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I tried do something extremely different for my EntreFest talk this year. I grabbed some GIFs from Gif Connoisseur that I thought made my point and put some sound effects in the background.

I had a lot of fun with it.

I always worry about being boring, so trying something new is important.

This as it was meant to be an experiment and thankfully Mariah tweeted along with the talk solving the timing issue.

The talk was called “Things I believe to be unarguably true” and focused around basic and simple things that I have a hard time arguing with.

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What I’m reading this week

Tomorrow’s Advance Man
Interesting profile on Andreessen Horowitz but more accurately, Marc Andreessen.

How secure will our data be in the post-quantum era?
A overture to what happens when computers get fast/smart enough to crack the digital locks that a generation of engineers put in place, using computers.

The New Atlantis
In short, a story of how the world probably should operate as written by a man who imagines the world being a better place.


Your grass looks like shit 

When I’m giving product feedback I always drop it off with good intentions. I give a lot of product feedback where I work and a lot of places I don’t.

However, it always confuses me when an obvious thing becomes trivial so I thought I’d try to put it into a different context…

Let’s say I have a yard full of grass.

It’s part of my home. It’s part of the product I take care of that my neighbors and the multitude of people who go past my home interact with, visually.

The yard is an important piece of my home. It’s full of grass and when my grass looks like shit, I look like shit.

If my grass looks like shit then I know it looks like shit and I know I need to water it, or mow it, or plant more of it.

I don’t need someone to stop over for a second opinion. I either water, mow it, or plant more of it and help it or I ignore it and it gets worse.

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Realtime payments are actually real.

I posted this today and right after I had a bit of a… Moment.

All #realtime. All new rails. All @Dwolla. Here’s to ideas that become reality.

A few years ago this would have never been possible. 10 years ago, it absolutely wouldn’t have been possible.

When I say, possible… I don’t just mean real-time or faster payments in general because those are possible. VISA / Mastercard / The Fed / Shazam all have fast rails and there are no shortage of closed loop systems that are fast. I also don’t mean exchanging value in real-time on the internet.

I mean the real-time movement of government issued currency through regulated financial institutions without using anything but the internet.

No cards. No chips. No 16 digit numbers. Just the internet.

Financial Institutions have even become an active participate flipping the script.

What is so dramatically different in this next iteration of payment networks is:

  1. HTTPS first.
  2. Security as math.
  3. No 16 digit card numbers
  4. No abusable static account numbers.
  5. No physical card.
  6. Tokenization at the network and bank level.
  7. The network doesn’t live anywhere.
  8. Designed to be open and joinable.

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Silicon Valley and real-time payments

Few places know the value of a real-time response like Silicon Valley and that’s a big reason I’m thrilled about today’s FiSync announcement.

Banking is one of those prerequisites to do business, pay taxes, pay employees and just about everything else.

Every company in the valley has basic access to the same similar tools from their bank. Some banks have better interfaces, services, or API’s that drive customers with a technology focus but none of those banks have previously offered open access to a network that let people transact like you can on the Dwolla network.

BBVA did that today and made it available to anyone who banks with them.

To transact instantly without using a plastic card or a 16 digit account number on a set of real-time rails was sort of a dream. When we started working on FiSync we heard more than a few times that it would just remain a dream until it was mandated.

The benefits are pretty obvious:

  • Remove sensitive information.
  • Move the money instantly, no waiting.
  • Access it through the web and without being a payment expert.
  • Build new software on top of it without having to worry about rebuilding the infrastructure.

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