500 episodes of Fintech Insider! But what’s the story behind it?

 David M. Brear photo
David M. Brear Co-Founder & CEO, 11:FS
3min read

We’ve reached 500 episodes! 💥 That’s crazy.

Our media team has done an incredible job at producing world-class content week in, week out. They’ve interviewed hundreds of thought leaders and innovators - from Anne Boden and Taavet Hinrikus to WILL.I.AM - and I’m super proud of them for that.

It feels like we’ve come a long way from when we decided to dip our toes into the world of podcasting, and on the 500th episode it feels only right to reminisce on why we started in the first place.

Humble beginnings

Most people don’t know this, but before episode 1 of Fintech Insider, there was episode -1.

It all started (as so many great stories do) in a pub in Berlin 🍻

I was moderating a panel at the Financial Services Club with Jason and Simon watching from the back, when we met Marko Wenthin, Co-Founder of Solarisbank.

As Marko recalls, Jason and Simon were bouncing up and down at the back of the room like rebels on a bus, getting excited about a conversation they were having about the industry.

Fast forward a few hours and we found ourselves next door, several beers down, deep in debate. And then it struck us: we all paused mid-conversation as we realised that people should be able to hear this stuff.

Authenticity wins every time 🙌

Now that might sound egotistical, but hear me out.

At the time, we’d all listened to our fair share of finance-related podcasts, and to be honest, the majority were created by a bunch of corporate dudes in suits with a stiff upper lip attitude, spouting banky acronyms that only a handful of listeners could relate to.

That wasn’t good enough for us. We wanted Top Gear for fintech.

A place where all sorts of people doing interesting things to change the fabric of financial services could come together and chat as if we were having a drink in a pub. We wanted to be the dog whistle for people who have that disenfranchised middle management in banking and are propelled by a better way of doing things.

What differentiated us was our authenticity. We knew that people wanted to listen to real opinions, from down to earth people who live and breathe finance. To this day, it’s that authenticity we find listeners relate to when we meet them.

Most people that come to 11:FS know of us before we’ve even said a word. Often, I’ll have a meeting with someone from a bank who’s an avid listener of the podcast and it feels like we’ve known each other for years. The problem with that is I feel like I use up all my good jokes on the podcast and then seem far less witty in real life 😂

It’s our poster child

It’s meetings like that one that hammer home the network effect podcasting has. In one client meeting, I might talk to three people, but our little podcast has reached the eager ears of over 12 million people around the world.

The truth is, the success of 11:FS would not be possible without the reach that the podcast has given us.

We use the podcast as a B2C channel to amplify our B2B marketing and build a brand at scale in a way that most people cannot. Right now, we sit at the heart of the fintech community, and it’s that community that fuels our mission every day to shape the future of financial services.

I’m happy to say (as I’m sure our listeners are, too) that the production quality has improved drastically from episode 1, where I sat editing for an entire weekend with some pretty basic audio software. It sounded terrible...

My favourite moments 🥇

If you’ve only just discovered us, where have you been?! Here are a few episodes I still find myself listening to, to give you a taste of what we do:

  1. Episode 110: AI - The first time I properly spoke to Devika Thapar, who at the time was the IBM Watson CoS. Her passion for the subject matter was hypnotic. We covered a lot of different angles on AI and the impact it would have, followed by a lot of red wine...

  2. Episode 150: Halloween Afterdark - Jason and Simon and I dressed up backstage with 200 people in a WeWork waiting for us. It was awesome!

  3. Episode 248: Interview with Gary Vaynerchuk. This was a massive injection of belief in what we were doing and led to the awesome Eric Fulwiler joining our team.

Thank you so much to all of our listeners who tune in every week, and thanks for all your feedback and guest ideas. We’re always looking for ways to improve what we do for the benefit of you folks, so we really appreciate it. Keep them coming!

What’s your favourite episode ever? 💭

Drop me an email at david@11fs.com - I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 David M. Brear
About the author

David M. Brear

David is the CEO of 11:FS and since his dream of being a sportsperson was crushed (along with the ligaments in his knee!) and he had to get a proper job. He has worked in pretty much every angle of the financial services industry but never lost that competitive desire to win.