The problems we are tackling may take us twenty years or more to solve
Today, Aire turns seven.
Throughout Aire’s lifetime, we’ve never shied away from the hard work at hand: to deliver a credit system upgrade so valuable that it stands to benefit all of us: our friends, our family, our loved ones.
Today, as we turn seven, that purpose remains unchanged.
To illustrate that commitment, I’m sharing with you a letter I wrote back in 2014, in Aire’s earliest of days.
Core ideologies that drive the culture and governance at Aire
‘I’ve often stated publicly that the problems we are tackling might take us twenty years or more to solve properly. Therefore, since our incorporation, we have established core values and guiding principles that prepare us to survive (and indeed thrive) through multiple business cycles.
These are the ideologies that we believe will help us get there:
Aire will always be focussed on the long-run and this is reflected in our strategy. We make decisions that are rooted in strengthening the core fundamentals of our company, rather than seeking quick wins. We are aware that our business environment will keep changing rapidly — and we must be prepared for this. What we don’t want is to grow up and become a big company, with skeletons in the closet of ill-planned shortcuts we took in our younger years.
Research is paramount to Aire and our work. The company will invest actively in research-oriented collaborations to ensure the outputs are applicable in the real world, not just theoretical discussions. Our culture at Aire, places a strong emphasis on experimenting and the scientific process. Therefore we work hard to recruit people who embody that attitude and then train them further for the skills they need. Our people and our hiring practices (which may seem unconventional) will ensure that we always preserve that culture.
We exist because consumers face a problem. We focus on serving consumers in a respectful manner. Our model for corporate governance therefore has a deep focus on ethics to ensure we find balance between profit (to ensure sustainability) versus the interests of our users (for the greater good). For example, this can mean, we might not let our technology be used by certain categories of clients (eg. no to payday lenders), even though it forgoes profits in those cases.
We bridge two vast sectors: Finance and Technology. While each comes with its own operating practices, we feel we have the unique opportunity to pick-and-choose the best practices from both. This might create some initial turbulence, but we believe is the best path forward to foster ongoing operational improvements. The company has taken additional steps to build internal controls that ensure a balanced approach to risk and compliance — one that allows for agility but stays responsible to our stakeholders.
Aire has to remain uniquely positioned to create value across the ecosystem, for both consumers and businesses. However, that also means we will have to work hard to make our product available to as many people, in as many countries, in as many languages on as many platforms as feasible. Even if it takes twenty years or much longer.
Our future citizens are waiting. We can’t keep them waiting too long.’
Seven years on, we remain steadfastly committed to these guiding principles.
A challenge like this isn’t about the single win. Instead, impact builds gradually — more quietly and more steadily. Increments that, over time, can enact far greater change.
How long will it take us? We still can’t be sure. But while there’s work to be done for the consumer, we’ll be fighting. Come join us.
— Aneesh on behalf of Aire