How Software Ate Finance

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Software is eating the world, with radical consequences for financial services. This course gives you a foundation for understanding the future of financial services, and provides guidance for creating fintech businesses in the 2020s and beyond.


Financial Technology
Financial Regulation


Mar 9, 2021

AI will eat up bankers, tellers, and clerks at a bank, narrowing down operational costs. This course outlines the current and upcoming changes to banks as they used to be in the 20th century



By Haven F

Jun 10, 2021

This was a great course! The information that was provided by Martin Chavez was very informative to me. I am new to Finance, and the aspects of software, computer science, and math working together to move fintech forward were very interesting. On a side note, the information about APIs was useful to me in another business problem I was trying to solve at the time about how business teams share information.

My only wish is that I could have seen the videos of the guest lecturers, but it was stated upfront that Stanford policy did not permit that.



By Shelley A S

Jan 15, 2022

Initially technical, this was an insightful course regarding the future of personal finance and how financial institutions are marring customer relations with software to provide efficiency and value for all stakeholders. The investments being made by financial institutions to facilitate this highlight a level of creativity and a significant change in management and leadership style. Well done Dr. Martin “Marty” Chavez!


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R. Martin Chavez

R. Martin Chavez


Marty is a computer scientist, entrepreneur, investor, and risk manager. Over the past 19 years, he has held multiple roles as a partner, Management Committee member, and senior leader of Goldman Sachs, including Chief Information Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and global co-head of the Firm’s largest and most complex business, the Securities Division. Since retiring from the Firm in 2019, Marty continues to serve as a Senior Director of Goldman Sachs. For the past 35 years, Marty has used data, math, software, and machine learning to solve hard problems for clients and stakeholders. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Marty was the CEO and co-founder of Kiodex, acquired by Sungard in 2004, and Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Quorum Software Systems. He holds an A.B. (1985) magna cum laude in Biochemical Sciences an S.M. (1985) in Computer Science from Harvard, and a Ph.D. (1990) in Medical Information Sciences from Stanford (Architectures and Algorithms for Probabilistic Expert Systems). Beyond finance, Marty has long held a passion for converging the life sciences and software. Since retiring from Goldman Sachs, Marty serves as an advisor to multiple startups and projects, including DataFleets, The Digital Dollar Project, The Mount Sinai Institute for Health Equity Research, RealityEngines, and Switchbit. In the spring of 2020, Marty created and taught GSBGEN 544: How Software Ate Finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Marty serves as President of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University for the 2020-21 academic year. He also serves on the boards of directors of Grupo Santander, Paige, Recursion Pharma, and Sema4; the Stanford Medicine Board of Fellows; the Advisory Council of the Stanford Center on Longevity; the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Advanced Study; and the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of PNM Resources, Inc., and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA). A passionate patron of the arts, he previously served on the boards of the Friends of the High Line, amFAR (the Foundation for AIDS Research), and the Santa Fe Opera. Marty resides in the Berkshires and is the proud father of two

Jeffrey Conn

Jeffrey Conn


Jeffrey Conn is the outgoing Lead Case Writer at the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and served as course co-creator and co-instructor of GSBGEN544 How Software Ate Finance. Jeff spent a decade in financial services investment banking, private equity and venture capital roles before graduating from Stanford GSB in 2018. He began his career as an analyst in the Financial Institutions Group of Goldman Sachs’ investment banking division, before moving to investment roles at multiple private equity firms on the west and east coast. He is currently managing partner of BroadWest Partners, a private equity firm focused on financial technology and enterprise software opportunities.

Coursera partners with top universities and companies to make world-class educational content available to our learners. With courses covering everything from machine learning to food and health to women’s health and human rights, Stanford University continues to deliver diverse content from thought leaders and experts. Stanford’s newest course, How Software Ate Finance, dives into fintech businesses and the future of financial services.

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