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How Square narrowly avoided getting crushed by Amazo – Source

In the summer of 2014, Square was still a simple business: we gave away a cool little white square card reader, charged 2.75 percent for our service, and had a happy collection of small businesses using our product. We were still growing fast. We had no live customer service and barely any advertising budget.

Then the doorbell rang and Jeff Bezos delivered a severed horse head via free two-day shipping. We discovered that Amazon had copied our hardware (albeit as a black rectangle), had undercut our price by 30 percent, and was offering live customer support. Amazon is a truly terrifying competitor. They are brilliant, efficient and rich. They have teams of the best people and are literally building an army of flying robots. They stuff the mangled remains of their competition into smiling cardboard boxes and move onto the next market.

We needed a response, fast. We began looking for examples of other firms that had beaten back Amazon, but if there were any such businesses, we…

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