Let’s Talk Says Square…

John Tozzi, a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek,  interviewed Square CEO Jack Dorsey about his Let’s Talk project — a new North American event series designed to bring business owners together to collaborate, connect and strengthen their communities.  Today the free event hits St. Louis.


You can read the announcement about the series here.

The interview was awesome because it delved into the heart of the matter — why does Dorsey care? To start, Mr. Dorsey remarked:

 …One of the things I think has diminished in this country over the past 15 years is that sense of community, that fabric between sellers, between merchants. Let’s Talk is a venue to start having these conversations again.”

Here are some additional notable quotables:

…People want local, crafted experiences. What I mean by craft, it’s not just the end product, but also the process. These are people who care about the work and put a lot of love and passion into building and creating what they’re selling. It’s local, crafted quality. St. Louis has seen a resurgence of this…

See — The emphasis is on the process!

…People naturally want to share what works. It’s just part of being human, it’s a little special secret that you know and you’re dying to share. It does make running your business easier and growing your business easier…

Worth noting:  Customers like sharing the stories of what they buy and why.  I’ve always felt that was important.

Mr. Dorsey talked about facilitating dialogue / interaction between sellers and merchants.  That’s huge.  A move back to building relationships instead of strictly P&L considerations is a good thing.

Think about it this way…  Farmer’s markets have been taking off (8,144 farmers markets are now listed in USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory, up from about 5,000 in 2008).  Customers like talking to the grower about the produce they are buying.  In a way, this was an extension of chefs meeting the suppliers of their produce, meats, fish, cheeses, etc.

Deep down we all want to make connections and have stories to share — be it about the food we make / eat, or the crafts / products we create.

This move by Square feels absolutely sincere.  I hope that they find a way to continue the momentum in the cities they visit and beyond.  In fact, there should be a “Let’s Talk” blueprint / kit that a motivated person can use in their own community.


Here’s a link to a video from the Stockton event held earlier this year.


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