FinTech: Details Matter

Long delay in writing a post here.  Been a busy month and lots of posting over at Wallaby (Android app, survey contest, etc.!)

So, I was reading Jason Fried’s blog post about ignoring the details, which I guess is part of his book.

This is a continued part of the emphasis on lean startup methodology, which basically says test everything and build as little as possible.  This is all well and good for photo sharing.  It does not work for what I’m building at Wallaby.

We can do a few things in a lean fashion like our apps. Release, get positive feedback and traction (and negative feedback), adjust build expand.  Lean is simple: don’t build version 2.0 before you know if anyone uses version 1.0.  Make version 1.0 simple.  I think we achieved that without being dogmatic about the principles of the development movement.

However, building a product that processes payments, manages your spending and makes real, meaningful and important decisions for you daily you must sweat the details.  Things can’t go wrong.  The card has to swipe and go through.  Sure AWS is easy and cheap, but I need 100% uptime and when things go down I want to know who to call.  It can’t be down for 16 hours.

No one is going to give me a second chance if a transaction for $500 goes wrong.  It’s not an option.

This leads me to spend a lot of time thinking about how to stay lean, build quickly and be a modern startup with limited funding, while still building a real financial services company.  Expensive insurance and legal. We have regulatory requirements and many other concerns that other startups just don’t.  That’s OK and I’m not complaining, but just find it an interesting challenge.

Next time you’re wondering why Wallaby might not be moving faster, remember it’s because reliability, security and effectiveness are at the top of our list.  Besides, it could be worse: I could be doing a healthcare startup!

FinTech: Details Matter
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