Not long ago, Square CEO Jack Dorsey challenged his team to create a solution for accepting payments at Starbucks, which the mobile-payments company had partnered with in August. When an engineer worked out a solution (using QR codes within the Square Wallet app that could tap into Starbucks’ preexisting system), Dorsey was so giddy that he grabbed a high-end bottle of scotch off his desk and gave it to the engineer as a reward. The only catch? As both would soon learn, the bottle of alcohol was worth a lot more than Dorsey had initially realised–roughly $2,000.
Now, as the tale around the office goes, every time Dorsey retells the story, the price of the bottle keeps shooting higher and higher–an anecdote Dorsey facetiously uses to highlight his unmatched generosity toward employees. “It became like Gob’s suits in Arrested Development,” the engineer told me with a smile on a recent visit to Square’s headquarters.