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Why it's time to humanize finance

Tales of entrepreneurial success are often recited and celebrated like folk stories. How Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built Apple, how Elon Musk bet on himself to create company after company, how Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to found Microsoft, one of the world’s most successful companies.

For every Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, there is an entrepreneur out there who people have not yet heard about. But it doesn’t mean that they aren’t just as passionate about building something meaningful.

Money is meaningful. Money is so fundamental to people’s lives. Finance performs basic, yet critical, functions that enable people to spend, save, and invest. How much money people have to save dictates how much they spend. How much money people spend dictates how much they can invest in the stock market to build their nest egg for retirement and drives when they decide to get a mortgage to own their first home. The cycle repeats as children become parents and parents become grandparents.

Simply put, finance is something that people can’t live without.

And innovations in finance thanks to the growth of financial technology (“FinTech”) are changing how we think about money and make critical life decisions. Some believe that finance has reached its “Uber moment” (Antony Jenkins, 2015) and others believe that we might be able “to reinvent the entire thing” (Marc Andreessen, Bloomberg, 2014) when it comes to the banking system. 

Whether or not we reinvent the entire banking system is far from a sure thing. What is crystal clear, however, is that FinTech is impacting people’s financial lives in a big way. It’s enabling people to perform critical functions in more efficient, cost-effective, and transparent ways. It enables people to save money on student loans, more efficiently and cost-effectively take out their first mortgage or receive a personal loan, reduce debt and improve their credit in a fair way, extend credit to small businesses that drive economic growth.

There are countless FinTech entrepreneurs who are working tirelessly to help families save enough for their kids’ college educations, to help people get out of debt and improve their credit scores so they can buy their first house, to lend to small businesses in a fair and transparent way.

I’ve come across many entrepreneurs who are so passionate about building businesses that make peoples’ lives better by changing their experience with money. I have decided to turn closed-door conversations with these entrepreneurs into podcasts to share with the world the incredible work that FinTech entrepreneurs are doing to make finance more transparent, more accessible, and more efficient. Let’s Humanize Finance takes you inside the minds and lives of these daring FinTech entrepreneurs who are trying to change how we interact with money.

I’ve been lucky enough to be in the coalface with some of these FinTech entrepreneurs as an early, pre-product, pre-launch employee at two different FinTech companies. I’ve seen how hard it is to build a business, much less build a business where you are asking people to entrust you with their money.

If there’s something I’ve observed from meeting with countless FinTech entrepreneurs over the past few years it’s that today’s FinTech company builders are truly the architects of tomorrow’s financial system — and they are the beacons of light guiding people along the journey of their financial lives.

So many of these FinTech entrepreneurs are truly passionate about making people’s lives better, so I want Let’s Humanize Finance to bring to life how much these entrepreneurs care about what they do and that finance is not just about making money.

- Michael

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