Season 2 Episode 8 – Nick Finegold of Curation

Another cheeky chappie joins from the countryside, Nick Finegold a FOUNDstar par excellance, the founder of two great start-ups in recent years, Curation and The Fat Gladiator. Both are content driven businesses, led by technology that address real issues in the world. In the case of Curation this the “hot potato” … ESG and with Fat Gladiator anything else that Nick fancies writing stories about or videoing.

In this epsiode, Nick also deep dives on the time building Execution which was a massive financial disruptor in the 90’s, challenging the might of the leading investment banks. This experience taught him many early learnings about success, failure, managing people and himself, in building out a very successful business.

Nick is a fascinating character who shares some great anecdotes and advice..

Here’s a few of the pearlers..
# On Covid-19: “I am bored and being stuck on a farm for a year, which with your own our children is deeply unpleasant” and “Retail has to wake-up and realise things have changed, with high street replaced by 1.2m UK people selling stuff their homes now”
# On the ills of investment banking: Where Nick attempted the evil of front running, through the creation of his first business, Execution. He explains the business premise was “Lets cross large blocks of stock in a hermetically sealed transaction, like Ebay”.
He speaks proudly about building a business that was cash-flow positive on the first day and he sold for cash in the Sovereign Debt crisis! Nick likened the sale experience to being like “re-arranging your garden furniture in the middle of a hurricane”
# On running a business:  Class advice here..  “When you have your own business, it is important to listen to people, but its also quite important not to listen to other people” and when you are an entrepreneur, “you don’t mind failing as well as its your failure, rather than other peoples”!
# On being a sole founder of business: “The Ups come fast in the early years, but you should never take your eye off the ball”. Nick admits he did and failed to stop looking forward, which inevitably led to failure in his first company
# On Data and building datasets to segment your audience, with solution based outcomes: He’s big on this and this led to the creation of Curation, Susst and the Fat Gladiator. Commenting further on the content: “one is for people interested in Gates and the other is for people interested in Greta”
# On ESG: Nick is full of praise that “Big corporate managements are really getting it now and they are genuinely trying to transition, something that Curation are capturing
# On Reddit and Gamestop: which was pertinent when we filmed this episode, to which Nick surmised.. “The situation was a the perfect storm, a moment when the weaponization of apps, the democratization of information on the internet and the socialisation of trading, all collided. It really spells the start of the end of the world of asset management. Why should one person managing billions of people’s money make this decision and not everyone”?
# On Peloton: Nick bought one to enjoy the joys of working out in lockdown (with one particular trainer), to counteract his high alcoholic consumption, that lockdown brought.

Quote of the episode:
“I’ve made millions of mistakes, but they have always been made with the best of intentions and how you react to them is important. This is how you learn as a founder. It’s like going to the Monaco grand prix, getting drunk the night before and listening to the cars the following day, with a tremendous hangover. Not my best move”.