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Am I The Right Driver For This Car?

What I enjoyed most about my early discussions with my partners/investors Jay and Dominique was that they were filled with ambition and healthy impatience.

“So let’s recap what we know about the opportunity: There is an explosion of innovation in the banking and financial services sector in Europe and Asia. These typically take years to trickle down to North America. The cost of this delay to consumers is tremendous. We can shape and accelerate this wave of innovation if we act now. We can make a real difference in people’s lives if we do our job well. This likely means dedicating the next decade of your life to this vision, Eytan”

… No pressure …

… 🤔 …

… 😳 …

Then I’d walk home and have a major freak out moment. I would ask myself: “Am I the right person to bring this opportunity to life?”. Investors call this founder/market fit [1]. They look for it in every team they invest in. I call it self-awareness.

It would be so easy to convince myself that I was the right guy for this opportunity — even if I wasn’t. And I knew the ability to step away would only get harder as time went on. Were my strengths, weaknesses, ambitions, and passions aligned? Until we discovered the mission of the company, I would have to keep auditing myself on this dimension. And so that’s when I made myself a promise: If I ended up discovering that NorthOne’s ultimate mission lay beyond an area I was deeply passionate about and willing to sacrifice for, I would resign. Because #lifeisshort…

It was only much later, when I was certain that NorthOne would be deploying some really fascinating financial services innovation to help small and medium businesses, that I was able to take a deep breath and relax a bit. I felt truly aligned with the client type, mission, and industry.

The road might be long, hard, and ultimately lead to some totally unexpected places, but at least I knew it was the right road for me.

This is the second post of a series entitled The chronicles of an entrepreneur, a window into the real story behind Eytan, his team, and the building of NorthOne.

[1] Chris Dixon said it best: “Founders should realize that a startup is an endeavor that generally lasts many years. You should fit your market not only because you understand it, but because you love it — and will continue to love it as your product and market change over time.”

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The Chronicles Of An Entrepreneur: Act 1, Scene 1

Of All The Startups You Could Build, Why Banking?