The Tides of Good Fortune

Life is largely unpredictable. We set a course and sail, but our trip often takes unexpected and wild turns. Our plans to steer the unwieldy ship of life gives us the ever-alluring illusion of control, but -- in reality -- the scope of our influence cannot entirely account for the events around us. Despite this, our egos naturally lead us to blame our failures on uncontrollable events and unabashedly gives us credit for everything good that comes our way.

I've been thinking about this because 2011 was an amazing year at Braintree -- better than I could have ever imagined four years ago when I started the company. In wondering how to make sense of it all, I've concluded that I agree with Branch Rickey when he said, "Luck is the residue of design."

I believe Braintree correctly focused on the right fundamentals of people, culture and goals, which ripened our chances for good fortune, which we've seen abundantly. But, even with our hard work and discipline, the outcome could have just as easily fallen in the opposite direction, as nothing in life is guaranteed.

The lesson I was reminded of--which I intuitively knew and have heard on many occasions, but which I regularly fail to practice -- is to work diligently and thoughtfully towards what you can control, and then to take in stride whatever comes from it, all while fighting your hardest to resist the natural inclinations of blame/full credit (which will surely be attractive explanations).

With that said, here are a few 2011 accomplishments that we're extremely grateful for:

  • We are currently processing more than $10 million daily, and over $4 billion annually
  • We've doubled the number of merchants we work with to over 2,000
  • Our new clients include some of the most innovative companies in the world, such as daily deal sites Fab.com, Scoutmob and Saveology; social media companies Facebook PAC, Zimride and Booklr; mobile payment app LevelUp; online media pymnts.com; retailers Hammacher Schlemmer and Skechers; and software as a service provider Virb
  • Our processing volume tripled over last year
  • We expanded our international footprint in Europe, Australia, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Additionally, Braintree is now processing in over 130 currencies and international transactions make up 15 percent of all processing volume
  • We secured a $34 million Series A investment from Accel Partners, one of the most respected venture firms in the world and a power behind companies such as Facebook, Kayak, Dropbox, Etsy and Rovio (the creator of Angry Birds)
  • Our growth earned us the number 47 spot on the Inc. 500 List of fastest growing private companies, with a growth rate of 4,200 percent. We also ranked first in online payments

I want to recognize and thank our clients, as they are the reason we've reached these milestones. These businesses are leading the tech revolution and I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with them.

I'd also like to thank the team at Braintree for their devotion and enthusiasm in working to build something exceptional and special.

As has been the case during the past four years, I can hardly wait for what's to come in 2012. We have big plans and are keeping our eye on the goal we set early on: provide the best payments solution to developers at tech and e-commerce companies of all sizes.

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Braintree We enable beautiful commerce experiences so that people and ideas can flourish. More posts by this author

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