As I’m sure you know by now, Kickoff 2 is finally out of beta. After playing around with the beta for quite some time, I find Kickoff extremely impressive in almost every regard. However, there’s also some bigger news at play with Kickoff.
Stripe has acquired Kickoff. Yes, that Stripe. Benjamin De Cock, founder of Kickoff, stated in his announcement of the acquisition that he was working alongside Stripe for quite some time. Feel free to read through his post for some more details, but for this post, I’m not looking at Kickoff or Stripe individually, I’m looking at who they can be together; what they can be together.
Who and Why?
Stripe is the PayPal replacement, which focuses on everything PayPal does and then one-ups it by working on where PayPal is falling short. Kickoff is a real-time chat and task sharing tool designed for small teams.
There are some aspects between the two which seem to overlap, which is definitely an aiding factor in the acquisition. There is also the acqui-hire aspect, which is probably another key component in Stripe’s eyes. Stripe is known for sustaining an incredible team, so why not add the Kickoff’s three person team.
When you think about combining the services, there are a great deal of possibilities which come to mind, as besides Basecamp there are very few well-done team management tools; and besides PayPal there are few options the map for online payments. Combine the start-up talent with between Kickoff and Stripe and there is massive potential for the new alliance to create something unlike anything out there right now and take a large share of the market.
Speaking of the talent, the acqui-hire possibility is very real, as the design and development talent within the Kickoff team is impressive, despite being only three people deep. With the unique style of workplace Stripe is, they will be able to use their talent and creativity to its greatest potential.
Here’s where I’m jumping out on a limb a bit. With the two companies working as one now, I think there is a very real possibility for a service/app combination which combines Basecamp and PayPal capabilities.
One specific scenario I can think of is the possibility for a service created for blogs with multiple writers on pay-roll. Now instead of using Basecamp, Campfire, and PayPal, the newly wedded duo could provide a real-time chat portal, a task-management solution, and a payment solution all in one. This back-end solution would make the lives of people such as Jared and Drew (in The Industry’s case) much easier. Sure there would need to be a visually appealing UI to accompany everything without becoming bloated, but the design and development talent between Stripe and Kickoff could definitely create something great.
Another possibility I can think of is for website subscriptions. As many sites are moving to offering subscriptions for various deals, extra content, and so on, instead of more ads for revenue, the need for a simple subscription solution isn’t here. While it’s a bit different from what is currently out there from both teams, it’s a potential route; albeit I’m not sure of the sustainability on their side.
Outside of the blogging-only world, there is a great potential for a very well-done commerce solution. I’m currently working on putting up a store on my photography blog and although I’m planning on using Squarespace commerce, I would gladly be willing to try something else if it was more intuitive. Imagine being able to completely run an online store from within a native OSX app. Things would get really interesting if you threw in the potential for Square to acquire Stripe.
Sure, many of these are long-shots, but I greatly enjoy looking at possibilities. Between the design and development talent already within Stripe and with the acquisition of the Kickoff team, the possibilities are endless, really.
As stated by Benjamin in his article:
“Stripe ships like crazy. They have an extraordinary growth and customers are in love. As far as I can tell, everyone at Stripe deeply cares about the product.”
We can expect to see some sort of integration coming in within the year, be it a combination of the two apps themselves, or simply an integration of talent for a completely new product/service. Stripe’s laser focus is sure to yield incredible results. I’m excited to see what results.
What are your thoughts on the acqui-hire / acquisition, though? Are there other possibilities you can think of? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll be sure to reply to everyone.