I am a bad parent who does not celebrate each birthday. I celebrated the first birthday of Daily Fintech with this post on 30 June 2015. I am happy with what I wrote then, except for the last sentence where I clearly did not “report back on the second anniversary.” Nor on the 3rd or 4th anniversary. I am trying to correct that by celebrating the 5th anniversary properly today.
Although I have failed with birthday celebrations, I am happy with one thing I wrote on that first anniversary:
“Like any startup, it is an experiment to find product fit to market and I can only promise to keep iterating on that journey.”
According to the legendary investor and blogger Fred Wilson, the data shows that “It takes seven to ten years to get to real liquidity”. As he puts it:
“I am not sure why seven to ten years and not five to seven or not ten to fifteen. It’s seven to ten. That’s how it has always been and seemingly always will be. “
So Daily Fintech is 50% there if it is 10 years and 71% there if it is 7 years
“Liquidity” is the definition of success for an investor. If you have external investors (we do not yet at Daily Fintech), that also needs to be your definition of success as an entrepreneur. If you have bootstrapped and self funded, you also have the option of running a business with the old fashioned objective of what Warren Buffet calls the “owners reward’ of profits.
Either way, it takes seven to ten years to build sustainable business value.
I am happy that in our first 5 years we have done two things well.
- High quality original content. Daily Fintech now has 6 very talented and experienced people who write once per week, so that we get original Fintech insight every day (M-S). I dislike the word “content”; it implies fodder for the advertising beast. I like to call what we offer “insightful original research that is presented well in good writing to smart people who want more signal and less noise”, but I do recognise that is a bit of a mouthful, so I will use the word content here. Given our focus on high quality original content, it made sense that the first person on our advisory board, in 2018, was Paul Conley and that during 2019 we engaged the services of Triumvirate Content Consultants.
- Not pulled into blind monetisation alley ways. I knew that traditional online advertising, the obvious content monetisation answer, was failing; I knew this from my earlier work as a digital entrepreneur and while this was not obvious in 2014 it is obvious now in 2019.. I could see a few other blind alleys and am happy to say that we did spend long in these blind alleys. We do have a sense now about how to create sustainable monetisation that fits our high quality original content, but we are still in the early days of this journey so yes it is a “seven to ten years” journey.
I was asked recently in a meeting about targets and I replied that I was much more comfortable with direction and process than with targets. I know where we are going (direction) and I know what it takes to go on a long arduous journey (process), but cannot anticipate all the twists and turns in the journey, so I can only end with what I said on the first birthday:
“I can only promise to keep iterating on that journey.”
I have no positions or commercial relationships with the companies or people mentioned. I am not receiving compensation for this post.
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