Thoughts on building Brand, Team and Product at Exeq
Hi y’all, I’m Tome, one of the co-founders here at Exeq. Two years ago I dropped out of NYU after freshman year to join my three co-founders to change personal finance. We knew that there wasn’t an app that ever really captured us when it came to our banking and the numbers that mattered. We wanted to be the people to change that, and I wanted to be the guy to make it fresh.
Here are some thoughts I’ve gleamed over the past two years at Exeq:
Brands are all about Energy.
When you look at all of the most famous brands that permeate our lives, they all contain a certain attitude to them. They make statements about the status quo, or they paint some vision of an altered reality that espouses the values of the brand. When we started building Exeq, we had a certain perception of reality we wanted to portray and we worked our hardest to make sure every element of the brand portrayed that. To me, Exeq stood for positivity, vibrance, and youthfulness. It’s about youthful energy, and one can see that from the colors we use, the brand elements, and the designs that we’ve worked so long to perfect. It’s all about the energy.
Love What You’re Solving, Not What You’re Building
As many people know, when we first started Exeq we were a budgeting and investment app. Had we been too attached to the product rather than our vision, it would’ve made it much harder to build the best experience possible for our users.
We were obsessed with becoming the “personal finance app” — not the app for investing, not the app for budgeting (necessarily), not the app for savings, but rather we wanted to better the entire personal finance experience with a holistic, beautiful, and easy to use app.
After over a year of product iterations, we realized that the ultimate problem with Millennial personal finance was that we just didn’t know how to spend properly. Suddenly, Exeq had a new mantra, we wanted to help our generation, and ultimately everyone, Spend Better. Loving what we were solving and not what we were building allowed us to keep an open mind, iterate on our product and hypotheses, and constantly improve the product and experience for our users.
Build an A-Team
Without an epic team of designers, leaders, and engineers, Exeq would be nowhere. Oftentimes, people are intimidated to hire people smarter than they are. Don’t be. Find your three most talented friends, and start expanding that network into a group of people who understand your vision and who can contribute to it. I’d say this is the most important takeaway I’ve learned from what we’ve built thus far. Reach out to that amazing designer and collaborate with them. Reach out to the people that are at that next level, because if they join you, they take your company, idea, and trajectory to an entirely different place. No one can build something amazing alone, so get the most talented people you can find and start building together!
It’s All in the Mix
No amazing project, story, or concept was ever developed by one person alone. Prior to starting Exeq, I was heavily involved in a few musical projects and what stood out to me most from that experience was the sheer amount of people it takes to make a song. You have the artists, the sound engineers, and then the person who masters the song before it ends up on your Spotify playlist. This was the perfect lesson to learn before starting a tech company. Your idea is going to change, your brand is going to change, it’s going to go through a bunch of different hands, and a bunch of opinions will shape what you’re building — and that’s not only normal, but actually amazing. Love the feedback you receive, take it to heart, and edit accordingly. Remember that a song isn’t made simply by an artist alone, It’s all in the way it’s mixed and that’s what ultimately makes it amazing.
Next week, we’re launching a product we’ve been building for two years and we could not be more excited. We’ve worked super hard to make it beautiful, easy to use, and most of all filled with energy. Download it, share it, and grow with us as a company. We’ll be updating the app weekly with new features and making it better and better every single day. We can’t wait to become your finance app, and we know you’re going to love it! ❤️
Check us out at Exeq.com, join the over 40,000 people on our waitlist and be the first to hear about our NYC Beta launch next week! 💥💥💥