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Thoughts on Banking, circa 2015

Thoughts on Banking, circa 2015

It goes without saying, that startups have disrupted many industries just in the past few years alone. From Uber to Airbnb, the previous incumbents were hit so hard and fast, they seem stunned. Part of the tension between the old way and new way is the heavy anchor of regulation. For Uber, they have and continue to fight their way into markets and break through this protective barrier. Even Tesla has to fight resistence of so called, Regulation, in their ability to sell direct to consumers. Whats clear though is that the massive power of the consumer, specifically the consumer labelled “millenials” will ultimately break through this wall and create new, previously unseen business models. I wanted to focus specifically on banking for a minute. There is so much disruption in this business that startups are slowly creeping into every crevice almost as if watching an alien invasion on a radar chart. From payments to loans, new entrants are testing and tweaking ideas and models to adequatly serve their customers.   What is odd is that it seems the slow moving incumbents are simply watching themselves being consumed almost as a paralyzed insect in the cross hairs of its predator. Companies who do understand this are already tapping into successful methods used in other businesses, to reach and convert consumers (see example of SoFi using GiltGroup to acquire student loan consumers).   Ultimately, it will be those who move now and innovate and engage correctly who will be the leaders of the next generation. At Call2ActionMedia, we are working on testing concepts that resonate with millenial consumers with...
Business, culture and character.

Business, culture and character.

The tech world is known for its intense competition and its dog eat dog culture. By its nature, if IP isnt protected its useless. Relationships and switching costs may mitigate some of that but the end result is an extremely competitive landscape. That is what makes Tech exciting and Silicon Valley the epicenter of this excitement. Its important and probably challenging to remain cutthroat and remain a good natured person. Most people probably can’t seperate the two. An person who seemed to have lived this dichotomy was recently taken way too early from the world, Mr. Dave Goldberg (The Ultimate Mensch). By the massive outpouring of grief, it is evident that many people were touched by and benefited from him. That aspect of a person, the ability to spread goodness, is whats most important as evidenced by ones legacy. By contrast, Steve Jobs left the world with great technology but as a person his memory is tarred by his ruthlessness. Another example, in my opinion, of a world class example of positivity was the signing of the multi-billion dollar deal papers at the Welfare office by former recipient Jan Koum. My interpretation of this is firstly a clear message to people that the American Dream is alive and well. More importantly it shows a deep level of gratitude. When Mr. Koum was in this country as an immigrant, the United States government provided him with basic neccessaties and provided basic levels of care to him and his family as he got on his feet, something not forgotten. His success shines bright when put into perspective of the obstacles he overcame....
Facebook Instant Articles

Facebook Instant Articles

  Many people now consume their news via Social media. In a not too distant past, news was consumed by the masses typically with a morning news show and paper and unless there was an urgent need again in the evening time delivered by Television. For the most part deliverability was real time and consumed by the user in a timely manner. The reputation of the deliverer was also trustworthy for the most part. With the proliferation of the Internet came an explosion of new sources with no real standards except ones established loosly by the community. The Facebook news experience has been a work in progress. Users like News brands/sources and an algorithm determines which ones to place on your feed. Its unclear which sources are reliable although Facebook made great strides in scrubbing link baiting news sites from getting too much Feed attention. There is also the Timely factor for News distribution to be effective. As a user, I am drawn to the Headline “BREAKING NEWS” and depending on whether the issue is near and dear, start an adrenaline rush. Many times because of how the Facebook NewsFeed delivers, it was a false alarm since that Breaking News was from “yesterday @ 6pm” and quite stale. I think todays shift towards Facebook taking more control in the News function of the NewsFeed will ultimately result in a much great user experience for people who want to easily and reliably get their news fix while on...
Periscope: Around the world in 10 minutes

Periscope: Around the world in 10 minutes

Live streaming has been a buzzword as of late with both Meerkat and Periscope providing tools to stream from phone to followers instantly. While the user experience could be rough sometimes viewing someone elses world through a shaky phone, who could pass an opportunity to instantly be watching raw video with your favorite celebrity. Of late there have been a bunch of celebrities who have embraced their Twitter followers with spontaneous streams. The commercial side of this technology could be huge once marketers start pushing live company sponsored streams or giving brand fans a view into where the magic happens. Video is the future and more applications and experiences will be enhanced as the delivery applications become more...
Death By A Thousand Cuts – Quick Thought on Finance and Entrepreneurship.

Death By A Thousand Cuts – Quick Thought on Finance and Entrepreneurship.

  It’s tough for an Entrepreneur with a background in finance to remain as focused as neccessary to succeed. The world of finance teaches you to constantly diversify and hedge to ensure optimal returns on investment in many environments. To succeed as an entrepreneur, that kind of thinking will lead to a death by a thousand cuts. Entrepreneurs must take one position and fight like hell to make that position...