One month into my new job as the CTO at Fintura
Update: five months after this post I quit my job at Fintura. Read why …
In March I announced that I was looking for a new team. This announcement resulted in an unexpected high amount of offers. I took the time to evaluate them thoroughly by rating them based on a point system and first and foremost finding out if I would have the chance to do what I was looking for: to build a team. After a little more then four weeks I signed the contract with Gernot Overbeck and Thomas Becher who are the founders of Fintura. I feel that both of them–given their experience in the industry–can provide a unique opportunity for the success of this fintech startup.
They basically handed me the keys to their business infrastructure and I took over even before my official first day.
It immediately changed to type of work I had to do. I have barely touched my IDE in the last weeks but could focus on defining the foundation of Fintura's IT. Starting with the definition of the structure of the IT team, their salary and their carreer path. It's obviously not as easy as it sounds. Ideas like the lean aproach, remote team members, transparency and software craft are something that cannot be easily explained with execuitve summaries or formulas but needs to be experienced–which is hard in the always moving startup rollercoster. But I feel the need to build the place I'd like to work at because it will not just magically appear. With a solid multi-million euro series A round due in the next months Fintura is looking into a bright future and our IT team–I call them fintechies–will get the funds it needs to build a compelling product without being turned into a meat grinder.
It's a green field without grass.
Joining a startup in this early stage offers other great opportunities. Not much is defined, yet: Put everything in the Cloud or go for Software Hosted in Germany, to Docker or not to, our codingstandards, unify the tech stack in favour of robustness or keep running everything in silos. Every decision needs to be prepared and made. To be the one that has the power to overrule every decision is tempting but involving as many colleagues as possible is the only way to find the best decision. And that's only the small part: much more excitement comes from beeing able to shape the way we operate at Fintura. The work of the fintechies has to be integrated with everyone in the organization and being tasked with finding a modus operandi that will enable us to deliver a product that the customer wants is by far the contribution that I am proud of the most when looking back at the last weeks.
I'm a politician, now.
If you know me then you also know that I hate politics. I pride myself in being brutally honest–which has worked for me very well in the past. But being part of the management at Fintura gives me access to information that I cannot share with all colleagues immediately. And having to keep knowledge to myself–even if it is in the best interest–is something that doesn't come naturally for me. But I already saw in the past that these situations are dealt with as fast as possible, without haste and very determined.
The last month has been intense. I have a new team now and it feels like the cog wheels that have been spinning freely are now gripping into each other and the machine that powers Fintura is getting its grips. I'm really looking forward to build the team that builds Fintura and I feel that I will have a blast, doing it!