By Patrick Collison
I’m sometimes asked whether Stripe could have been started in Ireland. It’s impossible to really know the counterfactual, but I suspect not.
Stripe wasn’t easy to get off the ground. It required convincing banks to work with us, and to take a bet on an unproven startup. I actually spoke to some banks in Ireland when we were starting out, and it was pretty clear that getting them to work with us would have been a very tough battle. I doubt we’d have been able to pull it off.
But I’m not sure that asking whether Stripe could have been started in Ireland is the right question. Most technology start-ups don’t have to convince banks to work with them. The interesting question is probably “how hard is to start a successful start-up in Ireland compared to doing so in Silicon Valley?” (I’m not claiming that Stripe itself is yet successful—it’s still very early days.)
The answer is almost definitely “substantially harder”…….