“Know thyself: Every person will have their own path, and it’s most important to find yours. That means taking the time to pursue things that interest you and getting in alignment with your personal values and beliefs. This could start by doing a weekly check-in and writing down what motivates you, what you like to do, and what values you admire in others.”
I had the pleasure to interview Lindsay Holden. Lindsey is the CEO of Long Game, a gamified personal finance app for Millenials that encourages saving with rewards and cash prizes. Before starting Long Game, Lindsay Holden co-founded the Applicant Auction, the primary auction for Top Level Domain names which held over $1B in auctions before being acquired. Before that she helped to launch Formation 8, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. Ms. Holden holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Thank you so much for joining us. Can you share your backstory and prior experience with us?
I’ve always tried to organize my life around solving problems that I care about. In college, I was passionate about cleaning up the environment so I studied Chemical Engineering and then jumped directly into working in hazardous waste remediation. So I spent my early 20s hanging around Superfund sites. My parents weren’t pumped. But I was really passionate about wanting to help out and so I did.
Over time, I realized that you could drive even more change to solve problems by tapping into the forces of global capitalism. So my next job was working in venture capital, where I got exposure to start-ups that were trying to solve some of the biggest environmental problems on earth. I was inspired by these entrepreneurs, and it was that experience that has ultimately led me to become an entrepreneur myself.
As I was learning about entrepreneurship and financial markets, I helped to build an auction company called Applicant Auction. We managed over $500M in top-level domain auctions, and eventually sold the company.
During this time, my ideas of a starting a company to help fix people’s personal finances were coalescing. We all have people in our lives who have not been effective at managing their finances. It can just be really hard to do, and I’ve struggled with this personally too. Finances are an emotional topic; people feel stressed, or upset, or happy about their finances, but financial institutions today totally miss the emotional component.
I decided I wanted to try to help everybody get a better handle on their financial lives, and Long Game was born. We use games and rewards to change the emotional experience of managing your personal finances and, in doing so, we empower people to build the life they’ve always wanted.
How does your company help people?
Long Game is a combination of personal finance and gaming. We give you an FDIC-insured savings account and we use games and rewards to encourage you to keep saving. We help you envision your financial life as an overarching game — the Long Game — and as you’re progressing in the app and achieving your financial goals we reward you with games where you can actually win cash and crypto. So it’s like a no-lose lottery — you get the chance to win up to $1M just for saving your own money. Obviously, the money you are saving is never at risk, and the more you save, the more chances you have to win. The app is available for Android and iOS Devices.
Can you tell me about the most interesting project you are working on now?
We found that a lot of our customers are interested in cryptocurrency. Just for reference, our customers are almost entirely under the age of 30, and they are tech savvy and cool-kids. They’re interested in blockchain and crypto assets, but most aren’t in a place to invest in the risky, volatile crypto markets.
We just launched a couple features that help educate customers about blockchain and give them ways to get into the crypto markets, without taking on any risk. People can win crypto in our games and also earn crypto as they achieve their savings goals and level-up in Long Game. It’s a lot of fun, and you just have to save money to play.
We are super excited about where blockchain technology is going and we want to make sure our customers are up to date, so this is our way of helping you to learn about crypto and blockchain while avoiding the risk of investing your own money.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person or mentor who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My dad was a small business owner who ran a pet hospital in San Francisco. I learned a lot from just watching him. He taught me so much and is just an amazing person; the most content person I know. I respect that he is incredibly values-driven but he’s not on a soap-box about it. He just lives his values. Running a business is hard, but it always seemed doable to me because it saw my dad do it. I’m grateful for the model he has been for me and also for the confidence he has always had in me.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
What are the 5 things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
The cool thing about Long Game is that it’s the only game in the world where, if you’re doing well in the game, you’re doing well in life. We have people reach out all the time to tell us they have been able to save because of our game. There are a few stores that stick with me: We had someone reach out and say that they felt like they have finally been able to care for their young daughter because they were able to have a bit more savings for an emergency. Another person told us they were able to fix their car with their Long Game savings (which used to be a big problem for them).
What 3 things would you advise to someone who wanted to emulate your career? Can you share an example for each idea?
Is there a person whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
I would love to meet Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. First, it would be really fun to hang out with them; I’m a huge fan of Broad City. But also, I really admire them as creative leaders and how they seem to build a healthy work culture around themselves. They are authentic, creative, smart, and have strong beliefs. I love their commentary on society and feminism; it really resonates with me.
Originally published at medium.com