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Ben Milne

I write, read, and make things.

5 Takeaways from 2016

2016 is a year that I’ll remember more about how I felt emotionally rather than the milestones. The specifics of it I don’t think I will recall well 10 years from now. I think I’ll remember more about how I felt at various points this year as opposed to specific events.

Jami broke out on her own in a big way in 2016 professionally and that’s been a change at home. As weekend and nights became time for shoots and creative projects it was an adjustment but a positive one. The amount of work in terms of volume she produced this year is astonishing.

I traveled less and that had benefits as well as new learnings. My Travel in 2016 was ~50% less than what it’s been in years past. Continue Reading

Much respect to those that ship

I had the extreme pleasing of giving my first college lecture with my partner Jami this year.

This was unique for me. I’ve given more college lectures at this point than I received in college so I always take a lot of joy from these interactions. I never found my place in college as a young man and I’m appreciative that I seem to have found my place there later in life.

Also, I’ve never given a lecture with someone. I was asked by my friend Dave Gould to attend his green room class. Whenever Dave has a class that’s doing something new I want to be a part of it.

Dave has a unique approach to life and learning which I know is a guiding light for those around him. Including me. He is a perfect example of what happens when you practice and teach gratitude.

Dave is also open minded enough that when he talked to me about coming to class I mentioned bringing Jami and Margaux. After some really long conversations with Jami we decided we would do the class together and thought this was the right forum to give it a try.

thank you to Dave and his class for being open to this experiment. we are both grateful.

The reason that I thought Jami’s inclusion was so much more important than mine is because Jami just struck out on her own recently and started her own business.

Emotionally and financially it’s scary as hell to get started.

Continue Reading

Same Day ACH in a API

Dwolla just brought Same Day ACH online for our customers and I’m super pleased with how it works. I wrote about this briefly in the past but looking at just how simple it is for people to build into their app just puts a big smile on my face.

Existing customers sending money simply designate they want the transaction to go Same Day ACH rather than regular ACH.

The team did a great job keeping this simple. It’s going to save people a ton of time.

Focus is good

There is an update that was put on Dwolla’s website today called Focus. The post is about functionality that will no longer be supported in our products.

Sunsetting features is nothing new for the company but this feels different.

It feels different because it is.

All of things changing in the company don’t get shared as a part of a product change like this but in the company you can feel it. The way the team talks about how the company and our products work is different.

The team isn’t making phone calls about mobile payments, they’re focusing on bringing the next group of companies online with access to the banking infrastructure through our APIs. That shift in our business is being reflected in our products.

The team might be testing an app, but it’s someone else’s. Every Test Flight app I’ve been added to this year has been someone else building an app that moves money and they use Dwolla’s API to do it.

These changes are not just part of a process to focus the company and our platform on what’s working well in our business, our white label products, it’s a recognition that we can’t be the best in the world at everything.

We can and should strive be the best in the world at a small number of things and there isn’t any confusion about what that is in our company. It’s building the ideal API to move money.

We know that if you want to send money to another person you can pick an app for that. Heck, you can even do it in your e-mail these days.

However, if you want to build a piece of software that connects you to the banking infrastructure. We’re here to help.

Focus is a good thing.


I genuinely like the people I work with. Each one of them has taught me something new and certainly, at times, helped change my perspective.

Dwolla has gone through a tremendous number of changes over the past 12 months and we’re about to go through one of the more profound changes in our short history. Our focus is changing from something you download to something software developers use to build great software. Those changes are going to start taking shape in our product over the next few weeks.

If you’ve been following the company closely you may have already started to see some of these changes manifest themselves in different ways.

It’s a huge effort across the company and it involves every one of us. In a recent internal presentation I was trying to find a good way to represent this and could think of no better way than sharing these pictures with the company.


Clearly, not everyone fit on one slide and I needed to add a second.

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Same Day ACH

Same Day ACH is kind of an obvious stop gap between normal ACH and a future real-time ACH-ish equivalent. I say ACH-ish because I still don’t believe that the real-time option is a modified ACH, it’s probably something else.

Same Day ACH on the other hand is going to be available soon and does a few things that most of us want:

  • Gets money into bank accounts faster.
  • Gets money out of bank accounts faster.
  • Follows ACH best practices for what is already known to work well.

If Same Day ACH is new to you and you care deeply about payments technology in the United States these are some good reads put out by the Dwolla team:

Continue Reading

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