How Not To Grow a Fintech – a Masterclass!
Powa Technologies was a $2.7 billion London-based fintech unicorn. It collapsed in February. This BusinessInsider article chronicles the rise and fall of Powa and it’s colourful founder & CEO Dan Wagner.
Validation is Not the Goal
A common misconception among startup founders is that validating assumptions is a Lean principle. That path wastes time and sends a message that you don’t know what you’re doing. Salim Virani reminds us that the Lean Startup method is actually about learning specific lessons (fast) and that an invalidating mindset is what gets us there.
Winning is Understanding the Customer
Great marketers have long-understood that people make buying decisions based on emotion and then use rationality to validate them. Jim Marous (co-publisher of the Financial Brand) explains how Amazon draws insights from customers based on analytics and data to build an emotional connection. How well do you understand your customer?
Germanic Fintech Funding
— Frank Schwab (@FrankJSchwab) April 21, 2016
(Yes that’s me on the right)
According to research by Techfluence, funding for Fintech startups in Germany, Austria & Switzerland reached $1.3 billion in 2015 (vs $300 million in 2014). I was at Fintech Forum 7 in Frankfurt on Thursday and was bowled over by the focus and energy of the startups and investors alike. BTW: I was there to pitch MoneyCircles [Disclaimer: I am a founding partner]
A seminal post by legendary VC Bill Gurley sets out why today’s unicorns are a dangerous house of cards for investors, founders and employees alike. Emotional biases on all sides, an excess of capital and why “the healthiest thing that could possibly happen is a dramatic increase in the real cost of capital and a return to an appreciation for sound business execution.”
Brad Feld Weighs-in…
Another top-flight VC Brad Feld gives us his perspectives in expanding on the emotional biases listed in Bill Gurley’s post.
What Next for Bitcoin?
German-born British author and journalist John Lanchester writes a fantastic piece on Bitcoin at the London Review of Books. What’s the current state of play? Where’s it heading? What about the Blockchain? Will it lead to a consolidation of the status quo or will it fulfil the dreams of its creator(s) of liberating us the people?
Corporate Innovation Labs Are Not Working
Saul Kaplan explains why today’s corporate innovation labs are being setup in good faith by the C-suite but are being left to middle-management to lapse into tweaking departments. The scale and nature of the task is too great to be left in the hands of myopic middle-managers.
Targeted Ads Change How We Think About Ourselves
Online ads are becoming more personalised and context-sensitive by the day. A recent study found the unexpected effect that such ads are changing the way we think about ourselves. According the authors of this Harvard Business Review post, the implications for marketers, brands and startups are profound.
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