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Evolving our mission: Our new purpose, and what it means for the future

Alexander
Co-Founder

9.30.2021

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4 min read

Where we started

It’s fair to say that the people at Marshmallow are generous, caring and empathetic. Not just to our customers, but to the world at large. So, our original mission to make insurance faster, more affordable and more inclusive appeals to a lot of the team here. Including me.

I’m passionate about making insurance accessible to as many people as possible, especially by offering it at the best price. Statistics like: 1 in 5 people have less than £100 to fall back on really drive home the importance of having affordable financial products. But, while scaling up, we’ve realised that we can strive to achieve these things and so much more.

Why a mission matters

The most ambitious and talented people love to solve problems that matter. That means they join and stay at the companies that can articulate the meaningful problems they're solving.

Or, in real terms, convincing great people to help build a multi-planetary species at SpaceX is easier than convincing great people to work at betting exchanges.

Yet, it’s no use pulling an overly ambitious mission out of thin air.

Missions need to be aspirational, but they also have to be grounded in reality, otherwise the company risks forgetting how they're helping people in the here and now. Likewise, missions have to be clear about both what they are, and what they aren’t. That's because clear missions inspire for the future while creating focus in the present.

Our new mission

We exist to reduce, and one day eliminate, the distress caused by accidents and disasters.

We expect to achieve this mission by:

Building new ways to support and empower people in their hour of need, investing in technology to make them safer in the first place, and making our products accessible to as many people as possible.

We are shifting our focus away from just providing affordable and accessible insurance. We now want to reduce the negative impact that unexpected calamities can have on millions of people every day.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt optimistic that technology companies have a real chance to improve the health and wealth of humanity. Not only via great leaps in scientific understanding but also due to the broad knowledge bases present within tech businesses: the ability to build incredible software, synthesise complex data, engage users and nudge behaviour, to name a few. Yet, a lot of technology companies are not incentivised to tackle the world’s biggest problems.

As Peter Thiel famously said: “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.”

On the flip side, insurers have been incentivised for centuries to tackle nothing but important problems. Insurers rebuild your home, fix your car, pay-out if you get sick — and in all of these instances insurers would much rather that these things never happened. Yet, largely speaking, they’ve had no idea how to go about reducing their customers’ chances of misfortune.

We want to be a company that prevents our customers being afflicted by unfortunate, avoidable events. And, we believe that we're the perfect company to take on this challenge.

As a licensed insurance company made up of technologists, we are economically incentivised to help our customers avoid disasters and we are technologically equipped to take on the problem.

While we have lots of ambition and increased technological capability, we currently have no idea how we’ll make leaps and bounds in this area.

Yet we believe important problems are soluble. That is what's so exciting, and humbling, about this challenge. I have no doubt that with hard work and ingenuity we can help solve many of the problems created by disasters, even though we don’t know how to at the moment.

Where we're going next

We don’t see our mission being limited to car insurance. Insurers can protect everything. Over time we see ourselves expanding outwards to protect more areas of everyday life.

As we embed this mission into the fabric of our being, we’ll start to ship features and products that encourage a safer world. Fewer car crashes, less distress on homeowners and, dare I say it, fewer people dying. By taking on this new mission, we envisage our customers becoming safer just by virtue of them being our customer.

I recognise this isn’t a mission that can be achieved overnight. This is something that requires focus for decades. But we recognise that it‘s often the worthiest problems that take the longest time to solve.

If this mission excites you, and you see yourself working in a company tackling difficult problems that impact people every day, please check out our careers page. We’re always on the lookout for exceptional people as we grow from 150 to 400+ people over the next couple of years!