How Community Inspires Product with Sly Tanenbaum, Urvin Finance

One year ago, an online movement on Reddit led GameStop stock to skyrocket. The moment awakened a widespread conversation about retail investment, meme stocks, and who actually has power over the markets. Now, everyday retail investors are demanding more transparency and education in investing—and they’ve embraced community to get there. 

Urvin Finance Head of Design Sly Tanenbaum came from that community to his current role building The Terminal, a digital product that will connect investors and provide them with the in-demand resources they need to make smarter decisions. In this episode, Sly walks through the compelling link between digital communities and product, and how product leaders can be responsive to a new public desire for community-led products.  

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  • Communities can lead to products “bigger than the sum of their parts.” 
  • The challenge in creating community-led products comes in sifting through “signals” vs. “noise.”

Things To Listen For

  • [1:30] Background on Urvin Finance and what the company hopes to achieve 
  • [2:30] Exploring the origins of the online investor community 
  • [5:30] Understanding how the community talks and APEs (“all people equal”) 
  • [12:00] Community is appealing because “conversations are free” 
  • [13:30] Comparing the Urvin Finance community to what Reddit is missing  
  • [15:00] The cost to building a community outside of Reddit 
  • [15:30] Understanding the costs and benefits of building community-led products   
  • [17:00] Identifying common pain points in the online finance community 
  • [17:30] What Urvin means by “distributed financial analysis”  
  • [18:00] How community can create something “bigger than the sum of its parts” 
  • [21:00] How The Terminal is trying to bring data to one place  
  • [25:00] The challenge: managing a community-led product design process
  • [26:30] Understanding “signal vs. noise”  
  • [28:00] “You have to push into the bubble without breaking the bubble” 
  • [29:00] “How much do you need to know about the industry you’re designing for to be good at design?”
  • [31:00] Learn from the people who represent or have influence in the community you’re building for 
  • [36:00] How Urvin thinks about Andrew Chen’s “cold start problem”
  • [36:30] Why education will be The Terminal’s product “wild card”