June 5, 2017
This is generally how new industries have been created over the years: first some visionaries would pontificate ➤ the academics would theorize ➤ the inventors would tinker with prototypes ➤ the deep-pocketed entities would start paying attention ➤ consultants would convince them to allocate budgets ➤ innovators would start building products for consumers ➤ entrepreneurs would build new businesses to make those products 10x faster, better, cheaper ➤ the mainstream media would start talking about it ➤ leading to new investments and consolidation and standardization… Voila! A new industry!
Pardon the gross simplification, but this sequence has been generally true with small deviations over centuries, if not millennia.
However, FinTech is different. In fact, we seem to have been going backward, or at least totally out of sequence, relative to what has been typical. We already have enough standardization and protocols in financial services; there’s plenty of investment, perhaps more than good ideas worthy of it. The entrepreneurial energy is palpable; we seem to produce more FinTech thought leaders on LinkedIn every week than successful FinTech products. FinTech has made its way into the popular lexicon with even heads of state peppering speeches with FinTech jargon. In fact, we also have a global movement around impact investing and social inclusion funded by well-meaning philanthropists who made their money building other industries.
But where’s the innovation at scale to make a meaningful mainstream difference in financial services? Do we – anyone and ...