To Fix Financial Technology, We Have to Fix Financial Education

Why Financial Institutions are Failing to Court the Millennial Generation

Photo Credits to UnSplash

The solution to the struggle that financial companies have in courting millennials won’t be a product. It won’t be some huge innovation in financial services or app design. It won’t even be stricter government regulation enacted to gain back the trust of the public. All the new application overhauls in user interface and features like mobile deposit and biometric security are fantastic, but they’re just band-aids that show us companies are still scratching their heads at what they should be doing. So before they find out, they’ll throw millions of dollars at the wall and hope that something sticks. That by making their tools easier for people to use — it’ll be enough. But that’s the thing. You can’t sell a product purely on convenience (unless that is the product). You sell a product on what it does, and if the value it adds is enough, people will buy it no matter how cumbersome it is.

Instead, the real reason behind the lack of interest in financial services is a lack of education in practical financial knowledge. With the incredible expansion of financial tools within the past few decades as well as the crash caused by the 2008 Lehman shock, there’s been built a feeling of exclusivity and distrust surrounding the entire industry — discouraging many from learning even about its basics. And this, the lack of learning and knowledge about financial services is the key reason in the decline.

Of course, financial professionals don’t expect their clients to have the same amount of in-depth knowledge — if they did, they wouldn’t need their services — but there’s an implicit assumption that there is a shared base of foundational knowledge and worldview. Financial advisors don’t expect their clients to know about the Long Strangle or Iron Condor they’ll use to hedge client portfolios, but they’ll assume that their clients will at least know how calls and puts work and share a priority towards value stability over liquidity.

And That’s Where They’re Wrong

Continue reading “To Fix Financial Technology, We Have to Fix Financial Education”

What Pokemon GO Needs To Evolve Beyond Hype

Image Credits to DigitalTrends.com

— The 3 Deep Content Developments That the Augmented Reality GameChanger Needs To Stay a Giant

Raising Nintendo’s stock by 25%, eclipsing Tinder and (maybe even) Twitter in user activity, and skyrocketing to the number one spot in Android and App stores within a single day— it’s hard to call Pokemon GO anything other than a roaring success. I’ve been playing the game since the night it launched in the US and it’s already made me walk more willingly in the past 4 days than I have in the last 6 months. I’ve sat at parks in Manhattan for hours because of lures, eschewed subways to walk for Pokestops, and poured through endless Google searches for tips and tricks to play — so I’m a fan.

But being a gamer my entire life, I’ve seen my fair share of releases and hype to notice that Pokemon GO is not without its flaws — no, not the frequent server crashes or easy to point out bugs. But ones which if left unchecked, will leave it as just a July hype-train and nothing more. Continue reading “What Pokemon GO Needs To Evolve Beyond Hype”

Let Your Users “Cheat” You

Photo Credits to Space Invaders and Gizmodo

Why It’s Not Only Fine But Important to Include Imperfections in Your Product — Especially if They Become User Exploits

What am I talking about? I’m talking about designing and including a loophole purposefully into your product. A mistake. A Vulnerability. Whatever you want to call it. As long as it’s not something that poses a security risk or is too big in scale, I want it to be included in the product. Something that lets users feel like they’ve discovered a product hack, would ordinarily be thought of as an edge case — but can catch fire and ramp up engagement dramatically.

Let me give a shameless example. Continue reading “Let Your Users “Cheat” You”

The World is Iterating on Silicon Valley

Examining Japan’s iteration on the startup ecosystem & why we can’t just clone the Valley — feat. Nulab’s CEO, Masanori Hashimoto

Photograph from Masanori Hashimoto’s Twitter

Silicon Valley has taken the world by storm. Google, Amazon, Apple, Uber, the titans of the Valley have been spread into every corner of the world, yielding the envy of foreign entrepreneurs and governments alike. And it’s not just foreign envy and ambition, but even domestic. New York City, Boston, cities in every state have been trying to incubate Valleys of their own as local governments realize that the next long-term drivers of economic growth are entrepreneurship and industry disruption.

But in the hubris of its success, Silicon Valley has stalled in its own innovation. Valley evangelists such as myself have been blinded by the roaring opportunity that the Valley presents, and we campaign relentlessly to distribute its elements in the name of human and technological progress.

Ironically, we forget the very tenet we shout the loudest — Change is good, never be satisfied, and things can always be better: even if it’s something working as amazingly as the Valley.

Continue reading “The World is Iterating on Silicon Valley”