== Notes to self ==
Not gold alone brought us hither

Stripe Business Update

Stripe’s cofounders published an annual letter to their users. Things that caught my eye in this 2021 business update are:

  1. Rise of the creator economy “Creator economy, a term that refers to directing payments to those creating content or products on internet platforms: think developers on GitHub, podcasters on Spotify, or the Twitterati on Twitter all getting paid directly for their creations.”

  2. Rise of embedded finance “… the explosive growth in fintech … platforms are now integrating additional financial services directly into their products, such as business expense cards, monetary accounts, and loan access.”

  3. Enterprises will need to adapt “Established businesses have realized that they need to match the customer experience that the world’s most exciting startups invent, and that to be stuck on legacy technology is a business liability.”

  4. Evolution of platform architecture “We’re also rebuilding the architecture (in a more service-oriented fashion) on which the core Stripe API calls run; our pilot customers running on that new architecture are seeing 99th percentile latency improvements of over 50%. We’ll continue over the course of this year to make Stripe more reliable and performant for you.”

Technologically, this last one is the highlight of the letter for me. We sometimes underestimate the need for ongoing investment in evolving the architecture to meet the current and future needs of the platform. Improving the performance of an application can create a better customer experience and stickiness than adding a new feature. It is harder to make a case for non-functional improvements because benefits lend poorly to the measurement of business impact. As an engineering leader, take it upon yourself to give attention to non-functional improvements.

Read the letter here.