Kenneth Mahon is not a hipster but he is the 65-year-old bank president of the wonderfully named, Dime Bank.
What’s fascinating is that this bank, founded in 1864, is succeeding with Millennials by offering a combination of attractive savings rates and local branches that look “more like a coffee shop than a bank, with big doors opening onto the sidewalk, welcoming pedestrians to stop in and charge their phones. Light fixtures made from mason jars will illuminate the coffee counter.”
There’s something interesting going on here.
Despite the hype about app-only startup banks, the UK’s fastest growing bank in terms of new customers, is Swedish Handelsbanken. It also happens to be the UK’s highest rated for customer service.
Is there a common theme? Understanding the local community and serving them where they are in the way they want to be served. There’s a lesson here…
From Family to Company
“30 to 50 people is where you go from being a family to being a company, and everything starts to get really hard.” Molly Graham has scaled teams at Google and Facebook among other places. Her focus is on the make or break challenges of culture, compensation, and performance systems. She offers some great advice to startups that are already bigger than 30 staff, as well as for who want to lay the groundwork for scaling…
Too Many Perks, Not Enough Problems
R.M.T, CEO at Permutation AI explains why too many Silicon Valley startups are offering perks rather than solving problems. And why that ultimately reflects badly on the whole tech startup ecosystem.
More Revenue, Less Value
Alex Wilhelm at Mattermark points that the value of a dollar of ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) for public SaaS companies fell from a multiple of 7.7x in early 2014 to 3.3x in early 2016. But there has apparently been a modest uptick since. The explanation turns out to be a fall in so-called Sales Efficiency: the ratio between quarter on quarter revenue growth and the sales and marketing costs required to generate that growth. This means that either, a) less revenue is being generated per unit cost of sales and marketing, or b) it’s costing more in sales & marketing to generate a unit of revenue. Either way, the implication is that it’s getting progressively harder to squeeze more revenue from your sales and marketing spend.
Pitching a VC
Some great non-obvious tips from the Robert Neivert on the 500Startups blog on how to pitch a VC. The work begins long before the meeting…
Getting Investment Before Traction
Leo Polovets is a software engineer turned VC. He offers advice on how a startup, which has yet to find traction, can position itself for investment. The bottom-line: “If you can’t make a strong case for why your approach is the right one, or why your timing is ideal, or why you’re best team for the job, then maybe you should be doing something else.”
The “lead investor” Dance
When looking for angel or seed investment, I know I’m not the only startup founder, to have been fobbed off with: “Let me know when you have a lead investor.” TechStars founder
AI – A Primer
Are you sure about the difference between AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning? If not, check out this excellent 45 minute video primer by Frank Chen at Andreessen Horowitz.
Disruptive Machine Learning
Tomasz Tunguz argues that when is comes to disrupting with Machine Learning, the “key differentiator for startups and ultimately long-term competitive advantage is access to proprietary data sets.”
Top 10 Retail Banking Trends
The Financial Brand offer up their top 10 retail banking trends and predictions for 2016 based on interviews with 100 global financial services leaders.
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