Stripe did $14B in revenue in 2022 🔥

What lessons can product leaders take from Stripe?

Here are 10 I would focus on.

Lesson 1: Make Something Your Customers Need to do Easy

Stripe was born from a debate in 2009/2010 between Patrick and John Collison on why it was so difficult to accept payments on the web. Making this thing customers need to do – payments – easy is Stripe’s magic

Lesson 2: Don’t Jump Into Big Marketing & Sales Spend

In 2011, Striped raised at a $20M valuation. Most would invest in sales. After all, Stripe competes against Braintree, adyen, Google, & Amazon. Yet for years the sales team was “diminutive,” & they had 1 marketing person

Lesson 3: Build for Platforms and Marketplaces

Stripe recognized much of commerce was to shift to internet platforms and marketplaces. In late 2011, it launched Connect, which leveraged Paul Graham’s principle “A startup that helps people make money will make money itself”

Lesson 4: Go Deep to Solve Problems Well

In 2014, Stripe became a unicorn. Many companies inevitably begin expanding their product offerings. Not Stripe. It sharpened its pen on its vision, strategy, and principles

Lesson 5: Start With Startups, Move Upmarket, then Build for Everyone

“The software cycle of life” has a problem. As products move upmarket to enterprise, they become long in the tooth. Throughout 2015, Stripe’s antidote was to serve all parts of the market well

Lesson 6: Launch New Products When the Time is Right

Only in early 2016 was Stripe ready to launch their first truly different products:
1. Atlas, a platform for entrepreneurs to incorporate their business
2. Radar, an ML tool for fraud management teams

Lesson 7: Define a North Star

Stripe continued to launch myriads of new products. In 2018, it unveiled its North Star: the “Global Payments Treasury Network” (GPTN). CPO William Gaybrick always comes back to the GPTN

Lesson 8: Go Offline to Enhance the Flywheel

In 2018, Stripe launched Stripe Terminal. Building products to help merchants offline helps them grow, which helps them buy more from Stripe. Stripe’s clients use the common e-comm strategy we see with thredUP, Warby Parker, Casper

Lesson 9: Scale Geographically

In 2021 International expansion is a key theme for Stripe:
◻️ Added 11 countries to payments
◻️ Stripe’s largest acquisition ever, PayStack, is a Nigerian focused company

More countries help Stripe increase share of wallet

Lesson 10: Iterate on Ambitious Product Strategies

To put together Stripe’s 17 products, it has iterated on its product strategy. Its products can be thought of as in 4 layers. Stripe is on a mission to create multi-decade abstractions, not just ordinary products.