NerdWallet offers financial recommendations anyone can trust. The amount of financial information on the internet is overwhelming, and often unhelpful or untrustworthy when it comes to making hard decisions. This is why NerdWallet founders Tim and Jake feel the need to create resources that consumers can trust.
NerdWallet is committed to building tools and delivering content and recommendations that are clear, unbiased, and personalized, so that consumers can’t stop wasting money on things they don’t fully understand.
MO: How did you come up with the concept of NerdWallet and how does it work?
Jake: It all started with credit cards. A few years ago, our CEO Tim was looking for a new card and had gotten some recommendations from friends about which cards were good. He turned to the internet to find more information about them, but had trouble finding anything. And it quickly became clear that these websites were intentionally hiding consumer-friendly cards that didn’t pay them commissions – they were allowing short-term profit motives to prevent them from providing a useful service to their users. Examples like this exist throughout the financial space, so we decided to build a company that was actually helpful and would serve consumers first, with data-driven tools, comprehensive choices, and transparent recommendations.
MO: Why should our readers check out NerdWallet?
Jake: Because they want to save money! The fact is, the world of personal finance gets more and more complicated every day, and most of the players claiming to help you understand it are optimizing for their own interests rather than yours. The only thing that doesn’t lie is the data, and that’s what we give you.
MO: Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit?
Jake: I want to say yes, but I spent more than six years in a corporate environment that wasn’t always conducive to it. So NerdWallet is my attempt to make up for that and build something interesting.
MO: How did you manage to get mentioned in a Money Magazine cover story before you had even officially “launched”?
Jake: We came into this whole running-an-internet-company thing pretty haphazardly. Back in 2010, we didn’t think to do a closed beta or anything like that. We just threw the site up on the web before it was complete and were adding new features and new credit cards every day. Around that time, a journalist from Money was doing a cover story on the best financial websites, and she came across our website. She somehow managed to see through our atrocious UI and gave us best credit card site, over established players like Billshrink!
MO: What’s one marketing strategy that’s worked well for you so far?
Jake: Our most successful marketing strategy is our content itself. We work hard to produce quality, unique content about personal finance, and while it’s not generally the sexiest topic of conversation, we apply our own data-nerd spin and our Gen Y voice, and consumers and media really respond to it.
MO: Can you elaborate on having a long-term plan and a focus on the consumer and why you can only carry it out as a private, independent company?
Jake: If we were to take money from outside investors, it would necessarily compromise our mission. We intentionally under-monetize our products because it’s the only way to do right by the consumer. By adding someone to our board whose goal would be a quick exit, our focus would have to be on short-term profits, and we would hate that.
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