With the announcement that Starbucks is going to use Square for all credit- and debit-card payments (see this CNET News post by Steven Musil, @StevenMusil), the mobile payments startup is finally ready for prime time.
Yes, Square has been in the news for a while now, and it's gotten a valuation estimated to be between $1 billion and $4 billion, and has millions of dollars in transactions per day. But it's this deal with Starbucks that is going to give Square truly wide exposure and make it more commonplace.
I thought this would be a good moment to look at the evolution of the Square card reader. The reader's simplicity has been praised by many experts and credited with making the service easy to use and understand.
But like any new product, that wasn't always the case. On Dec. 3, 2010, on a visit to the San Francisco headquarters of Square, Jack Dorsey, founder and CEO (who also happens to be creator and chairman of Twitter), showed me the evolution of the attachments. In the photo above, the timeline goes from extreme left to the right, with today's Square under the arc.
You can see they played with all sorts of sizes, formats and materials before settling on the current iteration.
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