Solving pay-day-loans?

Pay day loans are one of the greatest scurges of modern day finance; overcharging poor people for access to quick and often necessary capital to get by from day-to-day.

But is earnings-on-demand – live access to your pay irrespective of the monthly pay day at the end of the month – really the answer?

While I fully appreciate that it may be a more ethical solution with far less interest rates (bordering free?), I still don’t think it solves the problem:

Too many people are either (1) living way beyond their means or (2) in a position where they due to little fault of their own have more expenses than income.

In that situation giving people early access to their money is only going to make the issue worse longer term.

Why?

If you need 10% of your salary now rather than later, you will get 10% less at the end of the month. Then for the next month you will be 10% short + the 10% less you had going in because of the early advance. And so on and so on.

I understand this is a very strict interpretation of the idea behind earnings-on-demand, and that variations may apply. But I still think the underlying argument holds true:

That providing short term relief to people with a long term, systemic problem is no long term solution at all.

In that context what also bothers me a bit is the investor interest in this space. Because investors only flock if they think there is money to be made. And at who’s expense is this going to be?

Basically people who have little ability to pay to begin with. Does that really sound and feel right?

I am not so sure.

I think there are other things we need to get into play in order to solve the systemic issue.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Hello launch pad!

Yesterday was a super important day for our inQvation Studio-team; it was the day where we got the final formal board approval for our first spinoff.

While it has been in the works for a while (and we have been recruiting for the team for some weeks now) there is always something special about getting that formal mail saying “GO, GO, GO!”. It is definitely one for the archives in the best possible way.

It has been a little over a year since I joined the tiny Studio team (2 people, including me) to help turn great ideas into promising startups. The journey to this point has not been straight forward at all, and we have tried numerous approaches and learned a lot.

But we made it to the launchpad. And for inQvation Studio that’s what matters; we made it from a blank sheet of paper to actual startup.

In order to get there we have, as I mentioned, been forced to try a lot of different approaches to figure out how to do it, as we went along. You can obviously take a lot of inspiration from how others have approached it, but there is a big difference between reading, thinking – and doing. And I do think that you have to go through the steps yourself to really get it under your skin.

Did everything work? No. Was everything – in hindsight – the right things to do? No. But we kept pushing, kept learning. And we moved forward. One step at a time.

I am a big fan of rocketry and the history of NASA, and one of the most inspiring stories ever to me is the story about the race to the Moon back in the 60’s.

What’s important is that it is not only a story about rockets and astronauts. It is a story about vision, courage, the will to go the extra mile and figure things out as you go along. About bold ideas and early test rockets exploding at the pad setting the big project back. About resilience in the face of adversity. About overcoming doubt. About picking yourself up time and time again. And – most importantly – every little success that made the giant leap possible.

We’ve now arrived at the launch pad. Now the real work begins. There is a lot that needs to happen and go well, before we can light up the candle and head for the Moon. And the journey to the Moon is long and fraught with danger. Stuff can go horribly wrong.

But MAN! The view upwards towards the clear skies above and beyond the launch pad is just beautiful!

Onwards and upwards!

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Say Hi! to FIXDIT

Today we’re soft-launching a simple pilot of our latest project, which we call FIXDIT.

FIXDIT is for homeowners and home maintenance professionals who wants to get rid of all the horror stories about home maintenance and redecoration projects. It is a challenging area, and lots of homeowners put off doing projects for fear of getting into a quagmire. I know, because I am one of them myself. Which is why I thought it was an important problem to try to find a better solution for.

With FIXDIT we’re looking to bring the love back between home owners and maintenance professionals. We try out a completely new spin on the market and the dynamics in it, and time and – most importantly – your reception of the concept will tell whether this is the start of something more or just a stupid idea.

Enjoy! (the website is in Danish)

(Photo: Screenshot)

Find the blind spots

The other day I invited a good acquintance to come and visit us at inQvation and to provide feedback on an idea, we’re toying with. The latter part made sense given that this person has about 30 years of experience within the industry, where our idea potentially offers a new angle on things.

I asked him to talk straight from the gut and tell me what he thought. And his first words resonated deeply: “Ideally speaking this idea is great. Unfortunately, the world – and this industry is not ideal”. And then he went on to provide amazing feedback on potential blind spots and pitfalls based on his wealth of experience, we hadn’t considered at all, and which proves to be critical hypothesis, we need to spend time trying to find a workaround for. Otherwise our idea will tank.

When we said goodbye he apologized for being so candid. But I insisted he shouldn’t and that this was the best feedback we could get at this point in time. Because it showed us some of the potential blind spots we would have essentially zero chance of figuring out on our own. And that is a god sent. Because the blind spots – left unattended – are the ones that could end up killing your idea and/or business.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

In the Bubble

This summer I am trying to teach myself how to do visual programming using Bubble. I have been trying to get a better understanding of coding for years but never had the patience for it. Bubbles visual approach is a lot more appealing to me.

Why am I doing it? Because I like being able to execute on the ideas, we’re working with at inQvation Studio. I like being able to take the next step from a workshop or a discussion and actually get things done. Be concrete. Get something out there.

I am very aware that what we can do with tools such as Bubble or Unbounce or Typeform and what have you is not the finished article. Not by a stretch. But it is something. It moves the needle in the right direction for what we are trying to do at the studio team. And it is a lot better than nothing.

(Photo: Product Hunt)