Kara Goldin is the founder and CEO of San-Francisco based “hint” – a cool, lower-case company that produces flavoured water with no sweeteners and nothing artificial. It’s currently pretty much the de facto drink of Silicon Valley, so my guess is that it won’t be long before we see it landing on our shores, maybe even edging out Evian with its crisp apple or grapefruit fizz flavours.
Interesting stuff but I’m actually a tap water man myself, so it’s not Ms Goldin’s product that grabbed my attention when I read about her disruptor story in Forbes. It’s her philosophy, the vision behind her water that interested me. Here’s what she says about creating something new, something disruptive:
“Being the first to achieve something great, whether accidental or intended, always deserves praise. However, the proverbial satin ribbon at the finish line is never the end of the race if you have a larger goal in mind. How do you want to change society and the world? For me, creating an innovative product that disrupted the beverage industry was phase one; my larger goal is to make America healthy and reduce the skyrocketing rates of diabetes, obesity, and nutrition-related disease. If your goal is great enough, being first will be just one small step in a lifetime of hard work and passion. I still have my work cut out for me, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
I love the way Kara Goldin sees the big picture and has set her sights on the bigger goal. She has developed a hugely successful product, encouraged people to drink more water and reduced the sugar load of Silicon Valley and beyond. But that’s not good enough for her. She wants to change society and the world.
Not Finished the Race
We want to do that too. Our suite of affordability tools such as CastScore and the Affordability Passport have been developed to help people achieve and sustain financial wellbeing and to access and manage credit safely. These tools have been adopted by some of the UK’s major banks and brokers and are helping to ensure that hundreds of thousands of customers can borrow what they are able to repay and only what they are able to repay. In many ways we have smashed through satin ribbons at the end of finish lines. But like Ms Goldin said, we’ve not finished the race.
Our corporate strapline expresses our vision – we want to build “a safer financial world” and that’s why we are continuing to create content and products that empower consumers to better understand their financial landscape so they can make better, safer financial decisions.
There Ms Goldin is reaching high to tackle “skyrocketing rates of diabetes, obesity, and nutrition-related disease”, we are reaching high to ensure there is never again a financial tsunami like there was in 2008. We are reaching high to enfranchise millennials with thin credit files and other marginalised groups currently exiled from safe, affordable credit.
And to do this, to change the world, we know we have to do things differently. Again, Ms Goldin hits the nail on the head: “you have to hire differently” she says.
She’s right. And we do. We hire social capitalists – people we know are driven by acting for the greater good, who want to make the world a better place. We recruit people with vision, integrity and with spirit, who are committed to helping us build an ethical organisation and who are passionate about developing ethical products.
As a team we all have a lot of work to do, new products to get over that finishing line. But like Kara Goldin, it’s good to keep reminding ourselves that we’ve only just begun changing the world!