Personal Finance
June 15, 2023

William's Journey: From Modeling to Ostrich - A Path of Diverse Influence

William's Journey: From Modeling to Ostrich - A Path of Diverse Influence
Personal Finance
June 15, 2023

William's Journey: From Modeling to Ostrich - A Path of Diverse Influence

Alex Irigoyen
Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer
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From Modeling to Entrepreneurship: A Diverse Background Shaping Success

William's journey began during his childhood, where he ventured into modeling and commercials. Growing up in a creative family, with a comedian grandfather and an actress mother, he developed a passion for the entertainment industry. A pivotal moment came when he participated in a commercial for Cracker Barrel, a Southern food restaurant chain. The experience not only allowed him to have fun but also made him realize the potential of combining enjoyable activities with entrepreneurship. This early exposure planted the seed of financial independence and sparked his interest in personal finance.

Continuing his journey, William pursued a degree in international relations and spent a year teaching English in rural Thailand. Despite the limited stipend he received, he managed to save a significant amount of money while exploring Southeast Asia. This experience highlighted the importance of financial literacy and building a strong financial foundation from an early age.

Upon returning, William sought to dive into entrepreneurship, driven by his desire to make a difference in the personal finance landscape. He initially ventured into sales, which not only provided an opportunity to leverage his time and maximize earning potential but also aligned with the lessons he learned as a child. His foray into technology sales, working with startups in the enterprise tech sector, eventually led him to the world of tech and artificial intelligence (AI).

Working for an AI market research startup in New York deepened William's understanding of the potential of technology in the financial domain. With valuable experiences and knowledge gained from his previous roles, he decided to start his own company, Ostrich. The inspiration behind Ostrich came from recognizing the limitations of traditional financial literacy education, which often failed to translate into actionable behaviors that lead to better financial outcomes.

Ostrich's Approach: Helping Users Build Credit, Emphasizing Saving, and Introducing Investing

Ostrich aims to bridge the gap between financial literacy and action by providing a platform that incentivizes individuals to take control of their personal finances. The app offers a straightforward onboarding process, beginning with basic questions to gauge the user's financial health. It then provides a Financial Health score, comparing the user's situation to their peers and suggesting simple actions for improvement.

Ostrich focuses on three main areas: helping users build credit safely, emphasizing the importance of saving and emergency funds, and introducing the concept of investing and the power of compound interest. To enhance engagement and accountability, the app incorporates social challenges, enabling users to join challenges with friends and earn rewards as they make progress toward their financial goals. By combining gamification, social interaction, and incentives, Ostrich aims to make personal finance management more accessible and engaging for young adults, particularly college-age individuals.

Regarding investing, Ostrich offers recommendations for beginners, partnering with platforms like Acorns, which facilitate easy entry into the market through low-cost index funds. The app encourages a set-it-and-forget-it approach to investing, allowing users to focus on other essential aspects of their lives while building a strong financial foundation.

Gamification and Social Challenges: Making Personal Finance Engaging for Young Adults

During the interview, William also discussed common financial mistakes made by young individuals. He emphasized the significance of taking action early, even with limited resources, to establish a solid financial base. These actions include using high-yield savings accounts, exploring alternative ways to build credit beyond credit cards, and starting simple investment strategies.

Reflecting on the potential impact of AI in personal finance, William acknowledged the emergence of products that aim to make investing advice more accessible. He recognized the influence of AI algorithms in trading systems and believed that AI has the potential to democratize access to financial advisors. While acknowledging the valuable role.

Silicon Alley: Unveiling Entrepreneurial Journeys and Inspiring Insights

The remarkable journey of the podcast "Silicon Alley," by William, has amassed over 120 episodes focusing on entrepreneurship. While primarily centered around the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem of New York, the podcast also covers broader themes and guests beyond the city's boundaries. The podcast delves into the personal stories of founders, investors, and other industry professionals, aiming to inspire and educate listeners. With a format resembling "How I Built This," the show combines storytelling with tactical advice, leaving the audience with practical takeaways for their own entrepreneurial endeavors. William’s initial motivation to connect with like-minded individuals during the pandemic led to incredible networking opportunities, including encounters with billionaires and other influential figures. Overall, the podcast has become a valuable platform for fostering connections, learning from exceptional guests, and engaging in meaningful conversations that transcend everyday life experiences.

Navigating Career Choices: Traditional vs. Startup - Insights from William Glass

In conclusion, the decision of whether to pursue a traditional career or dive headfirst into the startup world remains highly individualized. As shared by William Glass, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. His personal journey, encompassing both corporate and startup experiences, has taught him the importance of exploring various paths. While corporate settings offer valuable skill development and stable paychecks, startups provide unparalleled opportunities for accelerated learning, greater responsibilities, and ownership. The key, according to Glass, lies in embracing experimentation and resisting the temptation to settle for the first job that pays well. By venturing into different roles aligned with their interests, individuals can unlock a world of learning, skill acquisition, networking, and career growth. Glass acknowledges that circumstances may change, and external factors may necessitate taking any available job. However, he emphasizes the immense value in seeking out fulfilling and stimulating opportunities, nurturing connections, and continuously building one's professional trajectory. Ultimately, the choice between a traditional career and a startup adventure rests upon the individual's aspirations, preferences, and adaptability. The journey of self-discovery and professional growth awaits those willing to explore and carve their unique path in the ever-evolving landscape of business and entrepreneurship.

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