Naming a brand that stands for something is tough. There is so much to consider, so many angles to think about and often we liked something one day and disliked it the next.

Why we changed?

Originally, we landed on Enso since we liked the mindfulness approach to banking and wealth. Our lending products are dynamic and evolve with our understanding of the client in greater detail, using data as the enabler, hence a ‘continuous and enlightening circle’.

As we continued to review our brand, we saw many entities that utilized Enso as a name and most of these were registered companies.

Additionally, we reflected on our approach as we continue to validate and mature our model and brand. What does Enso mean to us, what does it mean to our clients and how does it reflect our beliefs? …

I’m sure many of you haven’t heard of Synapse. Perhaps you never will. Thats ok by me.

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Team at Synapse

Who or what is Synapse?

Synapse (or previously known as SynapseFi) is a San Francisco-based Bank-as-a-Service platform enabling companies to easily launch their own branded financial services products in weeks not years.

The company was founded in 2014 by Bryan Keltner and CEO Sankaet Pathak, who came to the U.S. to study but grew frustrated at the difficulty of opening a bank account without U.S. social security history.

“We don’t think Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo will be front and center” of new fintech. “We want to make it really easy for internet companies to distribute financial services.” …

Once in a while you have a vision that kind of paints itself. Like you are discovering it, rather than creating it. It feels so familiar, it’s like you know how it already plays out and your just re-living it moment to moment. Every weird and wonderful thing or event that’s happened in your life has built up to form whatever this is and you’re the only expert in the field.

Welcome to it ladies and gentlemen… I give you the future.

But what sort of future am I about to describe?

Tune in for some more action.

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It’s been more than 6 weeks since I wrote the last piece on experimenting on creating a new-age travel insurance product for the modern traveler. I must say, it’s been a journey of discovery and reflecting so far. Much of the foundational work is what I usually go through at startup accelerators and it’s nice to be on the discovery end for a change.

So here are some of the points I attempted to solve?

  1. What do we stand for?
  2. What could the product look like?
  3. Who are we selling to?
  4. Would the product be something people are willing to pay for? …

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Each year my partner and I travel to Europe to see friends and family, indulge in the boundless culture, travel to new places… and some we’ve been to, and we always eat to our hearts content. This year will be our 5th trip in less than 3 years.

We usually take 4–6 weeks off so we can get the most amount of down time and family time. We also mix together places that we’ve seen before while trying to add at least one new destination that both of us have never been to before.

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Terminal 1 — Abu Dhabi

If you’re looking to books some flights between Asia/ Pacific and Europe, chances are the cheapest one’s are Etihad flights via Abu Dhabi.

Each year, my partner and I head to Europe and time and time again, we search endlessly for the ‘best flights’ for the best value. More often than not, Etihad comes up. Etihad is a well organized and affordable airline, however they do partner with other airlines through their alliances and often these other airlines are forced to cut the layover very time tight due to the landing allotment available.

We’ve had a few close calls and even missed a flight entirely by 30 mins. This meant we had an unexpected 24 hours in Abu Dhabi in the middle of summer (47 deg C) with no tooth brush and no change of clothes. …

Over the last three weeks, I’ve been working with a fintech company who want to upgrade their technology.

As part of my role, I look at new and innovative technology to enable frictionless experiences for our customers. The team is small and are getting inundated with basic inquiry that can really be found on their websites and while this touch can be an initial touch-point, in order to scale and grow, we need to look at alternatives than manned-chat.

I looked at a range of chat frameworks from,, Facebook and Pandorabots, however I needed something that’s more out of the box and already enabled with the basics to get up and running without a lot of backend development. …

I’ve started a new chapter and I’d like to share my knowledge, experiences, thoughts and get to talk about things I find interesting. I wanted to test my writing capabilities featuring in-depth, ‘keeping it 100’ real-life content. I’m writing a new column every 2 days for 30 days. Topics will range from tech, health, travel, food, startups, innovation, popular culture, sports, bikes, cars and venture capital. Please feel free to chime in. Hugs and Kisses.

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I remember where I was for the 9/11 attack on the US. After all, who can forget a thing like that. I also remember where I was when Mr Trump became President Trump while watching the ballots come in from east coast to west coast and listening to experts assure the American people that their predictions were accurate. At work, little productive was accomplished during those ‘deer in headlights’ hours. Impacting events often stick in our memories and occasionally we are reminded of the event and our brains find it simple for us to relive that moment in time. I also remember where I was when someone at my company Tappr suggested we try this new messaging service called Slack. …

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Unicorn vs Zebra.

I’ve been in and around startups now for the last 7 years and almost all of them know what the term ‘unicorn’ is. Most founders want to build one, VC’s want to back one and customers will often flock once a company is identified as one.

Unicorn companies are hell-bent on disruption and growth first, and building the foundations of the company in bedrock second. Their choice metric is quantity over quality, their priority is user-acquisition before user-success and their natural business model is parasitism, rather than mutualism.

This is no more apparent than in the fintech and finance world, often because you need volume to survive and compete with shrinking margins. In short, you need numbers to stand out from the pack when it comes to attracting investors and VC’s. …

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I’m exploring why UI and UX are often separated and I feel this shouldn’t be the case. What should it be.

Hi everyone, I’m back to writing some more stuff after I did my original bringe of 19 articles in 30 days and since then, I’ve travelled to Europe and Asia twice and landed in the Bay Area for a few weeks ‘to drink from the firehose’.

I’ve started helping startups, corporates and everyone in between looking to understand their product vision, their company values and to understand their customers. I’ve mainly dabbled in the fintech area, with a keen interest in the neobanking space so I’ve met a few neobanks over the last 3 months, however I’ve helped a range of companies now in smaller workshops that aren’t just fintech related. …


Brett Hales

Fin-Tech enthusiast, Product Guy, Traveler, Startup Mentor, Founder, UXer.

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