Just What Do You Do, Exactly?!

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

So ask the members of my family and, from time to time, colleagues at work.

Below is an actual customer presentation. This attractive, modern format developed to assist simultaneous translators – Turkish and Portuguese. At least, it’s not PowerPoint?

My job is to help executives see their customers in new ways as these customers are affected and influenced by the evolving capabilities of the Internet. I try to begin by reminding them that the Internet is less than 20 years old. In essence, we’re driving carriages powered by steam engines, an automobile of circa 1913.


1. Knowledge is no longer Power… As Everybody Knows.

This has been the promise and the accelerating capability of the Internet since its beginning.

Your opportunity is to help them to know.

2. In a time of multi- dimensional change, customers are changing also. Not just using Facebook and Twitter and taking photographs of every event In their lives, but also how they are trained & educated; how they manage their health; how they manage their financial futures. Coursera for online education. 3,000 medical apps in Apple AppStore.

Millennials, born in 1980s and 1990s, are a significant part of the workforce now and will inherit a significant {915b2618a7c304f461205894c34b2284541042d3c677679407e2f30838792dcd} of the wealth over the next 15 years. They expect to participate well beyond believing what they are told. AirBnBcom, for example, which ‘sells’ 200,000 rooms per night! If people are willing to trust their personal privacy and security in such physical environments organized over the web around the world, is it much of a stretch to imagine them managing finances in a similar way?

3. In an era of limited organic growth, profit making opportunities exist to do more with existing clients.

But we must see them differently and respond to their needs more precisely. Such insight requires more than a unified channel strategy or observing their click-stream behaviors.

4. Everything is mobile, well beyond the smartphone device. However, billions of smartphones to new users will be sold over the next 5- 7 years as there are 7B of us with 1.5B smartphones in circulation. It’s not too late for that killer app idea.

The Internet’s next generation of application will return to its original intent: not sending emails or photos, but machines, also known as sensors, will intercommunicate. This is the promise of Big Data. Also called the Internet of Things.

5. The manufacturing model of 1,000 years is changing. With the advent of 3D printers and the adoption of Google and Apple technologies in manufacturing processes, goods will be produced close to where they are consumed. Good for Fab.com fans.

6. It’s not What You Do, It’s Why You Do It.

For example from a favorite Swedish bank: ‘we believe that clients are the best managers of their financial futures; we will provide them the tools to manage their financial futures.’

7. USAA in San Antonio, Texas. Top 125 US company; full service banking and insurance; specialized customer base (US servicemen and their families). Consistently rated amongst best in customer service; twice ranked #1 ahead of Ritz Carlton Hotel. No branch network. Superior mobile portfolio.

Other examples are VanCity in Vancouver and Umpqua Bank in Portland, Oregon. Both have a personality and do not try to be all things to all customers all of the time.

8. When you visit the Apple Store(s) :), the one nearby on 5th Avenue is the most photographed property in Manhattan surpassing the Statue of Liberty! Highest sales per square foot of any retail store – anywhere. Sells 5 products!

If time permits, visit the Apple Store in Grand Central Station where what actually occurs in an Apple Store is more obvious. Answer at the back of the book= they are Learning Environments, not transaction environments.

9. Finovate Conference. New York in September and London in February. 64 start-ups demonstrate in a maximum of 7 minutes each their ideas for changing banking. One founder of PayPal presented in Feb 2013 in London. http://www.finovate.com/fall2013/

10. Recommend that you follow Chris Skinner’s Financial Services Club blog.
Based in London. Superior insight into trends and issues affecting major banks.

Recent KPMG 2013 Internet http://www.kpcb.com/insights/2013-internet-trends

50 good bank websites


Unified Field Theory redux or The Internet of Things: Healthcare

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Is it all falling apart or is it finally coming together or is it all coming together dangerously fast? In the international banking executive briefings that I attend, usually as a moderator, better received are the discussions that portray technology trends in the financial sector within the context of “what are others doing?”

These others often include an examination of the success stories in retail such as the Apple Retail Store; uses of technology in education and training. Overall, most briefing clients are interested in what trends and likely outcomes influence the clients of US banks.

This and the two following blog posts summarize what I’ve observed will affect the behaviors of the clients of US banks which, in turn, will affect what banks do. What banks do is important to each of us even if few of us are enamored with our bank.

Healthcare: I attended a Duke University medical conference in April with a broad range of senior and experienced industry representatives. How dire is the healthcare funding model in the US? $40 trillion to 60 trillion unfunded is a safe range for analysis. How much is that? One million seconds will pass in the next 12 days; 1 trillion seconds will pass in the next 33,000 years making unlikely our capability to save for this eventuality. Prevention, thereby reducing need, is the sole solution for this particular fiscal cliff as much sooner than later we will be out of money for correcting what ails people.

Prevention will take 3 forms: 1) Home Healthcare. Examples were offered where insurance firms proactively fund home modification, e.g. moving the bedroom from upstairs to the main level of the home before the accident. Such a measure is less expensive than repairing the injuries that result from contending with stairs at an advanced age. 2) Mobile Medical Devices. Our phones (I wonder how much longer that they will be used for voice conversations) track where we are, like it or not; they may as well track how we are and they are plenty of such apps in either in Apple or Android Stores for using our mobile phones to measure elements of our individual health. Just as “ET phoned home”, our phones will monitor us and call for help before we even know that we need to. 3) Genomic Mapping. It’s almost a matter of ‘Privacy be Damned’ but there is no point in waiting until we’re too old to navigate the stairs or for the cell phone to contact the hospital if a predisposition to a serious ailment could be avoided. There will have to be many changes in employment laws and a wholesale reformation of insurance regulations to give the individual confidence in such sensitive revelations. To the MDs in the Duke audience, this mapping approach will be the most effective in providing care for all without requiring it all.


Chris Skinner, Financial Services Club, at Bloomberg Panel

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

I post this just so I do not lose track of it. I admire Chris’s thinking and very much admire his style of writing and presenting. Agree with phrase “it’s not Big Data but Big Context and “it’s no longer about mobile but the Internet of Things.”

Presentation divided into three themes:
Part One: Stop talking about mobile, it’s not important
Part Two: Money is meaningless, it’s the data that is important
Part Three: Capitalism is dead, long live capitalism