ARE SHORT STORIES THE WAY FORWARD, INSTEAD OF BOOKS?

The announcement today by The Washington Post, that it is making available its “important election information” free to all readers – should be a wake up call, to anybody who has doubted that the age of giving away your advice, information, expertise online – for free – is already over.

The question is – what are the key markets where this can benefit you?  The answer is not so much in the Content, but in the ease of accessing said Content, and seamlessly paying for it.   Up to now, the market has been addressed by the more corporate players – market leader being The Futureshapers (www.thefutureshapers.com) based in London, whose readership is up to  six figures of serious corporate decision-makers.

But there are newcomers on the block, and leading that entry is Uppsala, Sweden based EXODOX, (www.exodox.link), whose simple link and payment process, is a natural gateway for the personal reading market, in particular, their focus on upcoming authors and bloggers. It is a clever way of maximising revenues for the authors that are published. Articles cost just a few pence or euros to read – but social media gives them great outreach.

Typical examples are: https://unfuckwithable.blog/goodness-grace-great-thoughts-on-fire-chapters/1-perfect-just-as-you-are/ – and more UK based – the recent “the Libraries” (www.thelibraries.co.uk).

The choice is interesting because neither platform require any subscription. You pay only for the specific info or article.

In corporate terms, this is a simple and great way to get brand visibility over a sustained period;  and air a personal level, a great way at pretty much little cost – for authors to get their name out there before moving to the larger book publishing houses.

 

 

The Future of Finance 2019

We look at changes that need to happen in 2019, if Financial Service providers can actually “provide” what you and I want.

The upcoming Future of Finance conference at Hurlingham London in a few weeks, is a landmark – a pointer in the sand if you will, a meeting place where key decision makers in the financial industry can meet to discuss well, where is their market going, and by implication, where are they themselves going?

There is a suspicion that actually, they are not going anywhere. This is reasonable or understandable. It is far easier to paper over the cracks, and this is seen in the way such organisations create “transformation teams”, but still retain the same people and attitudes;  change people’s job titles, play musical chairs with executives, or focus on costs savings – but still carrying the same methodology and still looking at costs instead of looking at efficiency. The two are not the same.

Yet there are two areas that can make a difference, and they simply require a cool look at how you and I behave. In particular; how do we prefer to access our financial info; and what sort of info do we want to have. 

Key vertical market in this, is the rise of the self-service private client – the guy who has savings but where the return on investment is nothing when compared to actual portfolio investment. Surely there are now sophisticated tools that can algorithm all this stuff for the man in the street? Indeed there are. The Tetralog company in Munich (as an example) focus on this sort of Robo Advisory that still retains the use of the face to face Advisor – but gives the client the info in a way he can understand and monitor, automatically. There is nothing worse than seeing graphically how your savings otherwise  are gradually deteriorating over time.

Equally important, is the tangential thinking that wakes up to the fact that, with mobile technology, we are all different now. The irony is that this is not a tech discussion, but a business discussion, by people who may not necessarily be financial – but who can spot how people want to work in the future. Richard Copland, formerly CGI Logica and now Partner at The Futureshapers told me; “ executives no longer have time to take a pause or have the courage to throw out legacy solutions, or legacy ideas”.

But throw things out, they must. And this includes being very open to new ways of doing things. 

We expect the winners in 2019 to be those organisations who are prepared to back their hunches, and the losers? Well, they will be the ones who carry on as before.