# 🤑 Bank

After failing to follow a couple interesting bootstrapped cybersecurity ideas I thought: "why not do something extremely ambitious. Take the funding. Solve world hunger. Takeover the world". What better way to do that than starting a bank!

I mean, how hard could it be, what is actually required to start a bank? It turns out, a shit load. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but sometimes the intimidating things in life are stupid easy. In this case, it's intimidating because it's hard. To actually get a state (non-credit union) banking charter, you need a significant (8 figures of funding), basically an entire compliance department from day one, and a love for the rigamarole of banking regulations. Maybe I wasn't cut out for this one. Surely there has to be a technology solution here though, right?

# Optimus Prime

As always, there was a technology solution. They're known as neobanks:

A neobank is a type of direct bank that operates exclusively using online banking without traditional physical branch networks that challenge traditional banks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neobank

All those shitty ads you get for credit cards, debit cards, basically anything not made by Visa or Mastercard? Yeah, those are neobanks. They're actually backed by much larger reputable financial providers, and they serve almost exclusively as marketing departments. These neobanks are usually run on Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) providers. The two I spent time looking into where Treasury Prime and Column. Both mouth-wateringly attractive companies. The marketing, their API documentation, the pitch, it's :chefs-kiss:. For a more in-depth look Contrary Research has a fantastic market guide for Fin Tech Infrastructure. These companies could make it far easier to start a "bank". However, the more you look at the revenue models for someone building on these platforms, especially someone not trying to take on a ton of investment, it's hard. You primarily make revenue on interchange fees, which is the 1% you get on every credit card transaction. This means it's a numbers game, you need to get millions of users to scrape by, which is a marketing game. Me and marketing don't do very well together, I'm much more well suited for B2B enterprise sales than I am marketing. Still fucking cool though, what a fun space.

# Megatron

Alright, so not a bank. How about a cell phone company? When leaving my past company I almost jumped off the roof due to how hard AT&T made it to transfer off their plan to Mint Mobile. Could I make some improvements there? Through some research, I found the concept of Mobile Virtual Network Operators, which is basically what Mint Mobile is. You buy surplus network capacity from one of the large telcos, and market it to your users and make $$ on the difference. God damnit, there's that marketing again. I'd have to get millions of users to make it work, with a primarily ad-driven acquisition channel. Maybe next time...

# Those were the only transformers I knew

I've got it, an insurance company! At this point, I'm a seasoned bigtech builder, I know how to make a bank, a mobile phone company, I've got this research path down. Insurance as a Service, where the fuck are you. Qover I see you, stop running! Embedded insurance is what they call it and again is filled with companies with beautiful API designs, great marketing, and seemingly simple ways to get started. Out of the 3, this is likely the one I'd actually have the most success at, due to the need for Cyberinsurance. I'd previously worked with and sold products for cyberinsurers, so there was some reasonable overlap there. Companies like Coalition are crushing it in the cyberinsurance space and most of their cyber tooling I could build in my sleep. To be honest, I'm not sure why I stopped pursuing this one, I think you need the backing and confidence of some pretty big people to get these embedded insurance providers to work with you. If you want to sell multi-million cyber plans, they require you to have some assets to back them up if it explodes. And sadly they wouldn't take a 2017 Mazda as collateral.

# Sorry world

I guess we aren't solving world hunger today, but it was fun researching these goliath markets and seeing that everyone has beaten me to the cool ideas in them.