When someone asks why I wanted to start Banked, I have a very simple answer: Patrick, Brad and Neil.
It’s probably heresy to say so, but my personal motivation for starting Banked wasn’t to solve a huge burning customer pain. Nor to create a highly innovative new product. It wasn’t to revolutionise an archaic industry, or to leverage the huge latent opportunity in financial data. It wasn’t even to make the world a better place. I’m passionate about starting Banked because I’m passionate about working with three talented and tenacious friends, who inspire and challenge each other to create great things together.
That might sound like a relatively trivial reason, yet there are plenty of blog posts from founders (and more importantly ex-founders) focusing on their crucial, and often overlooked, importance in start-up success. Founders are quite literally the foundations of the business. Get that right and the building work of product, market, investment, and a positive impact have a better chance of becoming a reality.
It’s possibly also considered excessive, if not heresy, to have four founders. Conventional start up wisdom assumes two as the optimal number — one is thought to be lonesome, and any more than two, divisive. But I believe the qualities count more than the quantities here. Our number need not be a millstone around Banked’s neck. With conscious intention and open ears, it should be a multiplier of Banked’s possibility. I like how Gleb Budman, CEO and one of the five founders of Backblaze put it:
“[I]t will not be whether you have one, two, or three co-founders that will drive your company’s fate. It’s who those co-founders are and how you work together.”
The who, and the how, is what counts. We are all independent thinkers, enthusiastic doers, and self-starters full of strong opinions who rarely all agree, but this diversity of thought, skill, and experience is also highly synergistic. I believe Banked is the better for it.
Brad is the Visionary, the convener and the glue. With a broad understanding of every aspect of the business, he thoughtfully brings together different skills and ideas to keep everything in motion, adjusting our direction as we go.
Neil is our Rainmaker, focused on investor relations and keeping a close eye on our burn rate. I’ve seen so many founders who have had to take their hands off the wheel while they focus on fundraising. We are so fortunate to have a founder dedicated to ensuring the business is always on a sound financial footing and our commercial viability is always in focus.
Patrick is the Creative, bringing limitless imagination and design sensibility the business as a whole, pushing the limits and challenging every conventional move or assumption we make, while keeping the quality of our output high.
I’m our Customer Champion, trying to keep us as close as possible to people’s real motivations, behaviours and needs — seeing things through user’s eyes and advocating for them wherever I can.
We have the potential to be a winning team. By wholeheartedly embracing our conflicts, so that the diversity of our perspectives on our shared goal only adds richness, depth and maturity to our young business. And that’s why we’ve started Banked, to enjoy the shared adventure, to savor the highs and weather the lows together with our incredible Banked team that’s brimming with talent, good energy and phenomenal experience. Onwards!