According to Jack Dorsey, payment service Square was almost called ‘Squirrel’ and the card reader dongle was made of wood and shaped like an acorn. Until he had lunch at Apple. Update below.
Dorsey, Twitters co-founder and the CEO of Square, accepted the 21st Century Visionary award, given out by San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club Wednesday night. While he was there he spoke about the future and past of Twitter and Square.
Among the statements by Dorsey to come out of the conference was the one above, as Tweeted by investor Dan Rosen among others. I didn’t attend the conference so I don’t know what the context for the statement was, but it seems to indicate that a lunch at Apple completely changed the name and design of Square.
The name Squirrel was known even before Square’s official announcement in December of 2009. As was the fact that the dongle was acorn shaped. The information that a lunch at Apple changed the design of the Square dongle so drastically and was the reason behind the name change is new, as far as I can tell.
I can just imagine that lunch in the Apple cafeteria with Steve Jobs telling Dorsey to drop the woodsy Acorn look and go with something white, minimal and squared off. Hey, it worked for Apple right?
There were some other interesting tidbits from Dorsey at the Inforum event, many of which are catalogued on Twitter under the hashtag #inforumsf, including the fact that Twitter was named by looking up a synonym for the word ‘twitch’, it’s worth taking a look.
Update: Dan Rosen told me via Twitter that Dorsey was actually having lunch with Apple SVP of iPhone Software Scott Forstall when he saw a point-of-sale system in the Apple cafe from a company named ‘Squirrel systems’, so he had to change the name of the company. You’d think he would have Googled it right?