What It's Like Founding A Massive Startup With Your Brother

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Business Insider/Alyson Shontell

Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe (left) with Matthew Mullenweg, founder of Automattic

Stripe CEO Patrick Collison co-founded his payments company with his middle brother, John. 

Stripe is an easy way to accept payments on the Internet and its 80-person team currently handles billions of dollars of transactions per year.

The Collison brothers are both technical founders. They grew up in rural Ireland near Limerick, where they barely got dial-up Internet. Collison says he used to go to the library and read books about the Internet since it was so difficult to access in his home. The brothers, who are two years apart, both attended school in  Massachusetts (John at Harvard and Patrick at MIT). They dropped out of school to launch their company.

There perk of launching a company with your brother, says Collison, is that you learn to get along and sort out differences at a young age.

Here's how he explained his situation to Matthew Mullenweg on stage at Web Summit Dublin (lightly edited):

"Every company that goes through growth will spark such an unusual relationship among co-founders. There are definitely going to be challenges. With John, we had all of these huge fights and arguments, but we managed to get most of them out of the way when we were three and five [years old]."

Collison has nothing but kind words to say about his brothers. Of his youngest, Tommy, Patrick jokes that he's "determined to be the one in the family to make something of himself." Of John , he says: "He's a better version of me."

Stripe is currently worth more than $500 million.

Disclosure: Enterprise Ireland kindly sponsored Business Insider's trip to Dublin to cover Web Summit and F.ounders.



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