The team here at GROUNDFLOOR recently engaged in an important debate about complexity vs. simplicity as we prepared for some exciting updates you'll start seeing soon. We want to hear what you think. Almost two years ago, Nick and I started with a big mission: To help the Internet change finance. We believe that using the Web to open access, re-intermediate middlemen and increase transparency can translate into more opportunity for more people.

Broadening access to financial opportunity that was previously restricted to the wealthy and well-connected has at least two implications. Inviting more people to participate means our community of microlenders:

  1. join us with a broad range of experience with financial concepts (for example, anyone with a business degree and professional investing experience knows about Internal Rate of Return, but most people don't appreciate its nuances), and
  2. might not have enough time and/or money to invest to justify detailed and lengthy analysis of a specific loan being considered for funding.

That sets the stage for the debate: As we continue developing our community, should we

  • a) embrace complexity and risk losing people who won't bother getting into it? or,
  • b) embrace simplicity and risk losing people who want to dig into and debate the finer points?

Of course, we want to do both--to have our pie and eat it too. We'll always do our best to serve something for everyone. As a startup, however, we have to make choices. Should we spend our resources and focus our energy on educating and explaining, or simplifying and clarifying? Should there be more detail, or less? In the end, our choices will always be guided by the precept that everyone is capable of understanding complex concepts, but investing with GROUNDFLOOR should never require that you spend the time to do so.

Exciting changes are coming soon. You'll start seeing some of them in the coming weeks. We think you'll like the way we're opening up the future of high-yield microlending to more people, more efficiently and better than ever. Have an opinion to share, or something you want to see more or less of? Let us know in the comments below or email us at founders@groundfloor.us.