The Feed #9 — Can Fintech Make IBMs Sexy Again?
[This article originally appeared in the email blog The Fintech Feed.]
Feedsters, The mornings are cool and the afternoons are hot but the leaves are starting to change here in New York! Thank you for those of you who reached out last week. Lots of exciting stuff coming up and we’re already half way through September! What. The. Heck.
Also, shout out to my younger brother who turns 23 today — Happy birthday!
Now, let’s get into the Feed!
You called IBM sexy. Unsubscribe — Unfollow — Delete — Spam
Just hear me out. So this past week there was a ton of really great FinTech news. There’s a lot I wanted to cover this week but will push to when I can do a proper write up of it. But one story that caught my eye was this article.
Now, most people have never heard of a Bloomberg Terminal. However, some people, like myself, have heard of them and even use them regularly. In fact a large portion of my graduate school was dependent upon utilizing this terminal (we even had Bloomberg representatives come certify use to use it)! Why is a Bloomberg Terminal so awesome? Well, perhaps I’ll let the sexiest character in television history explain it…
...or I could just say that a Bloomberg Terminal gives you instant access to every bit of financial market data available all from one central location. This terminal is your radioactive economic spider and your abilities with it are superhuman.
But there are a number of FinTech startups giving Bloomberg a run for its money. I’ll speak at length about this in a future blog post but the biggest trend about FinTech is that it’s making B2C companies sexy (read: relevant) again.
How could these guys, and enterprise software, possibly be viewed at as sexy, innovative, and relevant?
The beauty of the Bloomberg Terminal is it’s ability to not only manipulate and connect you to data but also to people. A built in chat function, award winning customer service, and a wealth of plugins make it a tool that lets you leverage the knowledge of the markets AND the knowledge of everyone you know!
This is a growing trend. Smart, flexible, fast moving startups that build robust enterprise level tools connecting human and data-driven systems will continue to disrupt the current establishment. It’s going to be cool to watch.
Building on that theme I’m a big fan of very simple web apps that accomplish one single task with high engagement. edu(k)ate is one such tool.
Their main website has lessons on financial literacy and retirement planning that I highly encourage you to check out. Think of it as a Khanacademy for personal finance. This tool, however, gives you a very simple way of projecting out how much you need to save for your retirement through a beautiful user interface.
It takes about a minute to go through the program and at the end gives you a target amount of money you should be saving every day in order to hit your retirement goal. It even gives you a free PDF at the end of the program that you can store on you phone’s homescreen that has handy tips on how to save that amount of money each day. Everything from how to grow your own potatoes to ways to save on wifi and your phone bill!
Really impressed with this simple little app.
That’s it for this week. Be on the lookout for a future post on why FinTech could only happen now.
QOTW — What are you most excited about in the next three months?