How Two Brothers Escaped ‘Stab City’ And Made $11 Billion

They call it “stab city.” Many folks think Ireland is all rolling green hills and five-star golf courses. But in the middle of the Irish countryside is a city called Limerick—known as the “murder capital” of Europe.

A couple of years back, a gang feud turned Limerick into a warzone. Shootings, pipe bomb attacks, and stabbings happened nightly. Some bad neighborhoods are even walled off by a dirty, graffitied 10-foot-high concrete barrier, like the Berlin Wall. It’s the kind of place, as my grandfather says, “Where even the German Shepherds walk around in pairs.”

Limerick is the last place you want your kids growing up. But two brothers who went to high school there recently beat the odds. Not only did they escape “stab city”—they moved to Silicon Valley, founded one of the most disruptive companies on earth, and became two of the youngest self-made billionaires in history. At barely 30 years old, Patrick and John Collison are now worth $11 billion each.

How did the Collison brothers go from stab city to Silicon Valley billionaires? Getting paid used to be hard for internet businesses. For a company to accept money online, it had to set up a special merchant account. That was a complex process involving regulations, bank compliance departments, and reams of paperwork. Not to mention lots and lots of fees.

The Collison brothers founded Stripe because “We were appalled by how hard it was to charge for things online.” With Stripe, all a business has to do is add seven lines of computer code to its website to handle payments.

What once took weeks is now a five-minute cut-and-paste job. Today, Stripe processes billions of dollars of payments for the likes of Amazon
, Shopify, Lyft,, and Target
. Half of Americans who bought something online last year did so, unknowingly, through Stripe.

Stripe is now America’s most valuable private company. The payment disruptor just raised money at a $95 billion valuation. Stripe is now roughly as valuable as Goldman Sachs
! Turning an idea into a $95 billion company in just 11 years made the Collison brothers two of the youngest self-made billionaires ever.

But it wasn’t “magic.” Look closer and you’ll see they followed a proven strategy for getting rich; one you can piggyback on as an investor.

Making hard things “easy” is a surefire way to build wealth, fast

Take taxi disruptor Uber
, for example. Think about how unpleasant it was to catch a cab after work in the rain, in a big city. You’d have to step out into the downpour, stand on the corner shivering and waving your hand in the air. If you missed the first taxi to pass by, good luck—there was no way to know when the next one would come along.

Uber transformed taxis. With two taps on your smartphone, a driver will come and pick you up. In short, Uber made a painful experience “easy.”

It was just a silly idea 12 years ago. Now it’s a $100 billion company. And Stripe and Uber aren’t the only examples of this idea at work.

 made DNA easy. Longtime RiskHedge readers know all about genomics, or DNA “mapping.” Mapping your DNA allows scientists to decipher your body’s unique set of instructions. Doctors can then tell what diseases you’re likely to get. This allows them to catch problems earlier and diagnose them more accurately.

The problem was, accessing the secrets within our DNA was insanely expensive. Just 20 years ago, getting your personal DNA mapped would have cost $100 million. Ten years ago, Apple
founder Steve Jobs forked over $100,000 to get his DNA sequenced.

Why did it cost so much? In short, the machines used to sequence DNA cost $100 million. Then a little-known company called Illumina came along and slashed costs by 99%. Illumina built a sequencer that could fit on any lab bench. It cost just $125,000. And you didn’t have to be a scientist to use it.

Today you can get your genome sequenced for less than $1,000. In fact, companies like 23andMe and mapped over 10 million Americans’ DNA last year alone. Illumina made DNA mapping “easy” and its stock has exploded 55,000%.

These examples all show the same thing. A proven strategy for getting rich is: take a hard, expensive thing, and make it easy and cheap.

The Collison brothers made internet payments easy and cheap, and they became billionaires. Uber made hailing a cab painless and cost as little as $3, and it’s now worth $100 billion. Illumina’s machines made it so any lab could map DNA, and it handed out life-changing gains.

To benefit financially from this idea, you don’t have to start the next Uber or Illumina. You can “piggyback” on these disruptors by buying shares of their companies. That’s a real secret behind how many folks build their dream retirement.

To state the obvious, 99.999% of investors aren’t going to launch the next great $100 billion-dollar company. But anyone can INVEST in the next great $100 billion company.

Get my report “The Great Disruptors: 3 Breakthrough Stocks Set to Double Your Money”. These stocks will hand you 100% gains as they disrupt whole industries. Get your free copy here.

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