Letter From the Editor – Jan/Feb 2017
When deBanked first launched online in 2010, I thought it was too late, that perhaps all the exciting changes in alternative finance had already taken place and that aside from a few obsessed geeks, there wasn’t that big of an audience to write for. It certainly felt a bit out-of-style, especially since I had been working in the industry for more than four years by that point. The only publication that was dedicated to the scene at the time had already come in to the public eye and vanished. Many alternative financial companies had met the same fate, thanks to the financial crisis.
In a way, deBanked started off as a post-apocalyptic diary, an accounting of the industry’s survivors and their roles in the new world order. Primitive, my reporting may have been then, but interest quickly grew. By mid-2011, I was already forced to change web hosts to keep the website from slowing down. In my day job as a commercial finance broker, I continued to talk to small business owners all the over the country about a common theme, that banks just weren’t lending. And maybe they never would again, some predicted anyway. Or maybe the way loans were made in general would just never be the same.
Looking back among my old 2011 stories, I discovered that I had written a personalized review of Square’s payment technology and had given it high marks. Back then however, I saw Square as a payments toy. It was innovative and sexy, but unrelated to lending. Fast-forward to 2016 and Square’s capabilities have expanded. I should know, they funded my business exactly five years after my review. In this issue, I’ll walk you through what it was like to play the role of borrower, and put marketplace lending up to the ultimate test. Thanks to Square Capital, my journey has come full circle or more appropriately, full square.
This issue is the first of 2017. For alternative finance, it fortuitously feels like the beginning, not the end. If our descendants far in the future stumble upon these stories, I pray they will enjoy our accounts of the transformation, when entrepreneurs dared to look at the world in front of them and boldly decided to change it. It was the early 21st century, historians will say, when mankind dared to de-bank and change everything we knew about finance. In the here and now, you are a part of it all…Last modified: August 13, 2018