Small Business Automation Solutions from Felix Rodriguez.
Felix Rodriguez, CEO of Finally, discussing Small Business Automation at a conference.

Entrepreneurship, AI, and Learning from History with Finally Founder Felix Rodriguez

Episode Overview

Episode Topic:

Welcome to an insightful episode of PayPod. We get into the innovative realm of Small Business Automation, with Felix Rodriguez, CEO of Finally, with a special focus on how technology is revolutionizing the way small and medium-sized businesses manage their financial processes. He shares his profound insights and experiences as a serial entrepreneur and discusses how leveraging AI and automation can significantly reduce the workload on business owners and CFOs, allowing them more freedom to focus on core business activities. The conversation illuminates the intersection of technology, strategy, and business efficiency, exploring how automation tools can be a game changer for small businesses.

Lessons You’ll Learn:

Throughout this enlightening podcast, listeners will gain valuable lessons on the transformative power of Small Business Automation. Felix Rodriguez outlines practical strategies for implementing technology to streamline operations, enhance accuracy in financial management, and improve overall business efficiency. The discussion also covers the importance of adapting to technological advancements and the role of automation in scaling businesses. This episode is a treasure trove of insights for anyone looking to leverage technology to elevate their business operations.

About Our Guest:

Felix Rodriguez is a seasoned entrepreneur and the CEO of Finally, a company that specializes in automating financial and bookkeeping tasks through AI. With a history of founding multiple startups, Felix brings a wealth of experience in leveraging technology to enhance business efficiency. He is passionate about helping small and medium-sized businesses thrive by reducing the complexities of financial management. Inspired by historical figures like Alexander the Great, Felix incorporates strategic thinking and leadership into his entrepreneurial endeavors, making him a visionary in the fintech space.

Topics Covered:

The episode covers a range of topics related to Small Business Automation, including the latest trends in fintech, the role of AI in financial services, and the impact of automation on daily business operations. Felix Rodriguez discusses the development and functionality of Finally’s platform, which integrates seamlessly with existing systems to provide comprehensive financial solutions. The conversation also touches on the challenges of entrepreneurship, the importance of strategic planning, and the future of AI in business.

Our Guest: Felix Rodriguez- Pioneering Small Business Automation with a Historical Twist

Felix Rodriguez, CEO of Finally, stands out as a prominent figure in the fintech industry, known for his passion for revolutionizing financial management through technology. Born into a family of entrepreneurs, Felix’s journey into the world of business was heavily influenced by his early experiences in the United States, where he witnessed his family’s commitment to their businesses and their community impact. This upbringing not only instilled in him a deep understanding of the challenges faced by small and medium-sized businesses but also fueled his drive to innovate and provide solutions that streamline complex business processes. Felix’s entrepreneurial spirit was further shaped by his education and early career experiences, where he developed a keen interest in sales and technology.

In the landscape of financial technology, Felix Rodriguez is a visionary who has successfully leveraged artificial intelligence to enhance business operations. His company, Finally, focuses on automating tedious financial tasks that can often bog down business owners. By integrating AI into the core services of Finally, Felix aims to alleviate the stress associated with financial management, allowing business leaders to focus more on strategic growth and less on back-end operations. His approach involves simplifying technology use, and making sophisticated tools accessible and understandable for non-technical users. Felix’s work reflects his belief in technology as an enabler that should bring simplicity and efficiency to business operations rather than complexity.

Beyond his technical and business acumen, Felix Rodriguez is deeply inspired by historical figures and the strategies they employed in their leadership and conquests. He often draws parallels between business and historical battles, using these analogies to shape his strategies in the business world. His office and personal spaces reflect this inspiration, adorned with symbols like Spartan helmets and other armors, which serve as a constant reminder of the blend of courage, strategy, and leadership required to run a successful business. This historical perspective enriches his approach to business, making him a unique and insightful leader in the fintech space. Felix’s leadership style is characterized by a mix of rigorous strategy, a relentless pursuit of innovation, and a genuine commitment to helping businesses succeed through the use of advanced technologies.

Episode Transcript

Felix Rodriguez: We started with the core premise of automation and AI, and that goes all the way back to when we got into 500 startups as part of batch 24. So the premise was that. If we can build a large enough proprietary data set, then build an AI that can run off of that and basically learn and keep getting better at being able to automate these repetitive tasks for the entire base of a customer. The simplest way to think about it is how many times a day do you think bookkeepers, accountants, and business owners classify McDonald’s as meals and entertainment?

Kevin Rosenquist:
Hey, welcome to PayPod, where we bring you conversations with the trailblazers shaping the future of payments and fintech. My name is Kevin Rosenquist, thanks for listening. Felix Rodriguez, a serial entrepreneur passionate about enhancing the efficiency of small and medium-sized businesses, draws inspiration from historical leaders like Alexander the Great. His company, Finally, leverages AI to automate financial and bookkeeping tasks, alleviating stress for business owners as well as CFOs. He’s a fascinating individual, and I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did. Joining me now is Felix Rodriguez. You describe yourself as a serial entrepreneur. What is it about founding a company that gets your blood pumping to the point that you want to do it again and again?

Felix Rodriguez: To be quite honest with you, I’m probably messed up in a good way. I come from a family of founders. When I came to the US, I was about five years old, and coming to the US, my uncles and my dad, they had their own business. That was like our version of the American dream. Growing up vis-à-vis that, I saw the impact they had on the community and the team, what they were building, and the customers. I got to interact with that. That was a pretty neat experience. I always remember my dad sending me with like a delivery guy, and he was like, “Hey, I’m going to give you this invoice, make sure the check is made out to my LLC, because if not, we won’t be able to cash it, and I’m not going to be able to pay for that private school.

Kevin Rosenquist: That’s motivation.

Felix Rodriguez: So I knew exactly what mattered, and I knew what my role was, just understanding how small businesses tick and what makes the country go. It was businesses like what my dad had and what my uncles had and what they were building. It’s just really the way the world works outside of these massive companies.

Kevin Rosenquist: Sure. You found a lot of different types of businesses from a website design company, internet marketing company, and most recently a fintech company. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Felix Rodriguez: I’ve always been, I’m going to say, passionate about helping businesses solve problems that have nothing to do with the core of their business. Our first business was helping small businesses get online, establish a presence get professional email. if you have a doctor’s office or if you’re running some kind of advertising agency that has nothing to do with your business but it’s really important, very similar to what we have today, where your finances, you can be a veterinarian or that same dentist, and your books have not much to do with that practice, but they have everything to do with it. At the core, being the owner or being that operator, you need to focus on customers, products, and services, not all the parts that make the business go, which unfortunately, I would say is boring to the business owners, but it can get them in trouble.

Kevin Rosenquist: Absolutely. Everyone wants to do the fun part of their business. It’s a lot of the back end, or the busy work if you will, is not exactly the fun part of being a business owner, generally.

Felix Rodriguez: No, for sure. I’m going to say, for me and the team, the inspiration is just making lives easier for them, like bringing clarity to that, all those processes that don’t have much to do with running, I’m going to say, operating your business. But they all have a lot. I think what’s happened with the industry is everybody said that when the smartphone came out computers weren’t going to be useful anymore. But I got to tell you, I keep buying more and more powerful computers, not just for the engineering team, but also for other team members. So it’s totally the reverse of what’s happening. The software has been the same. You have all these point solutions that have just added noise and complexity. So it’s really interesting what we’re building Finally, where we’re taking the all-in-one approach and we just want to make it human again.

Kevin Rosenquist: That’s a good point about technology and I just recently spent a lot of money on a new computer myself for marketing, editing, and graphics and stuff. It’s not like, that hasn’t gone away. That’s still a big thing.

Felix Rodriguez: It is, it’s huge. Imagine doing that on an iPhone or an iPad. Trying to do that, ain’t going to happen.

Kevin Rosenquist: Doesn’t work.

Felix Rodriguez: Does not work. So I think we have to be cognizant of that. Also, the reality is that there are always improvements. To me, improvement is the all-in-one. That looks like we’re going back to building suites and platforms. I’m going to say that for companies that are building a single product, it’s going to be harder.

Kevin Rosenquist: Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Felix Rodriguez: Absolutely. I think, one of the things that I’ve learned in building the various startups that I’ve had is that you want to be able to provide more value to those existing customers to drive, like net revenue retention. It’s easier to get an existing customer to buy more. Once they love you, you should be building more products that have some alignment with that core problem you’re solving. In our case, it’s finances and accounting for a business. That touches a lot of things. Money coming in and money going out. There are a lot of software programs and things that people have to do. So for us, we see that as an opportunity. The more easier we can make someone’s life operating these businesses, whether it’s a business owner or a CFO or a head of operations, the more valuable our company becomes and the stickier it becomes.

Kevin Rosenquist: Good point. We talked a little bit before we hit record about you getting inspiration from the Spartan helmet that’s behind you on camera and things. Where does that come from?

Felix Rodriguez: To me, it’s symbolic of how business and war have more in common than people think. it’s something that I use not just in my office but around the team and my home office. I draw inspiration from Alexander the Great. I love to have armor pieces around. It’s all about strategy. Building a company is so similar to that. You’re literally going in and taking over something, whether it’s maybe a product or some kind of market share. You’re putting down a flag, and then you’re expanding from there with the vision of what else you want to do and how you do that. So I think strategy has a lot to do with building a successful business and being, I’m going to say, somebody like Alexander, who took over most of the known world with smaller armies, it’s so representative of a startup. I don’t care how much money you’ve raised, or how many rounds you’ve done. But usually, the incumbents are so much larger. So it’s a story of David and Goliath over and over again.

Kevin Rosenquist: That’s a good point. I suppose another example or another analogy for war is that you’re constantly changing your strategy or at least updating your strategy and kind of being agile and rolling with the punches in business and war.

Felix Rodriguez: Absolutely. And preparation, having the best team, making sure they’re prepared, training. There’s so much training that goes into being a great warrior that the same thing applies in business and all the roles across an org, whether that’s through mentorship or continued education and reading. I think that’s the form of preparation for business.

Kevin Rosenquist: All Be honest. How many times have you seen the movie 300?

Felix Rodriguez: Too many times to count. Between that and Gladiator, it’s a terrible obsession.

Kevin Rosenquist: You could do worse with movies, though.

Felix Rodriguez: You can. Those are great. I’m going to say, that’s one of the things I splurge on. When I take a break at night, I try to watch at least one episode of any kind of series that’s about conquering, whether it’s something to do with Alexander or Achilles or any kind of series to do with Romans and Spartans and the Greek hoplites. I love all that kind of stuff.

Kevin Rosenquist: I don’t want to go off on a tangent, but have you seen Shogun on FX yet?

Felix Rodriguez: I have not seen Shogun. That’s the only bad thing about what we do is that I can only probably watch a single episode of anything at once. I’m limited to one per night.

Kevin Rosenquist: Well, it’s pretty good. It’s incredibly violent but it’s pretty good if you get a chance.

Felix Rodriguez: I’m gonna have to check that out for sure.

Kevin Rosenquist: All Back to business. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, obviously. What are 2 or 3 characteristics that a successful entrepreneur must have?

Felix Rodriguez: I’m gonna say, you have to be unbreakable. There is so much stuff you’re going to go through that it can break 99.9% of people. So many reasons to quit, so many reasons to give up, and you have to be relentless.

Kevin Rosenquist: Where do you get that strength from?

Felix Rodriguez: I think I derive it from seeing my dad build a business and how I saw that growing up. I don’t know. Look, maybe it’s unfair for me to say you got to see it, and you got to maybe be born with it. Because I can’t tell you where I got it from. But my mom would always tell me you can do anything. Blindly, believing that, like Alexander the Great’s mom used to tell him he could do anything. It’s so instrumental for someone going out, facing the world, and taking on all these things that seem undoable. The best way for me to phrase it is, who would have thought that a kid from the Bronx would raise over $100 million for his fintech company? So, for a kid from the Bronx to do that, it’s not easy.

Kevin Rosenquist: No. As you said, it breaks up most people. I feel like most people aren’t comfortable with only being able to have time to watch one episode of something a night or to be as busy as a founder or an entrepreneur has to be. So do you believe that that’s an innate quality or can people work towards getting there to become entrepreneurs or to improve themselves as entrepreneurs?

Felix Rodriguez: To be quite honest with you, it’s one of the things that I, personally, struggle with, I don’t know how to not be so attached, and so much of a workaholic to the business to the detriment of other parts of life. The best example I can give is, before starting Finally, I was training as a martial artist myself and my kids, and I got to the point where I was a black belt. But as soon as I started the business, I had to give that up. Because these start-ups will take everything you have and then some.

Kevin Rosenquist: Is that a difficult balance?

Felix Rodriguez: To the normal world, you seem abnormal. But I wish I could put in more time. It’s probably not healthy and it’s something that I struggle with is something that I gotta work on. There’s always something to work on when it comes to a startup. What I’ve learned is, if you could disconnect for a day, a week, that’s probably the best thing. So I try hard to do that. I’m not the best at it but I’m trying.

Kevin Rosenquist: It’s hard to be an entrepreneur and have a life outside of that, or at least a significant life outside of that.

Felix Rodriguez: For me, what I’ve noticed is when I’m away from the office on the weekends, I love to be looking for talent and recruiting. You can get some of your best team members on the weekends when no recruiters are reaching out and no one else is reaching out. So I’m like a scout, always looking for talent.

Kevin Rosenquist: You’re like a sports scout. That’s a good analogy. You were assistant vice president of the IT department at Park Avenue Bank in the past. Is that the only job you’ve ever had where you worked for someone else where you were like, tried that, no, thanks, I’m doing my own thing?

Felix Rodriguez: Prior to that, I’ve been enamored with sales since I used to see my dad go in and do proposals and win deals and stuff. So for me, fresh out of high school, the first real job I had was getting my series 7 and 63, and I went and worked for a firm for like five, six months, and then kind of noticed that that business wasn’t for me, that I needed to go back to tech. So what I would say is, the bank really taught me a lot. It taught me how to deal with regulators. Fast forward to today, I used to tell my friends, “Hey, I think I could run this bank.” I was only like 20, 21. They were like, “What are you talking about?”

Kevin Rosenquist: They’re like, this guy is super arrogant.

Felix Rodriguez: Look, it was from the sense that in my mind, I had a vision of creating products for businesses, utilizing the infrastructure of what a bank means. I got a chance to touch a lot of systems, everything from the Swift systems. I was responsible for creating the networks and the infrastructures to move money all across the world using these mainframes and these computers. I became enamored with that, just the way money flowed.

Kevin Rosenquist: I was going to ask you what was your first foray into fintech. Was that the time that you got involved with fintech?

Felix Rodriguez: No. I would say, no. Much, much later. Because there was no such thing as fintech when I started working at the bank, when I first started there, we were worried about Y2K.

Kevin Rosenquist: Yes, I remember that.

Felix Rodriguez: So after we survived that and the clock turned and we noticed that the world didn’t shut down, then we started working on things like firewalls and switches and making the network faster, and the internet and hosting early applications on the web and disaster recovery and of course, dealing with regulators and auditors, the government, because a bank is a highly regulated business.

Kevin Rosenquist: Sure. So you guys went hardcore cybersecurity after Y2K?

Felix Rodriguez: You had to, you have to do that and you had to do disaster recovery in a big way.

Kevin Rosenquist: When did you first get into fintech?

Felix Rodriguez: I would say, my foray into fintech happened about five years ago when we started Finally and our thought was we’ve started all these businesses and we’ve sold some of them. The commonality in all of them, at least for us, was super vital to have a thorough understanding of where you stood money-wise. What were the levers to go faster, to go slower? To be sustainable? For us, our motivation was we were always dealing with investors in aboard, and we had some kind of component where we had additional responsibilities beyond the government and compliance. So I thought, hey, every business needs to at least be compliant. They need to be able to file taxes and stay out of trouble, not get any penalties. Secondarily, a lot of them want to get a loan from a bank or something, raise capital, or eventually sell. You need all those things in order to get all those things done, you need a good set of understanding of your books and your finances. So I would say that was the inspiration. We had a grip on it because we had several companies where we were reporting to our investors and then we also had sold businesses. So we knew how vital it was, and we had also borrowed money from banks and things of that nature. So we knew that man, if we could automate that, this is like a big pain in the butt for everyone. It was so boring and so repetitive. And we got the idea and I said, you know what? There’s this thing called AI five years ago, and I was like, I want to build an AI, finance automation platform. I want to start with the banks and the credit cards, the biggest outflows of cash, and the biggest ways that you get cash in. That was the logic.

Kevin Rosenquist: In your experience, are a lot of small and medium-sized businesses lacking in proper finance management? Because you mentioned compliance and taxes and all that, did you find that a lot of businesses are just woefully insufficient in what they’re doing?

Felix Rodriguez: What we found is having VPs of finance and CFOs, be part of our story in prior companies that when you hire that kind of person in or even an accountant, they want an x-ray of your business to be able to give you advice. So what we found lacking was, regardless of the size of the business, most of the time they didn’t have that good x-ray to be interpreted by that expert. Of course, that’s a good set of healthy books and systems that tie in all your finances.

Kevin Rosenquist: One of the things that your company Finally offers is, is sort of an all-in-one kind of solution. I also saw that you integrate within QuickBooks and Salesforce and things like that. I was curious because it seems like what Finally can do also is done somewhat in QuickBooks, so as far as finance management and all that. So how does that how do you integrate the two so that they work together?

Felix Rodriguez: Absolutely. What we’ve noticed is that systems like QuickBooks have become very complex. You usually have to be that head of finance or something to derive a lot of value from it. So what Finally doing is, making it simple again. I think our long-term goal is to be the platform with the openness and connectivity to a ledger, like what you’re talking about QuickBooks is, it really is just a ledger with some whistles. But I wouldn’t say that it’s easy to use. It’s actually gotten harder and harder and harder.

Kevin Rosenquist: I 100% agree with you.

Felix Rodriguez: So we want to make it simple again.

Kevin Rosenquist: The online QuickBooks, to me, is a lot more clunky than the old-school one in a lot of ways. But you don’t need QuickBooks. You can do it all through Finally. You don’t need QuickBooks, but you can integrate it.

Felix Rodriguez: The core premise of one of the products that we have, which is, let’s say our bookkeeping automation, currently, you could bring your own ledger, it could be QuickBooks, it could be Zero, you could bring any ledger, and we’ll connect to it and work with that ledger. Because in essence, what we’re providing is the automation, the AI that’s doing all the work that then eventually gets pushed into a system like a ledger. We have some things in the pipeline that we’re working on that, could potentially be, I’m going to say, in the future, something that doesn’t need a ledger.

Kevin Rosenquist: That would be awesome. I think that your company’s mission seems to be removing stress from business owners, making lives easier, and automating tasks. How much can Finally truly automate?

Felix Rodriguez: We started with the core premise of automation and AI, and that goes all the way back to when we got into 500 startups as part of batch 24. So the premise was that. If we can build a large enough proprietary data set, then build an AI that can run off of that and basically learn and keep getting better at being able to automate these repetitive tasks for the entire base of a customer. The simplest way to think about it is how many times a day do you think bookkeepers, accountants, and business owners classify McDonald’s as meals and entertainment?

Kevin Rosenquist: That’s true.

Kevin Rosenquist: I like that analogy. That’s good. Because I do my books and my wife’s business books and I’m so tired of hitting confirm categorize. That’s funny that you brought that up.

Felix Rodriguez: You’re like, didn’t I do this last month or didn’t I do this like six months ago? Why am I doing this again?

Kevin Rosenquist: Well, what’s funny too is a lot of times it tries to guess the category, which most of the time it’s right, but you still have to confirm it. So it’s not technically automated.

Felix Rodriguez: No, it’s not. I think if you start with that at your core, to be fair, look, we started with that premise. So everything we built has been with AI in mind from day one. Our second product and I’m going to call it our second and third products has been a corporate card and an expense management platform. As we started building that, we were thinking like, “Hey, when someone submits a receipt, are we going to ask them to go do it manually?” It’s sort of like a half-baked solution. So what we did from inception when you submit a receipt we have AI that’s parsing it and just putting it in the category. If you’re a control freak hey man we could give you the final say on where you want it. But at least let’s get you most of the way there or all the way there.

Kevin Rosenquist: I was going to ask you about that. Do you get pushback from business owners who are nervous about being less hands-on with their accounting?

Felix Rodriguez: I think, overall, they can always review their books and make adjustments. So I think that’s the truth of accounting even until you file your taxes, you can make adjustments. So you should take it easier. You shouldn’t be so stressed about it. Ultimately, the worst worst worst that can happen is that you classify an expense in the wrong bucket. You could always amend your return. That’s the worst that could happen. You don’t want to do that. But if you had to, you can do that. So I would say that the way the system is set up, it’s going to get you over 95% of the way there. Then you always have the ability to give your input. Over time, our eye just gets better and takes your feel for your business on how you uniquely would treat. I’m going to say a transaction, how do you like to see it labeled?

Kevin Rosenquist: We, obviously, talk about AI on this show all the time. Your company is an AI company now. You said, 2019 is when Finally was founded, correct?

Felix Rodriguez: We got into 500 startups in 2018, the end of 2018, and the program kicked off in 2019.

Kevin Rosenquist: Okay, 2019. Obviously, a lot of people didn’t understand AI outside of TV and movies until ChatGPT came out at the end of 2022. When did you see the potential for AI that helped propel Finally?

Felix Rodriguez: I was the first sales rep in the company, so it’s just me and my co-founder. After I sold the first ten accounts, she told me one thing that stuck with me forever. She says, I know you’re focused on growth, you’re always focused on sales. But if you take out that customer that’s using Zero, count me out. You’re working on that one yourself. Because I’m good at QuickBooks. I don’t want to go learn another ledger right now. I said, all right, I’ll take it on. Man, it was it was bad. This customer was behind like over a year. They had a lot of transactions and just so much data and it literally took me several weeks to get that customer caught up. So at that point, after doing it myself, I noticed, wow, this is so repetitive. What does an engineer do? My background is in network engineering. So there’s no way I could see myself or humans doing this themselves. So that was the first sense that I had and I said, we’re going to we’re going to build an AI and going back to Greek mythology, which I love. I said, we’re going to call it Prometheus. It never dies, it never sleeps, it’s never allowed to do anything but get the shit done.

Kevin Rosenquist: In a larger sense of AI, do you see the average person adopting the technology in larger, life-changing ways, or are we going to get to a point where we have virtual assistants like in the movie Her?

Felix Rodriguez: I believe it, but I think it’s specialized. In our case, our AIs are trained to deal with finance and business processes. So think about workflows and things that humans would have to do to get their finances in order. Our AI will certainly do that. Then in addition to that, the future of it is to be able to give some advice off of that. Remember going back to that X-ray I talked about, having the X-ray and then having the interpreter, be able to give you some sensible action points, because what I think the business owner needs is. They don’t need to get into the minutia of it. They need to get into the sensible, actionable points that they have to worry about.

Kevin Rosenquist: When you’re talking to potential customers, is there nervousness about using AI, or are business owners pretty much just ready to go in and utilize the technology?

Felix Rodriguez: I think as long as they could get a clean perspective of where they’re at and the insights, they want the insights. So they’re like, how can you get me that insight? How is it that I could stay as hands-off as possible? Because they’re doing something else. They’re operating a different business. That’s not the function of what they do. Even CFOs, they want to give advice. They don’t want to be stuck in the mud of things. Now, it doesn’t mean we don’t give them the ability to dissect and to go in to get comfort. They always have that.

Kevin Rosenquist: It feels like there are people who are still mistrustful of AI, just in general. Do you see that in your business?

Felix Rodriguez: I think we see a lot of openness. I think the reality is, is that there are less accounting, and finance people graduating today than there were before. So there’s a tremendous need and folks are looking for a way to augment that.

Kevin Rosenquist: That’s an excellent take.

Felix Rodriguez: I think technology is being seen as an enabler. Look, maybe in old times, accounting firms might have been threatened by it. But we’re also sharing with them how it can make them and allow them to focus on what matters, which is higher value services. They should be doing advice, advisory-type stuff, scaling-type stuff, and planning. That’s what they should be doing if they want to be stuck doing repetitive stuff like classifying McDonald’s when you swipe a card, go for it.

Kevin Rosenquist: It seems like there are a lot of people who think that it’s going to take their jobs or take their business or whatever. But the reality is, at least I think what you’re saying, and I totally agree with you is, it doesn’t have to replace you. It can make your life a hell of a lot easier. You just need to learn how to make that happen.

Felix Rodriguez: To be candid with you, though, it is a replacement for a lot of roles, those roles that don’t go to the next level. If you are not the type of person that adds value or your role does not, if you have an introverted role or introverted-type of person, AI has a good chance of replacing you, but what it’s going to do is, it’s going to take the tasks and the flows that you used to do, and then it’s going to allow someone who’s an extrovert to capitalize on that.

Kevin Rosenquist: You feel like an extrovert to me.

Felix Rodriguez: I think I was born that way, but I would take that. Thank you.

Kevin Rosenquist: In the past, you received the Business Person of the Year award issued by the Hispanic Business and Professional Association of Westchester. The topic of diversity in fintech has come up a few times on the show. Or lack of diversity, I suppose, is a better way to put it. It’s an industry that’s been largely dominated by white dudes, obviously. Do you see change happening in the fintech world? Is it getting more diverse?

Felix Rodriguez: Look, for me, I came to this country when I was five. I know where I was born, I was born in the DR. But I’m so American, man. I’ve never thought of myself in any kind of way and I’m just another guy, man. Throw me in with everybody else. I’ve never seen myself any other way. I think it’s a disadvantage to think of yourself in any other way.

Kevin Rosenquist: I like that. That’s a good approach. So what’s next, Felix? What’s the next company you’re going to start?

Felix Rodriguez: Listen, I think Finally could be a multi-product public company someday. One of the things that I’ve learned from my past, building companies and selling them, my first one was kind of hurtful in the sense that I had a three-year non-compete and I couldn’t even talk to some of my friends. When you sell a company, you have to think about that. With this, I sold three companies. I think Finally is here for the long run. I can build something that is multi-product, creates amazing retention, high net revenue retention, and high revenue from customers. Because we’re obsessed with drawing continuous value from our customers and making their lives easier. To be fair, we got the market for it. Finally is an AI, fintech, and SaaS company. Could I ask for more? Keeps you busy. I don’t think I can, so I’m just dreaming of Finally’s next products and features and improvements. That’s really what I try to focus on.

Kevin Rosenquist: Would you say you’re finally done being a serial entrepreneur?

Felix Rodriguez: I love that, but I would rather think about it. From Finally, you could get everything you need to run your business in one place.

Kevin Rosenquist: I like that. Well, Felix, it was great talking to you. I appreciate you being here. Thanks for your time.

Felix Rodriguez: I appreciate you having me, Kevin. Thank you.