The Seven Most ‘Fascinating’ Types of People In FinTech

Like all burgeoning ecosystems, FinTech has its own set of interesting characters. This becomes all the more obvious when attending FinTech events, where you find yourself alternating between rolling your eyes and holding back the urge to throttle someone. With that in mind, it’s become rather obvious who the chief noisemakers are and their defining features:

1)    The Messiah

Self proclaimed FinTech Influencer. Loves buzzwords, averse to real effort and is still cross that VC didn’t pay full attention to their pitch that one time in 2015. Their startup is more of an extension of their ego and for that reason thinks their product/ FinTech startup is revolutionary (it isn’t). They will spend the first ten minutes after meeting you bragging about how much they are changing the world, being patronising about other startup founders before pulling out their ‘revolutionary’ app which looks like it was built on a Windows 98 PC.

2) The Socialite

The Kim Kardashian of the FinTechverse but with half the talent and likeability.

What exactly do they do again? No one knows. No one has heard about their company. Or even an area of expertise (unless you count hashtag spamming a skill). But you’ve seen them in more influencer lists and FinTech events than you can count. They often have “FinTech enthusiast” plastered all over their social media profiles yet appear to have a shallow understanding of the space in general.

3)  The Convert

Usually a recent arrival to the ecosystem. Unlike most of their contemporaries who have worked in financial institutions, they bring less professionalism from their previous roles and have very limited experience or willingness to understand the workings of a startup. Will often attend events and meetups in suits and will only talk to investors or will pout all the way through. Unfortunately, they will typically reinforce the very worse cultural practices from institutions while pretending to be engaged to issues within the ecosystem.

4)    The Sidekick

Often a follower, they typically enjoy tagging along with the socialite. Always craving attention and approval, this person will like all their social media posts and are usually the first to leap to their defence. Having never appeared on an influencer list despite repeatedly spamming their feeds with similar types of regurgitated nonsense, the sidekick is found chasing after influences during FinTech events while ignoring keynotes and rudely interrupting other entrepreneurs.  

5) The Evangelist

Unlike the Messiah who is essentially in love with themselves/ product, the evangelist is in love with the ecosystem. FinTech is not just an emerging space, it is the answer to all problems that you can honestly conceive happening in their NGO/corporation/law firm. Although the enthusiasm is welcomed, the application and misinformation often causes more harm than good. Rather than understand the nuances within the space, evangelists will sell different ‘solutions’ to others (often the media) with poor information which creates hype for products/ideas which are frankly ridiculous.

6)  The Eeyore

Probably hasn’t been happy since 1998. Somehow stumbled into FinTech in the mid 2000s and never left. Although they typically have extensive experience in tech and commerce, they refrain from acknowledging newer tech trends and will typically remind everyone how they lived through the dot-com bubble. Never goes to FinTech events yet gossips and knows more sordid details about people than you could imagine (or want to). Typically drives a Ford fiesta and lives in a semi-detached in Surrey. Could be related to Hyacinth Bucket.

7) The ‘Special’ Intern

Most interns provide a much needed service to small startups. Not this one. They often receive their internships through connections with the CEO/founder (which is often justified because they went to a redbrick university) and are adverse to being managed. The intern will hardly help with admin, social media or CRM systems but will jump at the opportunity to be ‘strategic’ and network when time calls for it. Will declare they are sick when often suffering from a hangover. Usually on their third gap year. They typically morph into the socialite and most people will be none the wiser.