Let The Drummer Kick

Stand for something

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Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther could walk
Martin Luther walked so Barack Obama could run
Barack Obama ran so all the children could fly

- ‘My President (Remix)’ by Jay-Z and Young Jeezy

My mum played basketball when I was younger and many evenings after school were spent doing homework on the benches on the sidelines of a sports hall in Dublin, watching my mum play.

We were big into other sports (soccer, golf, hurling, etc) but we watched basketball where possible (I grew up during the Jordan/Chicago Bulls dynasty but it wasn’t easily accessible on TV in Ireland at that time) and we went to watch many games in the National Basketball Arena in Dublin.

So, with nothing to do one of the evenings last week (and having watched most new shows on Netflix at this stage!), I went back to an old favourite to pass the evening.

To me, Coach Carter, is one of the best sports movies ever made.

It has all the ingredients of a great sports movie…..top notch acting, fast paced sports action and a kick-ass hip hop soundtrack.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, the movie is based on high school basketball coach, Ken Carter.

In 1999, Carter (played by Samuel L. Jackson) returns to his old high school in Richmond, California, to get the basketball team into shape. With tough rules and academic discipline, he succeeds in setting the players on a winning streak. But when their grades start to suffer, Carter locks them out of the gym and shuts down their championship season. When he is criticized by the players and their parents, he sticks to his guns, determined that they excel in class as well as on the court.

Why Should You Care?

The fact that it is a great sports is reason enough to care!

But if you need more than that…Coach Carter stands for something.

He has a mission, and he sticks to it, even against intense external pressure.

When I worked in Future Finance, our mission was to ensure that no person should be denied access to education because they didn’t have the funding.

It was the foundation of all that we did.

It was what drove us to create new underwriting models for schools that fell outside the Top 100 ranking.

It drove us to create new lending products that focused on future affordability and took into account the fact that students had incomplete credit scores because they may not have taken on any debt.

It drove us to create a scholarship program to provide extra support to students that needed it the most.

Your mission for your business should be at the core of every important decision. It should be what drives you to build your product.

Your mission should be engrained in your employees and be at the core of trying to find solutions to the problems that arise on your journey as a start-up.

Your mission is critical.

Stand for something.

Tell me why I’m wrong…

- Eoin

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Left Field

How do I describe ‘Left Field’? It’s a place to put the content (newsletters/articles, etc) that we have amassed over recent weeks or previous years that really make us think or change our thinking on a particular topic. All the content will offer an alternative view of some topic in financial services, technology or sport (or a combination of all three!)

GameStop Is Rage Against the Financial Machine

Following on from the topic we discussed on the podcast (see below), this is an interesting piece from Bloomberg which positions the activity around the GameStopstock as an anti-establishment and driven by anger at Wall Street.

Anyway, I won’t give away too much. Enjoy the article and feel free to get in touch to discuss more!

- Eoin


Can’t Sleep?

MoneyNeverSleeps podcast episode from this week:

Book Recommendation: Highly recommend checking out ‘Think Like A Monk’ by Jay Shetty where Jay shares the timeless wisdom he learned as a practising monk into practical steps anyone can take every day to live a less anxious, more meaningful life.


This newsletter has been written by Eoin Fitzgerald and Pete Townsend

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