Note to self — Never give up on your dreams

About 6 months ago I started working on a small project. It was a side project. I had this problem that had been bothering me for a while, I talked to friends and colleagues about it. I didn’t have much time to work on it though. I was in the final stretch of my degree and my capstone.

Nonetheless, I got to work. Every bit of free time I had — in the mornings before class, on weekend and late nights — I dedicated myself to building my mini little side project.

About a month later I had a working app. When I say working, I mean it didn’t crash, and it was so far from what I had in mind it was embarrassing. Screw it though, I published it. Nothing happened. I continued working on it in my free time and started building the features that I wanted. To help myself. This tool was truly something that I wanted and in fact had convinced myself I needed.

Apparently, others were interested too. From a simple gif that I posted online, a few people left their email, and wanted to try it out. Initial feedback from these users, my friends, and my roommate was almost null. They thought it was pretty, and some even said it saved them a couple times, but no real praise was given. More concerningly, no criticisms. I think my roommate was just being nice, and the other users simply stopped using the app.

What did I do? I did what I knew I could. I reached out, I asked for feedback, suggestions, and comments. I continued working in the background, constantly iterating. Low and behold, after some time, I got some feedback. Some good, some bad. I thanked everyone who responded and told them to keep sending any feedback. I fixed things, I changed things, I iterated.

As more and more people tried out the app, I kept on reaching out manually and continued the cycle.

Now 4 months in, I had gone full time on this “Side project”. I committed myself to seeing through my vision. I did however, take note daily of the looming stress of not having any real income, and dedicating 95% of my time to something that I simply just wanted to work on, not that had any promise or guarantee of success. I was, you could say, building a small startup.

Things intensified, I decided I needed to make this thing real. I needed to focus on the early adopters who were willing to pay for an unproven tool — the ones who provided real feedback, were invested in the tool, and actually wanted it to succeed.

Unfortunately, the situation just got tougher — users had lots of praise but also equal amounts of confusion. I continued pushing forward, continued iterating, stretching my days to as long as possible; essentially working for as long and hard as I could, fueled only by small plaudits from users. I was making a sacrifice familiar to so many founders, managers, hackers, nomads, and the like. Your friends, family, and other life aspects suffer while you work. While you commit yourself so wholeheartedly to a dream. It sounds aspirational, but it is in fact a very daunting, unrelenting, daily struggle.

Finally, someone very close to me snapped. They said, “I’m tired of seeing you do this, working away at nothing”. This wasn’t new. Doubt and disapproving judgements were constant. I reassured and tried to communicate my vision. No luck.

This weighed heavily on me. Really I only faced two options. Give up, and get on with a normal life. Or continue working on my dream, at the sacrifice of myself, friends, and family.

I chose myself.

Not 30 minutes later, and the reason for writing this piece, I received an email. I will never forget this moment. I received a notification that one of my users became a paying subscriber. A small light in a dark, lonely cave. I felt a rush of emotion.

I am writing this to tell myself, and maybe even you the reader, do not give up. Do not lose hope. Stay ever optimistic, foolish, and persistent. Evaluate yourself and your dreams daily and improve. Do not give up simply because they aren’t working out just yet. People on the internet, your own doubts and family will tell you to give up. To “stop wasting your time”. Your dreams are your dreams, own them. I will end this with a quote that has stuck with me:

"I can't imagine a person becoming a success who doesn't give this game of life everything he's got." – Walter Cronkite

PS if you’re feeling down, need some motivation/advice/ or just someone to talk to feel free to reach out. I’d be more than happy to chat.

If you want to checkout the tool I’ve been working so hard on you can see it here: https://www.partizion.io/

Stay hungry, stay foolish,

Matthew

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Economic Crises: Best time or worst time to jump onto your entrepreneurial dreams?

I'm surprised to see that this popular neverending debate has not taken place on this Subreddit since COVID began. (LMK if my search in this Subreddit was just insufficient).

Economic crises like these can work against or in your favor. It'll be near impossible to raise money and your customers will generally have less money than otherwise for your products. At the same time, a big number of incredible talents are available at a cheap price, and many founders are also sometimes forced to jump onto the dreams they've been postponing.

What's your take? Are economic crises 1) the WORST time to be working on a startup, 2) the BEST time to be working on a startup, or 3) same as any other time?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Hopes And Dreams In Work From My Home Businesses

Only when that time comes that make sense for one to leave your work (if exactly what you wish to do). You may then have more hours to dedicate to your business so doable ! grow business even more considerable.

Promote a home business business in a box. Fundamental essentials opportunities how to promote a home business that includes a website installation for you with a message newsletter. While it makes it very feasible for your prospects to commenced these are good to get involved in.

Once you start to arrive at know them and build relationships with them it just natural to prospect the kids. You can do this in a passive way on your Facebook profile page or with updates you reach.

You have often heard the saying that generally comes into lots of money, the buddies and family start quit of the wood work that they never knew they suffered with. Well its true. May be astonished. This is a justified reason to maintain your new found riches in order to whisper.

If you are searching for legitimate work from their own home jobs, your own are an authentic employee, early place start off looking wherever you do always work. There usually things to be done without the need of visiting the dept. You may not have the ability to file papers, nevertheless, you can handle correspondence, do accounting and payroll and in many answer the radio. You need to take advantage of the confidence to convince your or former employer may will perform the work that’s not a problem same timely dedication you’ve always shown while in the office. If you might be still doing work for this company, ask attempt to it on the very limited, art-time, temporary basis. What would be advantage to them for that work in a home office? They are should retain to possess a good reason to give up the control of having you right there working.

Family responsibilities come first for most people think that. When you work from home, you’ll fit loved ones life and also your work life seamlessly each and every. You can be working online while watching are doing their homework, or you could take a chance to spending some time chatting with grandma in reality coffee, right after which just pick your massage again.

Home-based jobs- Another great home business for moms’ option to be able to apply for many different home-based work opportunities. You can surely find appropriate job for you. However, be sure to pertain to a legit job advertisement only. Could involve save you time along with. Some associated with work at home jobs that you are apply for include writing, web and logo designing and translation jobs. Chose the best one to suit your skill you can surely earn a lot more what you are expecting. Establish your own small business by hiring your business friends and distribute the more manual workload. With this, possess to to get regular clients and pay your staff on the time.

If include exercise machines at home; like a treadmill, rowing machine or any bike, use them well. Divide your time among your machines. Normally, you ought of do a 30-minute routine cons cardio cleaner.f you have Wii Fit, use it for your fitness advantage. You can even invite your son or daughter, or any family member, perform tennis (or any other game a person sweat out) with an individual. The Kinect for Xbox 360 is an alternative choice to the Wii. Use this motion sensing device to an individual to sweat on the internet. You can play The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout, Dance Central, Virtua Tennis 4 or Your Shape two.

Swedish fintech Dreams announces its first enterprise partnership with Silverlake Symmetri, also launches B2B platform

Based out of Stockholm, Dreams is a fintech startup which offers a consumer-based app to empower users to live sustainably through improved savings, better use of income, smart investments, paying off debts and financial coaching on top of that. The platform offers savings and investment services to retail clients, primarily focused on serving millennials. Available on both web as well as a mobile app, this platform is live in Norway and Sweden

Strategic partnership with Silverlake Symmetri!

In a latest development, the Swedish fintech has announced a strategic partnership with Singapore-based Silverlake Symmetri, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Silverlake Axis Ltd (SAL), which provides software solutions and services to the Banking, Insurance, Retail, Government, Payment, and Logistics industries.

How will the partnership work?

With this new partnership, the company also marks the official launch of Dreams as a B2B platform. Through the integration within a bank’s own digital tools of the Dreams Platform – which is rooted in scientific principles and enhanced by gamification – customers can set and achieve money-saving goals through clever, automated saving features, in addition to nudges and hacks.

The partnership is set to grant millions of potential consumers access to financial products which will help keep their finances on track. Consumer demand for more flexible, personal finance tools has been growing rapidly in recent years, and punctuated now by the current global economic uncertainty.

In an exclusive interview with Silicon Canals, Henrik Rosvall, CEO and co-founder of Dreams, says:

“Through this partnership, Silverlake becomes the exclusive distribution partner of the Dreams Platform in Asia, Africa, and the Middle-East. It will be an integrated offer where the Dreams Platform will be embedded in the Silverlake System offering and made available to its customers in these regions.” 

“Dreams have already helped hundreds of thousands of people in Scandinavia become better at saving, investing, paying off debts, and feel better about their money, which is something we’re really proud of. For us, this is a fantastic opportunity to do this on an even greater scale and grant millions of bank customers beyond Europe access to the benefits of our platform,” he added.  

Further, Rosvall comments:

“This partnership with Silverlake Symmetri launches our enterprise solution, for the first time bringing Dreams’ benefits in inspiring millennial saving and money management to the banks. It represents an extremely cost-efficient shortcut to engaging with a younger target group globally as well as establishing Dreams unique approach amidst increasingly strong fintech competition. Our European user base, of which 70% is younger than 35 years old, save €150 more with us every month than they did with their traditional home banks: proof that a customer-centric, behaviour-based approach to savings works. The same trend will be experienced by those banks which choose to implement our versatile enterprise solution. This is a clear opportunity for them to create a futureproof position against both incumbents and new fintech challengers. With deep industry knowledge, an impressive product offering, and a track record in digital innovation, Silverlake Symmetri is the partner we have been looking for to bring rejuvenation and change to markets outside Europe as well.” 

Also commenting on the new developments, Jonas Lind, CEO of Silverlake Symmetri, says:

“We are delighted to partner with Dreams. Our partnership is founded on a strong, shared focus to help the financial services industry to future-proof their brand and offering in an increasingly competitive industry that is being disrupted by new quick moving players. This is an era that will bring not only challenges but also enormous opportunities for those who move quickly. The Dreams SDK-based technical solution is simple and allows for a very quick time to market. We have every confidence that by integrating our products, we will bring about a powerful solution that our clients can gain from.”

Silverlake Axis Ltd (“SAL”) provides software solutions and services to the Banking, Insurance, Retail, Government, Payment and Logistics industries. Founded in 1989, SAL has an impeccable track record of successful delivery of innovative and transformative solutions to its enterprise customers and their ecosystems. The Group has more than 380 enterprise customers in over 80 countries across Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Americas. 

Dreams: Helped over 450,000 users!

Powered by cognitive and behavioural science to enable users to achieve dream goals and feel better about their money, Dreams has already helped over 450,000 users save over €300M to date. 

In Sweden, Dreams have already achieved a 15% market share, and alongside the global launch of the new B2B platform, the consumer product’s expansion is currently underway across multiple European markets.

Business plans in 2020!

Founded in 2014 by Henrik Rosvall, Joel Broms Brosjö, Johan Hemminger, and Johan StahleSo far, the Swedish neo-bank has raised €26.5 million to date from institutional investors and family offices including AXA-IM, Storebrand, and Ålandsbanken. 

According to Henrik Rosvall, the Neo-bank will focus on developing financial wellbeing platforms for our direct and indirect users, together with strategic partners such as Silverlake and across multiple markets.

Discussing further business plans for this year, Rosvall reveals,

“We will continue to work on the European expansion of our much-loved Dreams consumer app, with Germany as the next market on our roadmap. We are currently undergoing market testing in the UK as well, and with our MIFID II securities licence from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) now successfully passported to the UK, the plan is to launch Dreams in the UK in 2021.” 

The impact of COVID-19 outbreak!

Due to lockdown, people are using the digital platform for their financial needs, and the neo-banks including Dreams are supporting their customers as they would do normally to meet the requirements of consumers. 

“Just like for most businesses the pandemic has had an impact on the way we run our daily operations and we have all been working remotely, on recommendation from the Swedish government. However, this hasn’t had any negative impact on our business as we were already well set-up to work from home. As for our offering, I’d say the pandemic has made our work even more important than ever before. The pandemic has led to growing concerns amongst the general public about how their personal finances may be impacted and we are working hard to ensure the continued financial wellbeing of our users,” Rosvall tells Silicon Canals. 

Furthermore, he also witnessed significant behavioural changes within the app. “Users currently putting more money aside for paying off debts and what I’d call our ‘financial resilience’ categories within the app, such as ‘Savings’, including buffer, saving for your children, and pension, as well as ‘Home’, which covers purchases for the domestic environment. These behaviours indicate a greater need for restoring control under the uncertain times brought about by the pandemic, and it is our job to help facilitate these changing needs to the best of our ability.”

Headquartered in Stockholm, Dreams employs a diverse team of 80 employees from 15 different countries, across its Stockholm HQ, and additional offices in Oslo and Berlin. However, the COVID outbreak doesn’t stop Dreams from hiring talented and ambitious people.

Commenting on hiring during the pandemic, Rosvall concludes:

“We’re currently hiring for our product team, but are always on the lookout for talented and ambitious people and welcome spontaneous applications from anyone who wants to be a part of our journey.”  

While financial institutions have lagged behind when it comes to engaging millennials, with Dreams a new wave of credit options packaged to attract young consumers to ‘buy now pay later’ has bred a spending culture leaving a whole generation living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Main image credits: Dreams

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more European technology news

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