Over the past few months, I’ve been reading and interacting with a lot of
fintech startups. It is indeed an interesting and fascinating space, with so many innovations and disruptions which have the potential to transform the world of payments and create
new paradigms of experiences. Since
human behavior and leadership fascinate me a great deal, I always tend to be curious about the CEO of a fintech startup. I tend to read up about Who are they? Where do they come from? How
did they get these uber cool ideas? What is their big dream and goal for their idea? I'm always left with an insightful perspective and phenomenal learning!
Many times, I wonder and ponder on “Who should be the CEO of a fintech startup? The finance expert, the technology expert or not an expert?” A million dollar question, you'd think?
One school of thought opines that the financial services business and industry is complex, rapidly evolving and multi-disciplinary. Hence an in-depth understanding of the industry, coupled with knowledge and experience is key to even make in-roads into this
space. And perhaps rightly so!
A second school of thought suggests that technology is king in today's era. No matter what industry, it is but technology which makes things happen today, so if you don't know how to make technology work for you, how to use technology to solve your business
problems, how to leverage the power of technology to create unparalleled customer experiences, there is nothing a finance expert can truly do in today's day and age. Again, perhaps rightly so!
Edword de Bono put it well when he said "An expert is someone who has succeeded in making decisions and judgements simpler through knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore." I agree.
The only issue I have had in my personal interaction with finance and technology experts is that many times they pay attention to what should be ignored and ignore what needs attention. Agreed that they are experts in specific subjects, and due respects
BUT does that necessairly mean that they are experts in running a startup? Obviously NO. Running a fintech startup needs more than expertise. It needs an idea, a passion to turn that idea to reality against all odds, and most importantly it means believing
in power of the team rather than the knowledge and expertise of an individual - which truly boils down to the question "How great a leader are you, and not how much of an expert are you?"
As I sign-off, I leave you with a few words of wisdom..
“When you start a company, it's more an art than a science because it's totally unknown. Instead of solving high-profile problems, try to solve something that's deeply personal to you. Ideally, if you're an ordinary person and you've just solved your problem,
you might have solved the problem for millions of people.” Brian Chesky, Airbnb.
Honestly, I don't know if the finance and technology experts are wired to think like this. So, would love to hear your thoughts on Who should be the CEO of a fintech startup? The finance expert, the technology expert or not an expert? Leave a comment to
let me know..