Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Daniel. I’m the CEO of Koho. Koho makes banking better. Banking in Canada is way too expensive and way too complicated. Very often banks can profit from this confusion and we think that is unfair.
With Koho users can replace or complement their traditional checking account. We partner with a federal financial institution who securely holds our consumers money for them, then we deliver a modern banking experience; app, card, website, customer service. It’s our goal to help people do more. We do this by helping them keep more of their money (remove bank fees), providing them tools to help them save and providing insights into how their money is spent.
Tell us a bit about your team and company culture?
Everyday we talked about value. No one here is interested in building the next social network or the next feature. We’re interested in making peoples’ lives better. That’s what fires us up.
How do you craft your identity?
I still haven’t figured out if it’s courage, foolishness or naivety. Realistically, it’s probably all three, but it seems like I am willing to push against things others aren’t.
What motivates you?
My parents, gratitude and travel. I’ve seen a lot of developing countries. Even if things don’t go well, living in Canada my quality of life is 10x better than the majority of the world. Not pushing the boundaries would feel like a waste of the opportunity I’ve been given.
What skill / quality do you value the most?
Empathy. Entrepreneurship is riddled with uncertainty and uncertainty creates mistakes. Hard skills can be taught, but we have a team here that is willing to risk a lot and we do that together. Empathy is what binds us.
What is the greatest risk you’ve taken? What was your process in making your decision?
Koho – what we are working on now, the status quo that is working against us and the way we rolled it out exposed us to risk.
What do you do in your free-time to decompress?
I write a lot. Even during the work day, I’ll take 10 minutes and just brain dump. I also hike, read, go to the gym, meditate, whatever takes me outside of my work.
What is something you’ve had to learn on your own that you’d like to pass onto the next Creative?
Never pitch or sell anything. Build real relationships and create value for those around you. Be vulnerable.
What forms of media have influenced you the most?
Books and podcasts. In order to really understand something, you need the nuance that long forms of media provide.
What hardware / software do you use?
Computer: Sidekick, Slack, Rapportive, Realtime Board, Trello, Pocket, Dropbox
Apps: Moves, Spotify, Audible, Podcast Addict, Quality Time
What would be your dream creative setup?
Early morning and long weekends. I love long weekends because I get a full day of work with zero fragmentation. While I think environment plays a large role, I find that managing my mind is more important. In order to produce creative work, it’s important I live a life in balance. This can mean hiking, meditating, reading, gym etc. I’ve learned the hard way that if I want to produce sustained creative work, I need to take the time to make sure the rest of my life is in balance too.