Jack Dorsey’s Square buys New York design firm 80/20

2 Oct 2012

Founder and CEO of Square Jack Dorsey

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s mobile payments company Square has bought a design company in New York called 80/20, signalling the growing importance of good industrial design in winning the hearts and pockets of today’s technology consumer.

Dorsey’s company Square manufactures a tiny little device that connects with an iPhone or iPad and allows businesspeople or consumers to accept credit card payments by swiping the card through the device.

80/20 describes its mission thus: “We conceptualise, research, design, develop and deploy solutions that set new standards in user experience.”

The company has previously designed a fitness tracking watch for Motorola and a dashboard for electric car company Better Place. Other clients include Warner and Comcast.

The Soho, New York-based company’s founders previously worked for Apple and Adobe.

The company’s Andrew Borovsky, for example, led the product design of the MobileMe at Apple and defined the ecosystem of services for the iPhone and Mac.

“At 80/20, we’ve been fortunate to work on amazing products and platforms,” the company’s website reads. “In every project, we’ve started with the belief that the best design gets out of the user’s way and that you can craft unforgettable user experiences by keeping things simple and obsessing over the details.

“That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that we’re joining Square.

“The natural next step for 80/20 is to commit our focus to one company, and Square is a perfect fit. Square shares our passion for using technology and design to improve people’s lives. Together, we will re-imagine and redesign how people communicate through commerce everyday, all around the world.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years