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Category: Business

What is fuelling the fintech boom?

I have a new job that’s all about fintech. You will probably know roughly what that is if you have been reading around finance, entrepreneurship, innovation and such lately. Or, frankly, if you’ve been awake in a place like London in the last few years. My definition is ‘disruptive, technology-based businesses in financial services’.

You are also likely to be a customer of at least one fintech company, as last year an estimated 2/3rds of all banking customers were using a fintech service. For me it’s ClearScore for checking my credit score for free and TransferWise for sending money cheaply to Finland (since I have you here, have a code for a free transfer).

In short, you can’t have avoided hearing about one of the most active areas of the startup scene in London and globally. You may be asking yourself, when will all this blow over? When will there be just Jack Daniels and dating ads on the Tube again? To answer that I have analysed the main drivers fuelling the revolution using a 2×2 matrix, below – I’m not an MBA for nothing, hey. On the vertical axis is the impact or the level of disruption caused by it, and the horizontal axis shows whether a driver is likely to become less important over time or is here to stay. Spoiler: fintech is not going away.

BusinessFinance

Complete list of all stock exchanges

I’m working on a project on stock exchanges, and while trying to find out how many there were in the world, I discovered that it’s very difficult to find a complete list that is up to date. So I made one! (There are about 240.) I have made an effort to weed out dead ones, check for broken links, etc, but if you spot any mistakes or exchanges that are missing, please tell me in the comments or email me.

You can see the list here, or download an Excel version here.

BusinessFinance

New thoughts on automation

For whatever reason, it’s quite rare to find a talk so interesting you’re on the edge of your seat for most it. This delightfully happened to me recently while listening to LEK Consulting‘s Andrew Allum talk about automation.

I find the topic of automation generally quite clear-cut: I think it’s a Good that will cause a fair amount of Bad in the short term. The bad consists of major restructuring in the job market and a lot of unemployment, which makes the fear and loathing around automation justifiable – too emotional and alarmist, but understandable. The good is in the long-term effect of greater productivity, lower prices and increased availability of valuable products and services for more people. Also, better jobs.

So against that backdrop of ‘This is a non-issue’, I was happy to find a lot of new food for thought in the talk. Mr Allum stressed that he was not a futurist and did not want to speculate much on what the effect of the changes we’re seeing now might be. I however am letting my mind wander, so have your grains of salt at the ready…

Business

Publishing and the five competitive forces

Michael E. Porter is a management writer and thinker, whose most famous essay is The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy. I finally read this essay a couple of weeks ago, and it was natural while reading to think about how the five forces relate to publishing. Here’s what I think.

Business

A SWOT analysis of publishing

If someone was considering (trade) publishing as a career, what might they take into account?

Note that some of these points are based on my best guesses, so if you’re here because you’ve got a job offer, do do your own research into a company as they might have very different policies and culture. I know all of this hasn’t always applied to the companies I’ve worked at.

Business