The Feed #7 — Fintech and Our Future

The Feed #7 — Fintech and Our Future

[This article originally appeared in the email blog The Fintech Feed.]

Feedsters, welcome back! It’s been two weeks; two very hard and jam-packed weeks. I hope you all are well and having a great week doing what you love. Now, let’s get into the feed.

The Clouds

Education is one of those things that runs deep with people. After all, what are we if not for our brains and our bodies? And yet, for those of us in the US, college is stupid expensive! Seriously, it’s dumb how much it costs to have someone say you’re smart. Look at all you could buy with that money!

I have many friends who work in education and, apart from making me keenly aware of how much you need patience, passion, and a belief in people (not to mention the desperate need for funding), they’ve opened my eyes to how many kids go without a chance at a college education.

It’s something I’ve thought a lot about. Actually, I wrote a letter to the President back in February with an idea of how to help change this problem. You can find a blog post about that letter here.

Thankfully, there are some very smart and more dedicated people already tackling this issue with crowdfunded campaigns, private donations, and a whole lot of technical knowhow at a company called QuestBridge.


For a brief synopsis of QuestBridge, I’ll turn it over to one of QuestBridge’s Advisory Board members and his most recent blog post / podcast.

“QuestBridge currently supplies more exceptional low-income talent to top universities than all other non-profits combined (more than 2,000 students a year on $500 million in financial aid). QuestBridge has created a single, standardized college application accepted by 36 top universities like Stanford, MIT, Amherst and Yale. This allows them to use innovative campaigns (e.g. laptop giveaway forms that double as college applications) to offer scholarships to kids who might otherwise not even think of college. If you want to break the cycle of poverty, QuestBridge is one of the most fascinating tools I’ve ever seen.”

-The Oracle of Silicon Valley, Reid Hoffman

This is what excites me most about FinTech. Not the express creation of FinTech solutions but the proliferation of financial flexibility that is enabled by FinTech. QuestBridge is just one of a myriad of ways FinTech is changing the backend of broken systems. The future is going to be awesome, my friends, and it’s being built every day.

(Btw, if you haven’t already, I highly encourage you jump down the rabbit hole of crazy experimentation and efficient meta-learning that is Tim Ferriss. In fact, this newsletter was inspired by one of his podcasts! Thanks, Tim!)

The Dirt

Ok, Daniel — before you launch in to another advert, I’m about sick of all these budgeting apps. What about other stuff that’s cool and helps me save on the things I already spend money on?

I hear you. And I agree. That’s why this week we’re talking about flights. More importantly, buying flights.

If you’re like me, you love traveling. It’s been over a year since I was outside the U.S. and I’m beginning to show signs of cabin fever. But planning a trip is a horrendous task. Flights, hotels, and timing…

Timing’s a bitch.

Hopper is an app that solves two of these challenges for you! It watches flight prices each day to predict (in the same way financiers do with market prices) the right time to book your flight, saving you up to 40% in some cases!

Say I want to take a trip to Amsterdam. Hopper automatically pulls up the nearest airports, I type in Amsterdam, and…

…I immediately have an idea of when to plan my trip and how much I can expect to pay. This is huge! Try it out and let me know what you think!

Until next time,


Stay curious. Stay brave.

The Feed #8 — What the heck is the Blockchain?

The Feed #8 — What the heck is the Blockchain?

The Feed #6 — Buying Elections and Meeting Penny

The Feed #6 — Buying Elections and Meeting Penny