Tag Archives: finance

Weekly news round up (18 October 2017)

Here’s a summary of interesting stories I’ve seen over the last week. I try to concentrate on the stories which aren’t necessarily mainstream.

Technology

The five biggest announcements from Amazon’s hardware event were:

  1. The Echo alarm clock (spot)
  2. Echo plus (a home hub)
  3. Cheaper echos in a three-pack
  4. Echo buttons
  5. BMW integration
  6. New Fire TV.

Hmmm… that’s six products. The big question: does a houseful of echos make an echo chamber? https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/27/16374254/amazon-event-2017-news-recap-echo-spot-fire-tv-hardware

The new GoPro Fusion 360 degree camera. It looks outstanding, even if it makes your hand look a little odd on playback. Watching it again, I cannot believe the video quality of this tiny device:

Continue reading Weekly news round up (18 October 2017)

I’ve found the best app and it’s not Pokémon

If you see these in the street, watch out for the impending stampede
If you see these in the street, watch out for the impending stampede

There is a trend for financial and retail companies to offer additional benefits at the checkout – whether it’s spreading payments for large purchases, insurance or charity donations. Some banks are offering ‘save the small change’ functionality, rounding the purchase up to the nearest dollar or pound and putting that change into a holding account.

I know a few people who collect small change (or a particular coin). Every day they put it in a jar, then at the end of the year they donate it to charity or buy themselves a gift. This is obviously harder to do with electronic payments at the moment.

With new challenger banking apps appearing on users’ smartphones, retail banks are starting to offer their customers value added services at the point of payment. Continue reading I’ve found the best app and it’s not Pokémon

The Insurance Industry and the Need for Innovation

On stage at ITC 2015, and I look like I'm performing some sort of card trick
On stage at ITC 2015, and I look like I’m performing some sort of card trick

Earlier this week I was on a panel at the ITC (Insurance Technology Congress) 2015 event. My panel was dealing specifically with Internet of Things in the insurance industry.

The event was aimed at CIOs of large, mainly commercial insurance companies. The CTO and CIOs in the room spend their time and budget keeping the lights on – i.e. keeping their systems in tip-top shape.

These CIOs and CTOs are rightly proud of their systems’ stability and availability, and until now innovation is a distant second priority. However, new technologies and technology companies are entering the market, and this conference was a joining of minds to create a plan for the future.

Note: Endava were sponsors of the event, and I was only able to attend the first day of the event. Continue reading The Insurance Industry and the Need for Innovation

TechUK and the Connected Home (IoT)

It was a large audience for today's TechUK IoT #connectedhome event. Credit: João Marques Lima on Twitter
It was a large audience for today’s TechUK IoT #connectedhome event.
Credit: João Marques Lima

This morning I went to an event at Tech UK called “The Connected Home: Empowering the consumer through the Internet of Things”. Here are my notes which I managed to quickly scribble down.

Jeremy Green from Machina Research was the chairman for the morning.

Energy Retail

  • In the energy retail market, smart meters increased conversion rate from 12 to 48% through more intelligent offers and improved proposition
  • Internet of Things (IoT) is about getting data to a user’s smartphone to view analytics and make a choice of what to do 20% of energy bills are ‘background use’ – which is background energy being used while sleeping, or not even knowing a device is on.
  • The topic was highly focussed on Smart Meters, mainly because of the panel at the event (smart meter suppliers). Unfortunately there was nothing about changing business models and it led to some government bashing.

Continue reading TechUK and the Connected Home (IoT)

Reading tab list for July

Sales of the Apple Watch haven't been released, but stocks continue to soar
Sales of the Apple Watch haven’t been released, but stocks continue to soar. Photo courtesy of Michael Roth

It should be holiday season by now, but the Christmas and Summer holidays productivity downturn seemed to cease two to three years ago (I’m basing this on my experience in the UK).

This is what I’ve read recently:

Banks could be sheepdogs (like Apple) – A great article describing how banks are utilities, but could become extremely important in the Identity revolution
Drone shooting: US home-owner faces charges – BBC News – A surprising story about a man who shot down a drone in the US, which flew over his house several times

Continue reading Reading tab list for July

20 Internet Trends in 2015

One of my favourite annual Internet reports is out. It’s the KPCB report, from the Venture Capital company based in the US.

It’s 196 pages of fact-packed charts, and here are my favourites.

The US makes up ‘only’ 10% of the 2.8bn online users. 73% of the World has a phone, of which 40% are smartphones. So there are 2 billion smartphones.

The top 15 Internet companies (by capitalisation) consist only of American and Chinese companies.

The only company featuring in the top 15 companies in 1995 and 2015 is Apple, which has increased its capitalisation by over 190 times! The combined capitalisation of the top 15 has increased by 141 times.

ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) on Facebook is $9.36, based on advertising alone. Continue reading 20 Internet Trends in 2015

Reading list for June

The latest Marketplace Innovation report
The latest Marketplace Innovation report is available on Slideshare

During the last couple of weeks I’ve been working with clients across different industries – a key advantage for these clients, and something I love about my job.

It’s also been London Technology Week – a series of events showcasing you guessed it, Technology in London’s firms, including a great event at Goldman Sachs.

As well as these links I’m midway through reading Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo which is easy to read and proven quite useful so far, although it would score high on the American cheesiness scale.

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Continue reading Reading list for June

The Goldman Sachs Headline event at London Technology Week 2015

The Goldman Sachs Agenda at London Technology Week 2015
The Goldman Sachs Agenda at London Technology Week 2015

You may have seen some publicity recently how a megazillion people in the UK, especially London, all work in the FinTech sector. This publicity stems from some research commissioned by London Technology Week, a series of events taking place in London around FinTech.

The events range the full spectrum of FinTech technologies, and as a result we have clients travelling from the US over to London for LTW (London Technology Week). Most of the events are free, and even the charging ones were under £20.

I’ll be attending a few events with some colleagues going to events which clashed. I’m also speaking at Tuesday’s CSFI round table on crypto-currencies, which I think is just a coincidence that it happens to fall during LTW.

The first event of LTW15, or the headline event as it was known, was at Goldman Sachs called “Goldman Sachs Engineers – Solutions to Complex Problems at Scale”. Here are some brief notes. My apologies for speed over brevity – there will be a lot to cover this week.

Continue reading The Goldman Sachs Headline event at London Technology Week 2015

Web reading list for April

Question: Is this David Cameron's rating or Apple share price?
Question: Is this David Cameron’s rating or Apple share price?

Since the week before Easter I’ve been extremely busy – there was the holiday period, followed by a big family celebration, and then last Friday I managed to fall off my bicycle and break some fingers. In short… it’s been quite hectic.

During the family celebration I heard a brilliant quote from a friend, Yehuda, an IT Solution Architect, who had travelled from Israel to join us for a week. We were discussing how IT projects have become either prescriptive (detailed requirements) or business focussed (with high level requirements and leaving the solution to the supplier partner). He tells this to all his customers:

Tell me either what you want to do, or how to do it, but if you tell me both – go and do it yourself.

Continue reading Web reading list for April