The result of US election was a shock, at least for me. However, I remember this paragraph from Fred Wilson, one of the most well known VCs:
“But more than that, going into a foxhole right now seems like the wrong idea. Some of the best companies have been created in times of great economic turmoil. And, because of that, some of the best venture capital investments have been made in times when everyone was risk averse. I am not for getting too excited when times are good and I am not for getting too conservative when times feel bad. I am all for looking for opportunity at every turn.”
At least we have the certainty of uncertainty. Let’s embrace it.
Thanks for reading; YOU are awesome!
Have a wonderful week,
If Internet Giants Are The Competition, Are Banks Ready To Compete?
By Chris Skinner
The reason why Amazon, Facebook, Google and Alipay can leverage data so effectively is that they all began with a single data view and have added leverage to that single data view over time. When Google was founded in September 1998, it was serving 10,000 search queries a day. By the end of 2006, the same amount would be served in a single second. Platform is the model, scale is the key, and consistency is the focus. A hangover from the past, a reflection of product focus, and a lack of ability to invest in consolidation and rationalisation. However, if data is the competitive battleground, it’s just another reason why banks need to get an enterprise data structure in place sooner rather than later.
Where Is The Bank’s Digital Vision?
By Chris Skinner
You cannot create a digital vision if you don’t have leaders who understand digital. In fact, again, the reason why most bank leaders avoid changing core systems is that they don’t have vision and so can duck it. Most CIOs are not there to give vision. They are there to keep the lights on and maintain the system (especially as 80% of their budget is spent on just that). So who’s going to create a digital technology vision if there’s only bankers in the room and no one to challenge them?
Blockchain-Powered Revolution in the Insurance Industry
By Elena Mesropyan
Probably the most far-reaching implication of blockchain is disintermediation. A decentralized consortium network of insurance carriers, which manages all of its transactions online, could eliminate the need for intermediaries for less complex coverages, e.g., auto insurance and mass-market products. Disintermediation in the insurance industry means structural transformation of the industry, its curation from mediators that may have a significant impact on end pricing and reach. By providing a universal source of truth that is tamper-proof, blockchain could also lead to increased efficiency — resulting from a reduction in human error, fraud, data duplication, processing delays, transaction and administrative costs and opaqueness — ultimately benefiting the end-consumer with better service and lower premiums.
BaaS Is Becoming The Sexiest Vertical In FinTech
By Vladislav Solodkiy
BaaS (bank-as-a-service) is the new black. Essentially, it’s the heart of banking. Recently Starling Bank and Mondo, the latest two challenger banks to win their UK banking licenses, have placed open APIs at the forefront of their strategies to maximize their competitive advantage over their incumbent rivals. Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the pieces of software that allow two separate IT systems to communicate and interact with each other. Open APIs will allow both Starling Bank and Mondo to crowdsource the development of new products and services far more quickly and cheaply than they could manage on their own. This is a vital consideration for new entrants that have limited resources of their own and need to deploy a full service proposition.
5 things that made me smarter this week
The Back to the Future 2 villain was based on Donald Trump. Biff Tannen used a casino fortune to fund his quest for political power.
There’s a virus that can spread between smart light bulbs. It travels via radio waves and could theoretically shut down wifi across an entire city.
It’s possible to have emotions without feeling them. Some reactions occur outside our awareness.
Medieval peasants had more time off than modern-day Americans. Frequent holidays were key to preventing a revolt.
The legalese associated with Apple product ownership can involve more words than The Hobbit. If you own a Mac, an iPhone, an Apple TV, an Apple Watch, and an Airport router, you’ve probably agreed to at least 100,000 words of legal contracts.