Podcast to go Link to Apple Podcast Link to RSS Feed Link to Spotify Link to Youtube

#30 Finding market fit – Jens Rieken

Since 2017 Jens Rieken is Head of Sparkassen Innovation Hub and responsible for developing digital product ideas for the German Savings Banks.
The mission of the hub is to identify new digital trends for financial services and enable start-up services to German Savings Banks (Sparkassen).
Before joining the German Savings Banks Group, he was product owner for companies like DB Systel, Gruner&Jahr.
He was CPO at Star Finanz and worked for a Hamburg based Start-up.


• Finding good market fit for rapid innovation
• Testing and adapting ideas for innovation
• The two sides of market fit
• Work with customers during the innovation process

Key Discussion Points:

[0:06] Introduction of Jens

[0:40] What is innovation to you?

[4:09] How did you find the right customers? How do you find fintech’s?

[9:35] How do you define product market fit?

[14:34] What are the different ways you test ideas

[14:45] Why do you emphasize testing?

[17:13] When do you stop testing?

[20:17] What did you learn from the process?

[23:52] What was the most interesting project you worked on?

[34:40] How do you make the future better for more people?

[32:34] Where do you see the finance sector in 5-12 years


  • Jens is working in an innovation hub in Hamburg, Germany.
  • Focus on change culture, bringing existing things together, and trying out new ideas.
  • The innovation hub is part of a financial IT service provider, collaborating with fintechs.
  • Their main role is to talk to fintechs, learn about the market, and include good solutions in existing products.
  • They partner with fintechs and other tech companies, using design thinking and sprints for prototyping and MVPs.
  • Building a community of users to shape the future of the innovation hub’s products.
  • Trend research, events, and hackathons to gather insights and ideas.
  • Finding fintechs happens through various means, conferences, trend reports, and personal approach.
  • Adapting fintech ideas to fit local characters and needs of different savings banks.
  • Testing involves user interviews, coffee testing, and extensive user testing with prototypes.
  • The challenge is to improve the speed of idea-to-revenue and scaling the innovation mindset.
  • Success stories include fintechs like Canucks and Otara, and ideas like Sam and emergency bundles.
  • Challenges for the future involve artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and open banking.
  • Favorite books include “Inspired” and “Drive” focusing on user-centric product development and team motivation.
  • Advice to the 20-year-old self: trust yourself more, get out of the comfort zone, and don’t worry about others’ opinions.

Interesting Quotes:

“On the other side, I think market fit really has something to do with separating the customer base into tiny groups”

“…not everything is a honeymoon..”

Book Recommendations:

INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love – Marty Cagan
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel H. Pink
How to Fix the Future –
Andrew Keen