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Jonny Kelly

Jonny Kelly

Creative Director

We had the pleasure of talking to MaxDecisions Founder Timothy Li about his business, the experience of refreshing the MaxDecisions brand and the impact he feels it will have on his business…

Q: Hi Tim, thanks for talking to us today. First question to get us started. Tell us 2 things about you that you that we don’t know yet.

A: I started my teaching career almost five years ago at my alma mater. I graduated from University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering almost 20 years ago and I could never have dreamt to return on campus and be on the other side of that lectern. I take about 40 students every semester through an entrepreneur journey where they learn how to build a technology startup from scratch.

Second, I love writing about fintech, you can check out my annual fintech predictions article on I’ve been doing that for the past several years. You can take a look to see which one of those predictions came true and which ones fell flat on the floor.

Q: You have founded and advise founders in many businesses. How do these fit together in your vision for work a life in the future?

A: I have a thesis when it comes to founding companies as well as advising other founders. Always have at least two paying customers before you really dive in and pursue with all you got. In other words, a product or a service without distribution or sales is just a hobby.

Q: We’ve had the pleasure of working on several projects with you, MaxDecisions being the most recent. Give us the 30s pitch for Max Decisions and why you believe it can improve the future of financial services.

A: MaxDecisions builds predictive analytic models to forecast responsiveness of marketing campaigns as well as probability of defaults on offering consumer credits. We analyze hundreds of millions of data points to formulate the most responsive marketing strategies and reduce lifetime defaults on all types of financial products.

Q: You have invested time with us in clarifying the MaxDecisions brand. Why did you think that was important?

A: We need to simplify our message. As a group of mathematicians, our tendency is to get into the weeds and analyze large swaths of data and make million sets of connections. Our forte is to reduce large amounts of variables into handfuls that could really be used to predict the future. However, when it comes to branding, messaging and telegraphing what we do to the general market, we knew we needed help.
Reducing mathematical formulas and probabilistic algorithms into tools to solve our customers pain points is our singular mission but we needed professionals to help us to reduce the technical rigor into benefits statements that everyone understands.

Q: What impact do you think this clarification and simplification will have for the business and your customers?

A: To start, it really helped us, internally, to understand who we are. That was clarifying and refreshing. Once we clearly understood our core competency and how to verbalize it, it was a slam dunk to cut down our sales pitch and get to the point in our sales presentations and pitching to our clients

Q: We are in challenging times for businesses in most sectors, particularly tech. How do you feel about the opportunities ahead for MaxDecisions?

A: We are particularly aware of the present economic situation world wide. We recently published a series of blogs documenting our observations of close to 180 million US consumers and their usage of credit. You can go to our blog page at and send us a comment on your observations based on our research.

As far as our feelings go towards these challenging times, we love it. We get to look at data, trends and behaviors of consumers navigating through these unprecedented credit environments. We see some interesting tidbits on how creditors are issuing credit during these times and some interesting and strange behaviors of consumers using their existing line of credit as well as applying for new lines of credit. It’s fascinating from our perspective.

Tim, thanks so much for taking the time out to share your experience and insight. Onwards & Upwards for MaxDecisions!

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