In Conversation with Adam Willems: Reporting on the ‘Why’ in Fintech.

In Conversation with Adam Willems: Reporting on the ‘Why’ in Fintech.
In Conversation with Adam Willems: Reporting on the ‘Why’ in Fintech.

Hi, Adam! Would you please introduce yourself, and describe how you entered the fintech world:

Thanks for having me, Marcel! I’m Adam Willems, Lead Reporter at The Financial Revolutionist, a daily-ish newsletter offering original reporting as well as proprietary data on the fintech landscape. I write heavily researched pieces on underappreciated pockets in fintech—highlighting regulatory quandaries, tech developments, underserved communities, ideological trends, and more.

I joined a fintech startup in Delhi, India, after college. The startup pivoted suddenly from serving the underbanked to building accounting software for businesses, exacerbating employee disillusionment and causing an exodus. The experience led me to investigate the ideological underpinnings of tech cultures in grad school (at a seminary) and begin my career as a reporter—which is how I ended up here.

What sets your take on fintech apart from others?

I think the why really matters and isn’t discussed enough in fintech news, and I make sure to include the why in every piece I write. Without it, readers may fail to see the forest for the trees, and invest in or dedicate their efforts to suboptimal endeavors. Practically, this combination of how and why entails complementing the information I report on with researched analysis, and asking interviewees sometimes-uncomfortable questions about the worldviews guiding their work. 

My reporting on fintech also includes a kaleidoscope of sources—not just insiders. You should expect to see activists, academics, regulators, and others in my pieces, in addition to entrepreneurs and investors.

How do you stay up to date on fintech, given how quickly it changes?

Sources, sources, sources. I cultivate relationships with folks who span levels of seniority and work in a range of verticals—insiders as well as outsiders. These interlocutors, in addition to people we meet at conferences and our events, keep us up to date on tech and strategic developments in the pipeline. I also read a lot on fintech, economics, politics, and tech cultures. 

What can Connecting the Dots subscribers expect to gain through our partnership?

Readers should expect one deeply reported story from The FR per week. You’ll find it at the top of Daily Fintech News, including a small summary from me explaining the why behind the piece. We also make a point of reporting about news from major fintech and financial services-centered events and helping our readers navigate the complex event landscape. You can also catch us at FR community gatherings at Fintech Meetup, SXSW, and more throughout the year.

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