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What do WealthTech and ultra running have in common?

14. What do WealthTech and ultra running have in common?

5 mins read

They are both;

  • Hard to do,
  • Take a long time,
  • But are incredibly rewarding when you get it right.

I run a WealthTech company, Bambu. I also like running a long way. Sometimes up to 200k in one go. This weekend I am doing a 12-hour race. We run in loops for 12 hours and whoever runs the furthest wins.

This type of racing does not prioritize speed. A positive attitude and an unwillingness to stop are far more important – which is much like the WealthTech industry. It’s here for the long run. There is a huge amount to do in the journey, it’s not easy and the finish line is still a long way away.

So because this is my newsletter, I thought I would take some ultra-running maxims and apply them to WealthTech. Just because I can 🙂

“If you want to win a race, run 100 meters. If you want to know who you are, run 100 miles.”

In WealthTech, quick wins are hard. It’s complex in there. But if you stick it out for the long term, you will get great returns from your input, and learn a lot about how your tech stack actually works.

“If things are going good, wait half an hour, things will go bad. And if things are going bad, wait half an hour, and things will be good again.”

WealthTech being a new industry has its ups and downs. Robo-advisory has been written off more times than I can count. But it keeps going and growing.

“Any idiot can run a marathon. It takes a special kind of idiot to run an ultra marathon.”

Building a WealthTech startup sometimes doesn’t make sense. But that’s how most new industries started. Against the grain, building new things until they become normal. Digital wealth will be as mainstream as digital banking within the next five years.

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

I often feel WealthTech doesn’t push far enough. There is so much more we can do. We build too many comfortable products. Let’s make digital wealth magical by seeing how far we can really go.

“There is no such thing as bad weather. Only soft people.”

Building WealthTech is rarely done in the sunshine. It’s done when it’s hard. Under deadlines. Without enough resources. But that’s when you get it done. When the others have stopped. (This quote was from Bill Bowerman, Coach of the famous athlete Steve Prefontaine. Bill was not an ultra coach but was famous for his belief that attitude conquers all. I couldn’t agree more.)

“How hard was that?” a reporter asked Steve Jonesin 1984 when he broke the world record for the marathon in Chicago.

Steve replied. “That? Oh, that wasn’t hard at all. It was the training that nearly killed me.”

When you see a beautiful WealthTech product in the finished state that looks simple, frictional-less, and a joy to use; the blood, sweat, and tears put into it by the team were real. Give them a nod of appreciation.

Thank you for indulging me and reading about Ultra and WealthTech. Not obvious companions but I’ll be thinking about it while running in circles this weekend.

Best,
Ned Phillips
Founder & CEO

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