Updates & Lessons From My FinTech Journey

One of the few things you would enjoy as a digital FinTech Nomad is that every new day comes with its own streaks and lessons. In no specific order, see below for some of the things that happened as well as the things I learnt last week.

I gave the closing keynote at the European Financial Management Association (EFMA) conference. The focus of my keynote was on the creation of new collaboration models to leverage on strengths and ensure synergy. Most of the guys there already knew me from my SWIFT days, which was both weird and assuring because it meant I could make a lot of references they would understand fully. My keynote pulled up concepts/strategies from arguably the most watched series of all time, Game of Thrones and I had with me my full presentation deck which covered a lot of what I gathered from ten years in FinTech.

Also at the EFMA event, I told the host about the book I am currently working on which is on organizational talents and rebels. Despite the fact that I had no content on it, a lot of the people who came to speak to me after my talk were all interested in it.

Lesson learnt on not having the book ready before speaking about it, but it certainly looks like I am on the right path.

Still last week, I discovered a couple of very interesting PropTech Startups. One of is known as Slice and the other is called Propy Inc. and they are based in Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley respectively. These PropTech Startups got my attention so much that I believe that I should start writing about these gems here on my blog – maybe twice a month or something.

Lesson learnt: PropTech is hot right now and we are set to talk about it at the next FinTechStage in Milan (www.FTSFestival.com).

One of the other things I have been working on is helping the journey of a Nigerian startup that is trying to build a P2P lending platform for entrepreneurs. The CEO has been struggling to build the founders team. She initially wanted to use her first capital to hire them or at least to pay contractors that helped in the building of the platform. However, my suggestion was that she should find people who believe enough in the idea to give up getting a salary until there is money available; people who are willing to treat the idea and the company as if it was theirs. No doubt, the idea is great; setting up the company and the branding behind it requires some benefit to exist but is worthless without a team sharing equity, common purpose and sacrifice. The story goes on.

Lesson learnt here is that we need more entrepreneurs’ literacy in emerging markets, because very often you would find out that their hearts are in the right place but there is an unavailability of the right culture. Admittedly, money too is a factor to consider. However, the kind of money that is needed to bootstrap a scalable project should be available to a well-structured team. Another missing link perhaps.

I also had a great team meeting in Barcelona, with Lazaro, Mela and the folks. One thing I have always liked is the way we constantly put cards back on the table to make sure that we do what we love in a sustainable way with purpose at the forefront. By “purpose” I do not necessarily mean “greater good”, but by the deliverables that are value-driven as opposed to just being convenience driven.

Lesson – already, many times – learnt is that it is always best to work with people you trust and love. That way it wouldn’t even feel like working anymore.

And yeah, the festival in Italy is filling up fast – really fast. Go to  www.FTSFestival.com and sign up before is too late J

Stay Tuned


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