Social Money’s Ferrari discusses “The Pivot” at BIZ luncheon (Video)
As SmartyPig approached its fifth birthday, company brass took a hard look at what the Des Moines-based startup had become. There was, without question, plenty to celebrate for the goal-based, social savings company.
"We had this really great, kick-ass brand," said Michael Ferrari, who co-founded the company in 2007. "We had global industry recognition. We would travel around the country and even around the world and people would recognize SmartyPig for goal-based savings; we kind of owned that niche."
But there was also the growing realization that the company wasn't capitalizing on untapped potential. For all SmartyPig's success with consumers, the company drew even more interest from banks interested in licensing its technology under their own brands.
"We have visions of being this fantastic consumer brand," Ferrari said. "But at the same point people are wanting the technology, the piece that's not very sexy."
For some time, SmartyPig turned away all suitors that came calling about licensing opportunities. But eventually, the interest became impossible to ignore. "Ultimately," Ferrari said, "we had a reality check."
Ferrari discussed that decision at last month's Business Insights and Networking Luncheon Series in a speech called "The Pivot." Hosted by the Business Innovation Zone (BIZ) in Des Moines, the monthly luncheon features speakers from the Des Moines community who have expertise in areas that are applicable to people building high-growth and scalable businesses.
During the September luncheon, Ferrari shared observations and lessons learned from the process of taking the company he started and overhauling its business model five years in.
For Ferrari's talk in its entirety, see the video above. For another recap of the talk, see the BIZ website. For more information on the Business Insights and Networking Luncheon Series, including archives of video and slides from past presentations, visit bizci.org.
Credits: Video from bizci.org.