The vision that drives us..
The reasons why we are on a mission to re-invent consumer credit scoring… explained in simple words. Some of the gang have started calling it the “Aire Filter” — and this is how we choose when we have to make the decisions for our young company.
- Consumers come first: We do things for the convenience of our consumers, not our own and definitely not for our clients. This also means we constantly have to rethink from the consumer perspective and get out there and talk to those potential users.
- It’s a forward-looking prediction, not a backward-based stat: We always wanted to ensure that our score could be applied even when there was no prior history (which often penalises people like students, migrants, divorcees etc). We have to therefore think of how to keep the “magic” (Trademark: Jon) that allows us to derive a score not driven exclusively by historical factors.
- Responsible scoring: Our society is built very much on credit scores — and it almost can strangle a person’s future potential if they have a bad score (no banking, no mortgages, no auto loans, no contracts, hard to rent, some employers might reject you etc). Therefore we have to work extra hard to ensure that we don’t fall into the trap of current scoring methods that typically assume that “a person with bad credit is a bad person”. That’s not what we believe in.
- Transparency (and Control): All the recent news has been about how consumers are being misled and uninformed about their scores. I think this is a great movement that vindicates our stance. We definitely want to ensure that consumers have full visibility about the data we own about them and most importantly they have control — such that they can delete off all their data held by us in one-click.
- Getting it right might take its time: We don’t want to rush out a product just so we can claim we have something — but yet it fails at its core values. While I endorse lean methods, I do also want to ensure that the product we show is actually a proper exhibit of our vision. We should use all the suggested techniques to iterate quicker (find faults, use APIs, rapid prototype etc) as long as we don’t get carried away and release a broken product because we were in a hurry.
- Use great technology: We are a tech company, and so we should use the best tools that we think help reach our mission. It’s a fresh company — we have no legacy headaches to worry about. Especially important as we want to be a nimble and agile company that can adapt swiftly to customer feedback and changing market conditions. It also extends to ensuring good processes internally to protect customer data.
- One step at a time: I know our vision to overhaul consumer credit scoring is a humongous task (see what I did there!) — but one good step at a time, strongly planted will help us build on that foundation. Let’s not try to think we can change the system in one swoop! It will be a combination of many small steps, and it’s important for us to openly talk to explain to the outside world about our vision. I don’t believe in being a super-secretive stealth company. We are a movement and we need supporters, fans, advocates, cheerleaders, advisors, mentors, thinkers, doers.. (and yes investors too!).