Lykeion was founded by two friends, Tim and Diego, who met while working together in the Cayman Islands (actually not laundering money, although this is exactly what money launderers would say). Up until they met, both of them had approached their careers in a very similar, very linear fashion; steadily working up the ranks of investment banks and big corporations in exchange for promotions, prestigious titles, corporate Amex cards, and branded Patagonia vests.
This “standard finance track” life continued until, on opposite sides of the globe, they simultaneously underwent some proper soul searching, actively trying to find balance between a career and a life of meaning, outside of the drudgery of trading floors, spreadsheets, and the general angsty malaise that a lifetime spent out of alignment with your beliefs can leave you in. This process led them, a Californian living in Texas and an Italian-Portuguese living in London, to exit the corporate world, burn the Patagonia vests, and roll the dice at the same startup on the same hot and salty rock of an island in the middle of the Caribbean.
We (now transitioning to first-person as we only had a PR budget for a thousand words) quickly realized that although there is a demographic chasm between us (Millennial vs Gen Z, lazy Italian vs hardworking American, tall dark and handsome vs not so tall but still a solid 6), we shared a similar set of values and beliefs. Chief among them is that:
We decided to build a business around #4, as the former three are painfully difficult to monetize (trust us we tried).
So what’s so broken about today’s financial content?
The combination of the above leaves consumers spending an exorbitant amount of time trying to figure out what is relevant vs what is noise. This leads to one of two outcomes; they either disengage altogether, or they spend their entire waking lives trying to figure out what the hell is actually going on.
This is the plight of the information age – an overabundance of information at the expense of meaningful curation.
This is where we come in. We wanted something better.
Our goal is to bring the relevant conversations to the forefront, cutting out the noise, the verbiage, the elitism, the exclusivity, the stuffiness. We get high quality, curated information, delivered in a way that is approachable(1), engaging, and available to anyone who wants it.
So, we met one night in New York and over a dozen or so whiskey sours on empty stomachs, an idea turned into a plan. Over the next few months of dodging the pandemic across multiple time zones with zero clue how to operationalize this thing, a website was launched. People seemed to like our content and we started getting subscribers. About a dozen pivots later (and a few more to come) and a lot more subscribers, we’re writing an ‘About Us’ story hoping you’ve gotten this far!
Our original motto was:
“We’re not journalists who learned finance. We’re finance people who learned to write”.
This is what we believe separates us from most other finance brands. Everyone in our contributor network has an extensive background from various parts of the finance world without being overly “institutionalized”. From research to capital markets, to hedge funds, to venture capital…we’re only able to overcome our crippling level of imposter syndrome because we’ve actually been there, living the stuff we write about. Finance practice came first, learning how to write came second. Attempts at humor is a work in progress.
We like to think that we’re more than just a finance brand but don’t want to call ourselves a “community” like every company out there does. However, we’ve yet to find a better nomenclature in that sense, so in the meantime, you should know that we finish off each of our newsletters with the location of where we are in the world (most of us travel year-round). If you’re local, drop us a tweet/email, and let’s grab a drink…beers on us.
Cheers, to something better.
See you out there,
Tim & Diego, Lykeion co-founders
Note: “Approachable” means that instead of the feeling of reading a 150-page equity research report in a suit and tie with an extra starched shirt collar and a pair of your undergrad cufflinks in a beige cubicle with blindingly bright fluorescent lighting and the thermostat set to a frigid 68 degrees of recycled city air at 2AM on a Saturday, it’s more like reading a better version of that same report on a beach in Santa Teresa wearing nothing but a swimsuit and a pair of Bureo sunglasses underneath a 7 UV sun with the sound of supple waves rolling in the background at 2PM after waking from a post-surf siesta on a day that doesn’t matter because you’ve stopped caring what day it is.