1 - The team, the team, the team
While I was buzzing after closing our seed raise, I was equally terrified. Something that was nagging me only a couple of years ago was actually happening! Real people had given us real money. I felt a heavy sense of responsibility. Add to that; we had also agreed terms with a prospect for whom we will deploy the platform live towards Q4. Time had come to execute.
Much is written about the challenges faced by founders during the early stages. No amount of reading prepares you for the multitude of plates that start spinning, and you cannot afford to drop even one. As a founder - especially as a product-focused founder - your prefrontal cortex is whirring away planning product features and delivery, and then you’re also hit with; corporate affairs, legal matters, finances, brand and marketing, people and any number of other priorities demanding a piece of the limited bandwidth you have.
While this is an incredibly tough challenge to get on top of, it is also a source of great energy and makes you think in ways you didn’t know you could. The most important ingredient in my view that helps convert these challenges into energy is:
a cofounder who is just incredibly brilliant in every sense of the word and
the team we assembled around us to help meet these challenges.
The changes WealthOS is planning to bring to the wealth tech industry are seismic. The opportunity to solve a complex, global problem using the latest tech out there and the idea that we could make a sizable impact on the number and quality of wealth management product choices for individuals and families was a great draw in getting some of the highest quality engineers to work with us. It sounds obvious, but I’ve seen too many highly qualified engineers being asked to code to a spec rather than solve problems collaboratively using software.
I’m certain I’d be in the long grass without Chamat and together we have been lucky with the team we’ve assembled. They have openly and stealthily worked with us to steer WealthOS through the choppy startup waters. All the more remarkable considering we’ve done it distributed across three countries whilst being confined to our homes and, for some, having to endure family tragedies. The overarching thread that allowed us to coalesce was kindness and empathy. Never compromise on that.
A special mention to Raj, Manoj and his team, Kasun, Sherm, Sha, Svetlana and her team, Marlin, Dave, Vishan, Shamindra, Mike, Wachi, Nirosh, Shanaka, Olga, Anj, Limali, Anton (yes there’s a second one) - you know who you are and thank you!
As you go through life you build up credibility capital with people. It’s in situations like this where you get to see how much you’ve paid forward because the response that Chamat and I received from our networks when called upon has been truly phenomenal. Even staggering is the kindness of perfect strangers who just want to see us succeed and are willing to share time and knowledge. We are committed to continuing to pay forward - personally and as an organisation.
The most exciting thing about being able to raise funding is the ability to invest it into the product - the heart and soul of the company. Next up is how we are going about organising ourselves to deliver this platform.