Years ago I attended a Harvard Business School session while on a retreat working for an ad agency. I’ll never forget the lasting impression that session had on me. One of the more important lessons I learned was to force yourself outside your comfort zone. Because that’s where the real magic happens.
One of the biggest challenges an entrepreneur faces in fintech is how to build their product or vision inside a very heavily regulated space. They often spend years trying to build out their solution only to learn one very hard lesson.
Building a true bank regulated financial services product is really, really hard.
Something’s going on in Silicon Valley and chances are, you’ve never heard of it. It’s called Ripple or The Ripple Protocol, an open-source payment protocol that enables free and instant payments to merchants, consumers and developers with no chargebacks and in any currency (dollars, yen, euros, Bitcoins and any other digital currency.
Bitcoin has fascinated me ever since I heard of the crypto-currency a few years ago. For a detailed understanding of how Bitcoin works, this is one of the best videos I’ve seen.
I created an account on the now defunct bitcoin exchange, Mt.Gox, back on July 22, 2011. I quickly purchased 1 Bitcoin for $5, then sold it a day later for $7.50. I must admit, I was pretty excited at my quick profit of $2.50. Fast forward to a few months ago and 1 Bitcoin was trading at more that $1,000. And fast forward to today, the Mt.Gox exchange has gone bankrupt and lost over $500 million in customers’ bitcoin.
If the first thing you here from someone, when you tell them your idea for a new business, is “that’s a great idea”, go talk to someone else.
Over the past years I’ve had quite a few opportunities to meet with entrepreneurs looking to start new businesses. Or those that have a business, want to talk to someone about a particular problem they are facing, a new product feature they are considering or wondering if they should be raising money to grow their business. I love talking to founders about their ideas. You can tell within minutes if their idea is truly a passion or a fleeting interest to capitalize on a current trend. But what I don’t understand is why we, members of this supportive startup community, partake in puffery.
I’ve decided to try out blogging a bit here on things that interest me, fascinate me, frustrate me. I also plan on sharing some things I’ve learned over the past few years as an entrepreneur. Some of my passions include financial technology, online payments, health and fitness, crossfit and hockey.
I don’t know if anyone will read this or not, but it should be quite therapeutic for myself. Lots going on in this mind of mine.
So here it is, my first of what may or may not be my last post. Time will tell…