.