“Financial products are emotional,” said Sean Devlin, Wisetack’s new Head of Product. But he’s confident the experience of using those products can be less intimidating.
“Borrowing money can be intimidating,” Devlin said. “So, how can we make the experience of something like fixing an air conditioner in an Arizona summer feel more comfortable for someone?”
Devlin plans to continue the vision of Wisetack’s founders, whom he connected with when the company was still just an idea. “From the beginning, I believed in the way Bobby, Liz, and Kolya wanted to solve the problem of providing fair and transparent financial products that are easy to use for people in the real world.”
Devlin was the Managing Director of Fintech for Housecall Pro at the time and became Wisetack’s first software partner. He worked closely with the Wisetack team for years while building out the payments business for Housecall Pro, and was continually impressed with Wisetack’s technology and focus on customers.
Devlin’s obvious next step was joining Wisetack to continue growing the product to deliver a similar impact for other software providers, small business owners, and consumers.
Wisetack CEO Bobby Tzekin felt Devlin’s past experience as a satisfied Wisetack customer and advocate for small business owners positioned him well to lead the product team.
“Sean brings tremendous customer focus and understanding of SMBs, very broad business experience, and a wealth of payments and fintech knowledge,” Tzekin said.
Devlin has a passion for Wisetack’s customers: small businesses that provide meaningful services. It’s a segment historically left behind by technology and ignored by financial institutions.
“Everybody talks about wanting to change the world, but in providing tools to businesses and parts of the economy that have historically been left behind, like home services, we do actually make a demonstrable difference in the lives of all parties involved,” Devlin said. “And I think that's really cool.”
Wisetack’s lending is exclusively for in-person services, and in industries where purchases are often unplanned and non-discretionary, such as auto repair, dental, legal services, and home services.
“These are really hard problems to solve, and I love leaning into hard problems,” Devlin said.
Devlin’s guiding principle is an obsessive focus on customer outcomes. Most product teams miss the real outcome needed, Devlin argues.
“Consider the old adage: people don’t want a drill bit, they want a hole in the wall. However, that’s not right. That misses the real customer need. They want a picture on the wall,” Devlin said.
So, Devlin leads product decisions with the philosophy of “how can we help them get the picture on the wall faster?”
In the case of Wisetack’s services, Devlin understands customers don’t actually want to talk to a plumber, for example. “They want hot water again,” Devlin explained. “And they want hot water in a way that is not going to cause them to empty their savings account.”
Devlin’s specialty is spotting product deficiencies that limit growth, cause churn, or introduce unnecessary risk. He has a knack for aligning stakeholders, even when the answer is a steep departure from past solutions.
Devlin is a serial entrepreneur, always with an eye toward using technology to bridge the gap. He’s worked with big players (Coca-Cola, Nike), big foundations (The United Nations, The Clinton Foundation), big music acts (Lady Gaga, Guns N’ Roses), and plenty of early stage companies with big ideas.
This diversity of experience makes Devlin a unique operator. He crosses the spectrum from marketing to product management, and sales to interface design. He’s founded three companies, and is the go-to among his network for product ideas, go-to-market strategy, and VC fundraising.
Even within larger organizations, Devlin gravitates toward building. In his most recent role at Housecall Pro, a home services software, Devlin built the fintech business unit from the ground up. Key product launches included card payments, ACH payments, expense cards, and consumer financing with Wisetack.
Devlin is also a serial team builder, specializing in the high performing variety. According to him, success starts with hiring people who are intellectually curious and empathetic.
Devlin then leads the team with clear expectations, transparency, and emotional security. Speed is encouraged, but so is the security to fail. Ownership is the goal, so Devlin mentors team members until they feel comfortable taking the reins.
“It’s been amazing working with the Wisetack team so far,” Devlin said. “I’m learning what the team has learned over the years and look forward to driving a path forward to help even more customers.”
Sean Devlin is Head of Product at Wisetack and a member of the leadership team.
Through its suite of seamless APIs, Wisetack’s consumer financing integrates with software platforms SMBs are already using to run their business. This allows service providers to implement a financing payment option in minutes, immediately boosting sales. Consumers, in turn, benefit from a fast financing option that allows them to pay over time for essential services, without surprises or unexpected fees.