The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
Can you please tell everyone your name?
What is your job role?
Co-founder and CEO at Clover.com.au
Tell us about your company?
Clover is helping all Australians access high quality, transparent and low-cost savings, and investment advice.
We are an automated savings and investment advice platform which helps you grow your investments and reach your goals faster. We believe that investing is for everyone because everyone is saving for something.
What do you love most about your job?
Using technology to help everyday people make better financial decisions and achieve their goals. I get to work with really awesome and smart people! Collectively we are building an amazing product, which helps all Australians save and invest for their future.
What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The mission I share with my team; making financial and investment advice simple and accessible to everyone. Saving for our financial goals should be easy, affordable and fun. It’s very rewarding to hear from our customers how Clover has helped them reach their goals – like saving enough for their first home deposit. Hearing stories like that is incredibly motivating.
How do your co-workers inspire you?
I feel really fortunate to work with such an amazing team! There have been times when deliberating on a difficult or uncertain decision. If one (or a few) of us are getting caught in the details, my co-workers are quick to point to our core values as a guidepost. It’s very heartening when we collectively help each other uphold our shared set of core values.
How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
When building a cool product, most of the workday feels like fun! Of course, we have our share of ‘have to be done’ tasks which rank lower on the fun-o-meter! We compensate for those by smashing old television sets in a break room, mini-golf outings, and weekly team lunches.
What are some of the challenges of your job?
The evolving regulatory landscape is a continual challenge. We are always striving to make finance jargon-free. Very often, product requirements and the language needed from a regulatory perspective can be intimidating and hard to understand for the average person. I’m highly motivated to take the complexity out of finance and investments – it’s not always easy, but it’s very rewarding to hear from our customers how we’ve removed a lot of their confusion around investing.
What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
If you have very little data on which you could base a decision – do first and think later (i.e., continue to assess)! Go with your gut (which effectively is pattern matching based on prior experience) and move quickly. Always be willing to change your mind and adapt as new information emerges whilst not getting distracted by noise. Start-ups are full of uncertainty by definition, and at times it can be tempting to keep looking for more data to back your conviction. Be wary of noise masquerading as data – it will only help to confirm your biases.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
I have spoken to many founders or aspiring founders predominantly from a tech background, who underestimate the ‘fin’ in fintech. Financial services is a heavily regulated industry, and one will often need to depend on a large incumbent player to enable a core service and plug into legacy tech infrastructure. Make sure that you understand the regulatory landscape and if you don’t have deep domain experience in finance, bring this experience into your business from day one. Tech will enable you to solve your customers’ problems, but if you don’t take into account the complexities of the financial services infrastructure or nuances of the regulatory landscape, you risk ending up with the sub-optimal business model.
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
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