2020 Letter To Stakeholders
2020 Letter To Stakeholders
To our Stakeholders:
2020 will be the year people remember for generations. The entire world came to a pause, society was tested to the limits while so many of us were isolated. Millions of people were impacted in terrible ways. It’s a year that we should learn from – and certainly never forget. In this turbulent environment we find ourselves, our fundamental approach remains steadfast. Heads down, staying laser focused on the long-term with an unconditional love of customers.
Long-term perspective challenges our existing abilities and forces us accomplish the impossible. It allows us to embrace our failures while driving the iteration required for expansion. It frees us to build new muscles, regardless of how uncomfortable those first steps may be. If we just chase instant gratification – or some elusive idea of it – most likely we will find a crowd there ahead of us. Long-term perspective aligns well with unconditional love of customers.
In our rewards business, we have strong conviction that customers value higher rewards, wider merchant selection and a more convenient experience and that these needs will remain stable over time. It is difficult for us to imagine five or ten years from now, customers will want lower rewards, fewer merchants, or a worse experience. Our belief in the longevity of these pillars is what gives us the confidence required to invest in improving them. We know that the energy we put in now will continue to pay dividends well into the future.
Beyond the investment on the rewards side, we continue to build the social pillars of our business. To us, social sharing is more than just texting your referral code for a $5 bonus. It is an ongoing relationship with the people you connect to. We know our approach is different than many established competitors whose system seems to be working for now. We do not expect to capture the hearts of customers by doing the same thing as everyone else. We stand alone in our approach. We remain confident that our long-term investment will ultimately create greater value to our customers, community, merchant partners, shareholders and team.
Customer Needs First
Our approach: work backwards from the customer needs instead of a competency-first approach where existing skills and infrastructure are used to drive growth. The competency-first approach says, "We are good at doing X. What else can we do with X?" But one day, the customer will move past X and the existing skills then become irrelevant. Working backwards from the customer needs often forces us to develop new skills to better address the customer. We are not stuck with the expertise we have today. We welcome fresh challenges, driving us to take risks in new areas, never mind how unsettling that may be.
Listening to our customers helps us to see the miscalculations of our earlier assumptions, propelling us to iterate on what we already built. One example, this year we rebuilt the payment journey within the app for the 6th time. Not because the first 5 versions were not great; they were. But the 6th iteration was better. This is something to be celebrated. We can never convince ourselves we did enough for the customer. They won't have it. Neither should we.
The community sits at the heart of Fluz. It is what makes our product different while propelling us forward. This year our revenues grew over 1300%. The credit for this is due to our passionate community who educated their friends, family or followers about Fluz. We continue to invest more in helping the community grow and come together. We know this is just the start. We are beginning to see what began as a few rolling pebbles quickly snowballing into an avalanche.
Our year started with a small group of believers, committed to build something bigger than themselves. Early on, we put in energy to create culture of high standards, long-term thinkers with the sense of ownership. As we nearly doubled our team, the newer members have quickly adopted these same principles from the core members.
We are fortunate to have the opportunity to build something meaningful. I am forever grateful to the talented & dedicated people and their families for the many sacrifices they already made. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you for the opportunity to be part of this mission.
Once again this year, I attach a copy of our original 2018 letter and encourage current and prospective stakeholders to take a look at it. Given how much we've already grown, it's noteworthy that the fundamentals of how we do business remain the same.
Chief Executive Officer, Fluz
Fluz 2018 Letter To Stakeholders
To our Stakeholders:
Fluz had a monumental year in 2018, but this remains the beginning of our journey.
Today mobile experiences have become the fabric of our daily lives, from social connections to shopping, finances and everything in between. Tomorrow so much more of our lives experience will be mobile. We aim to be a leader on the financial mobile experiences. Fluz uses mobile products to create real value for its customers and, by doing so, will create an enduring business.
The fundamentals for our success will be the value we continue to create for our customers. We measure ourselves in terms of customer engagement, value offered and social relevance. The stronger the relationship between Fluz and its customers, the more powerful our economic model becomes. We are looking to penetrate into the daily experiences of our customers, both in the social sphere and their financial lives. As we scale our customers and their daily engagement, the product will propel itself to become even better.
Fluz is committed to a become a long-term leader in the space. Enterprise players are pouring in from surrounding sectors while new giants are emerging rapidly. Our goal is to quickly dig our feet deep into the sand, firming our position with our customers and the market place.
We will continue to invest in the development of products with the long-term view in mind. We are building connections with our customer base that will yield a sizable return at scale. We are recruiting talent with an emphasis on long-term compensation rather than cash. We know our success will be largely driven by our teams ability to think like, and effectively become, an owner. We will make bold investment (time, energy and financial) decisions where we see a reasonable chance of gaining long-term market leadership. Some of these will pay off; others will not. We will move fast to identify the ones that do based on predefined measurable goals. We will learn from the failures and build on our successes.
Fluz strives to build a product interwoven into the lives of our consumers. We see tremendous opportunity in the market. We are starting with cash back rewards, but have our eyes set on so much more. This ambition is not without challenges. We understand the long-term investment required to establish ourselves as the leader we are looking to become.
Unconditional Love For Our Customers.
In today’s information age, customers are more connected than ever before. As a result they are able to know more and demand more. What is exciting this morning becomes ordinary by the afternoon and yesterday’s news by tomorrow. We cannot be content with any of our accomplishments. Customers will not have it. Our only way to hold customer interest is to maintain an unyielding drive forward.
We have a constant focus on the customers end-to-end experience and building the best possible product. We are focused on all customer touch points, holding each one to the highest possible standards. We are ONLY concerned with constantly servicing our customers. Studying our competition only serves as insight for better ways to help our customers.
It is critical we sit in our customers shoes and understand how they will interact with the product. We are committed to watching all customer touch points. The unconditional love for our customers is the driving force behind product development. While we talk about our product becoming better at scale, it cannot suck until we get there.
People join the Fluz for all the things we can help them do. They stay because of all the things Fluz can help them become. Connections between people are the core of our product. The community is what makes Fluz unique; the glue that connects our members. It is the special spice making our age old Mac & Cheese recipe taste better than the box you can buy at the supermarket. It is what brings us all together and propels us forward. With the community our customers feel connected to one another and us to our customers.
2018 marks the year where our community was formally established. This is a breathing, living family. We share happy times together and we share challenges together. Being a tight knit group at the moment, the engagement remains there. We plan to continue to maintain that small familial sense of closeness as we grow. We see this as an essential foundation of the entire business. We continue to invest resources into building tools for the community and ways for them to come together.
In 2018, we worked hard to expand our business infrastructure to support a our community across various touch points:
- New York office opened with a centralized development and marketing team.
- We built the core infrastructure and narrative for our network based cash-back product.
- Internal marketing and communications teams put in place to drive customer adoption and word of mouth growth.
The success of this past year can only be attributed to the smart, dedicated hard-working group that we have begun to assemble. We will look back to these days remembering the core group that helped build our foundation. Setting a high standard in hiring has been and will continue to be the single most important driver for the success of Fluz.
At Fluz, we seek to maintain even higher standards across all touch points. Only when our team has a full understanding of the customer experience can we hope to deliver a product that is truly up to the standards. These high standards are part of the culture and will be reflected across everything we all do.
We are working to build something important. This is an exciting time, both for our customers and for our team. We are incredibly fortunate to have a team of dedicated people (and their families) who’s commitment and sacrifices build Fluz.
Goals for 2019.
We are at the outset of something amazing. The product is in its infancy. We are looking to expand on our network based cash-back app. We require ongoing investment in infrastructure, systems, communications and customer acquisition. We are committed to refine the product, making a more streamlined customer experience. The goal is to earn our customers trust and love.
We now know more about the the financial space than when we began on this journey. Yet if we do not continue to learn every day, we will not exist much longer. We are confident in our mission, but we remain vigilant and maintain a sense of strong urgency. Our competition is aggressive, well-funded and capable. We feel good about the work we have already done. We feel confident about the goal.
2018 was an amazing year for the Fluz family. We are grateful to all stakeholders that made this a reality for us. It is all of their support and encouragement that continues to fuel our relentless drive forward. We thank you for that.
Chief Executive Officier
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