Eco Explore I: The What and The Why

Using a launch event to focus the world’s attention is a simple trick that has been foundational to the success of Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Marc Benioff. If event-based marketing has been effective for the most successful founder/CEOs in the history of our industry, why aren’t you doing it?
David Sacks

A few weeks after hosting Eco’s first-ever event, Eco Explore I, we’re checking back in to share some reflections with you. The event far exceeded our expectations, especially given we didn’t have a basis for comparison. Over 1,800 people attended, tuning in for an average of 97 minutes, and registering an average satisfaction level of 8.9/10 for what they saw. 

We’re just relieved it was a virtual event — otherwise, we would have run out of seats. 

If you were at Eco Explore I, or you watched it afterward, you noticed that we put together a mixture of product updates and more abstract discussions of finance, the current banking system, and crypto. Our goal was to share with our community — as transparently as possible — Eco’s views of the problems plaguing our financial system, the invisible yet significant ways those problems impact us all, and how we intend to start fixing them. 

It is critical we provide our community with an insider’s perspective on what we’re doing at Eco. We are asking you to buy into a long-term vision of a “Smart Money” future where their interests are fully aligned with those of their financial service providers — and that buy-in requires us to be open and accountable. 

Eco’s #1 goal is to maximize the wealth of its community — a far cry from the status quo in financial services, where banks have no choice but to profit off their customers’ losses.

As Andy, our CEO, said in his keynote address:

Community is at the very core of what we're trying to achieve at Eco. We can't achieve the full extent of our ambitions without the support of a community that shares our vision and wants and believes in it as much as we do, and we must reward that belief in order to sustain it.

The Eco Explore series was conceived as both a resource for Eco’s community to learn and a yardstick to measure our progress. By committing ourselves as a company to a regular event open to everyone, we’ve forced our own hand on delivering results to our community. In announcing two new upcoming features — Eco Bill Pay and the Eco Card — at Eco Explore I, not only did we signal a major step toward Eco users consolidating all of their everyday finances, but we also set critical milestones to review at Eco Explore II later this fall.  

Indeed, we have consciously designed Explore as a public forum for us to be held accountable for our past commitments. During Eco Explore I, Andy fielded audience questions for nearly 40 minutes, addressing as many of the 140+ submitted as time would allow. Going forward, we’ll be making even more time available for audience questions and building more interactivity into the programming across the board. 

With Explore, we also want to deliver value to the audience that extends beyond their relationship with Eco by introducing you to some of the world’s leading experts on the topics core to their financial wellbeing. We invited Brian Brooks, the former Acting Comptroller of the Currency and Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase, to address all the ways consumers don’t understand how the current banking system actually works and, in turn, does not work in their interests. Understanding how broken the current system is, and all the places consumers are losing, is a prerequisite for making better decisions about your money.

And we asked top crypto investor (and Eco backer), Arianna Simpson of a16z, to cut through the jargon and misperceptions that surround crypto and DeFi. Arianna’s contributions were critical because the better people understand crypto, the more they will see it as a better alternative to the broken system and infrastructure Brian described. Though Eco is not overtly a crypto product, we are powered by that technology, and understanding it helps our users orient themselves.

While we feel great about Eco Explore I, we’re intent on making each event bigger and better than the last. We’ll be upping our production values, engaging more experts with important insights to share and we’ll be making members of the Eco team directly available. 

Surpassing ourselves also means taking stock of the critical feedback we did receive — which ranged from running too long to requests for more opportunities for the audience to engage with the speakers. We heard you. Lastly, we are aware that the audience had plenty of questions that we didn’t answer — at least not just yet.

Despite some critical self-reflections, the bottom line on Eco Explore I was that it has already become a barometer for the strength and passion of our growing community. If Eco is going to create a movement, we need people to show up — with Eco Explore I, you did. For us, this early success is an emblem of the community’s trust, which we don’t take lightly. So rest assured we’ll be upping our game for Eco Explore II. We hope to see you there. #keepyoureyespeeled

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