Richard Napolitano — For any technology company, it’s always about the product.
Here at Advisor360°, we’re evolving from development and raw execution to understanding our long-term strategy and go-to-market plans. And having been a part of some great enterprise-focused tech companies across the years, I've realized the key tenant to providing the best experience possible all comes down to the product.
The “product” means this: solving customer problems and enabling opportunities. It’s that basic—and that essential.
Investment advisor productivity is a big deal.
According to The Kitces Report’s financial planning study, the average financial plan takes 15 hours to create and 3 client meetings to discuss. And that’s just one plan. The study calls out the fact that the majority of advisors rely on Word and Excel to supplement the writing of their financial plans. We know there’s a better, faster, stronger path to productivity.
The key is to leverage technology through digital transformation—that’s how you increase productivity.
As we look toward the future at Advisor360°, our product is well-positioned to enable the growth of those in the wealth management business. It permits advisors and broker-dealers (whether they're independent, banking, insurance broker-dealers, or rollup-RIAs) to either service more clients at scale, or to sell more of their financial products and drive efficiency in the back-end processes of their firms.
There have been many claims in the WealthTech industry about how companies deliver an integrated wealth management solution. But they haven’t delivered.
These competitors’ solutions are not integrated; their “holistic” experience is just a common look and feel—if that!—with single sign on without any real functionality depth. They’re often using marketing slogans and superficial veneers to hide the fact that what they really provide is an aggregation of different products by different companies—without any underlying shared or common framework.
How is that holistic?
At Advisor360°, we’ve worked over many years to build the only truly integrated/unified wealth management platform. What does this mean?
It means connections across all layers of the platform: from the user’s positive experience fulfilling their wants and needs, to the underlying data and process that support it. A deeply-integrated platform is critical to keeping users loyal to the product and results in the most successful business outcomes for all parties. Our holistic platform was started inside of Commonwealth Financial Network and refined over the last two decades with many features, functions, and integrations that are extremely unique in the marketplace.
It’s clear to me that our value proposition is derived from our exclusive technological advantage. This advantage is inconspicuous and somewhat hidden; however, it underscores the fundamental value proposition and is what makes Advisor360° unlike any other WealthTech company.
I have seen in many early stage companies (and even big tech behemoths like Sun Microsystems and others), that understanding your advantage is key to delivering value to your users. When the technological advantages are delivered as enterprise-class, the market opportunity is limitless.
We like to call these advantages our “superpowers.”
Superpower #1: Unified data fabric™.
This unified data fabric surrounds and embraces all sleeves of our software. This is the fundamental building block of Advisor360°. This unified fabric gives a complete view of everything within a household and every household within a business (or subsets thereof).
So, what value does our unified household data fabric bring to the table?
By assembling performance reporting, customer onboarding, CRM, portfolio rebalancing and trading document management, planning tools, a client portal, and operations (to name a few)—it means that the advisors’ system, advisors’ staff system, advisors’ client’s system, and the broker-dealers’ back office system ALL share a common and connected view of the entire book of business; Disconnected data no longer exists.
It’s a disruptor in the marketplace: the true definition of a unified experience.
Superpower #2: The Team.
Another key difference between Advisor360° and our competitors in the marketplace: our team. These colleagues are the pieces that make our product possible—they’re the foundation of both the product and the company. “People” are often cited as differentiators, but what we have is rare in the WealthTech space.
Our team is made up of an outstanding combination of financial services people from the broker-dealer world, along with experienced software veterans, that acutely understand industry challenges and workflows. As you may have seen in our recent senior management team announcement, we’re building out our enterprise leadership team.
Now that we have coupled this financial services expertise with enterprise software expertise, the result is a deep understanding of what it means to deliver enterprise-class wealth management software at scale. Moving forward, these enterprise companies represent our core client base.
The bottom line: we’re not your typical WealthTech company.
As Advisor360° expands our product development and begins implementing our go-to-market strategy, we look forward to sharing our progress in improving productivity for everyone in the WealthTech space.
Richard Napolitano — I started out in the burgeoning days of software, before dot coms, and Silicon Valleys, and when Route 128 was a thing! I was a restless tech guy that loved to see how things tick: software, people, businesses. So I got a job as a software engineer at Digital Equipment Corp.—and I couldn’t stop thinking about ways to make things better, to solve problems.
I still can’t stop.
With 30 years of building and delivering enterprise products to enterprise firms, my experience spans both engineering and sales. I understand that critical blend of product development and go-to-market experience. The wealth management business is evolving and embracing technology to enable their businesses. In the IT world, we call this Digital Transformation. So I wanted to be a part of that—to grow a company in the wealth management SaaS space.
That’s where Advisor360° comes in.
The big question.
Advisor360° saw a problem to solve: how can wealth management professionals and firms build better, stronger relationships with their clients? It simply cannot be done without improving productivity. The demographic trends and rise of the fiduciary is driving the need for more Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), who need tools of technology to drive their productivity. Broker-dealers and insurance companies need back office processes to automation, and this pain point is in some respects even greater than the pain point for the advisors.
It’s a productivity problem for everybody.
But what if a team could figure this out? It would not only mean more productivity, but more client-facing time to build relationships. And build profits.
This was an intriguing challenge I wanted to help solve.
So that’s why I joined the company that is solving it: Advisor360°.
How it all started.
While a wholly independent company, Advisor360° was spun-off April of last year from Commonwealth Financial Network, the largest registered investment advisor/independent broker-dealer in the country. It turns out that Commonwealth’s tech division had developed (over two decades and thousands of pieces of feedback) their own award-winning, productivity-enhancing, relationship-building wealth management software.
And this technology finesse was proven: by using Commonwealth’s proprietary software, advisors were 20-30% more productive than other advisors in the market. It’s a classic case of using software technologies to improve overall productivity.
Advisor360° is the continuation of that productivity mission through the adoption of technology and embracing Digital Transformation.
A holistic productivity platform.
We saw early on the value of technology in the WealthTech sector. And Advisor360° is unique in that we’re positioned as a pure play SaaS company.
We’ve built the only holistic, deeply-integrated, unified wealth management SaaS platform in the industry.
We unify—not just integrate—all the systems (from CRM to a client portal) firms need to bring better productivity to their advisors.
It’s a big deal, because Advisor360° provides this holistic user experience throughout advisor workflow, home office, and broker-dealer back offices. Our platform lets you scale to your firm’s needs.
And build better relationships.
Ahead of the curve.
But how are we better aligned to the business plans of enterprises?
We’re focused on leveraging our R&D investment across a large number of customers to increase the innovation. As an independent entity, we can attract even more technical talent and focus on building the best product possible. Since more and more enterprise products are delivered as a service, Advisor360° fits right in.
We see the big picture: a trend away from captive high-end advisors to a number of independent advisors that are tied to insurance companies or independent broker-dealers.
The bottom line is the aging population of baby boomers is retiring with substantial assets, and they seek independent advisors. We’ve built a world-class platform that integrates and unifies it all for advisors—so they can spend less time on process, and more time on relationships.
Let’s keep building.
We are here to build a world-class enterprise software company, delivering our products to enterprises as a service. The need for technology in this WealthTech space is clear and present, and Advisor360° is poised for enormous growth in the next 12 months.
If you’d like more information about our platform, please contact us.
Darren Tedesco — I’m often asked by co-workers or industry pundits “what’s next?” in the world of WealthTech.
My answer is usually tongue-and-cheek along the lines of “let me think about it.” In reality, no one can predict the future, yet the essence of strategy is to try to do exactly that: best understand where things are going, choose what you will do to make peoples’ lives better to solve their problems (which, when you do, people gladly give you money for doing so), and choose what you will NOT do (see Michael Porter’s “What Is Strategy?”).
The essence of our strategy is about understanding the WealthTech trends and then making a choice of what you will and won’t do to address those trends.
The Trend is Your Friend
One of the most powerful forces in this world is momentum; either in a positive or negative way, once you have momentum, it’s very hard to change it. Writing this blog in what I hope is an almost post-COVID-19 world, there is a trend that is undeniable: leveraging technology to collaborate online is here to stay. In the past, most advisors were heavily centered on meeting with their clients in person—then in March of 2020, the whole world changed in a matter of mere weeks. While the pandemic has been horrible and has led to many deaths worldwide, there are some positives that will be taken from this era.
One of these positives is that over the last 3 months, more clients and advisors have met virtually, and the feedback I’ve heard from advisors is that clients have both appreciated this new form of meeting, and now expect this to be the norm going forward.
Key takeaway: WealthTech companies need to ensure that collaboration tools are a core part of their software offerings.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Just Getting Started
10 years ago, I wrote about voice navigation being a big trend that we will start to see in tools and apps. These days, Alexa, Siri, and a whole host of other named virtual assistants are mainstream. Three years ago, I wrote about AI being a big part of our future. In hindsight, I may have understated the importance and impact.
The world has pivoted quickly from technology complementing humans to humans complementing technology.
In 2015, I wrote an article for the Journal of Financial Planning titled “Creating the Blended Advisor Experience,” with a focus on exactly this: that technology and the advisor worlds are blending. We’re now seeing that advance rapidly.
“Next best actions” suggested we’ll pivot to actions taken by technology without human intervention.
Many model-management trading systems, including robo-advice companies, have been doing this with auto-rebalancing of portfolios for a while now; moving from investments to operations and planning functions will have an even greater impact.
Key takeaway: AI will take hold in how both broker-dealers and advisors run their businesses and serve their clients, and begin taking action without human interaction.
A Means to an End
20 years ago, the minority of financial advisors were planning-centric in their advice to clients; investments or insurance were almost always the focus. Now in reality, investments and insurance are an important part of helping any given client achieve their goals—but they’re products that are a means to an end. Fast-forward to 2020, the move towards leading with holistic financial planning is here and here to stay.
Understanding all pertinent aspects of a client’s life and helping them plan for successful outcomes of what is most important to them is now driving advisor/client conversations.
The real challenge for advisors is how to perform holistic financial planning at scale (creating a full-blown plan for a client can take upwards of 10+ hours). Enter WealthTech, and more specifically in our case, WealthGuide®. WealthGuide is an Advisor360° system created 8 years ago that allows advisors to customize myriad planning topics and create a “living agenda” that is used at every meeting with a client. This living agenda ensures that pre-existing assumptions and facts are still correct, but also reinforces the value proposition of all the elements that a financial advisor brings to the relationship. Tying this all into a client portal will allow for co-planning between advisors and clients in real-time which is the ultimate panacea.
Key takeaway: Financial planning is more important than it has ever been. Finding ways to scale that process is mission-critical for the financial advisors of the future.
Did you know there are subscription services/apps that now help you review how many subscription services/apps that you might be paying for—why is that? It’s because the masses have now embraced subscription-based models, yet it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all your subscriptions. I recently reviewed my subscriptions and realized I was paying for almost a dozen of them (TiVo, Hulu, Netflix, HBO GO, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, SHOWTIME, etc.). The downside is that if you aren’t leveraging all these services regularly, you are wasting money.
However, there is an upside to the subscription trend when it comes to WealthTech: paying for software should be subscription-based, not AUM or account-based.
From the end-user’s perspective, I’ve never understood the concept of your technology getting more expensive just because the stock market went up one day and I never will, which is why Advisor360° charges fees solely on a per user subscription model.
Key takeaway: The world has turned to subscription-based software, including wealth management software.
The Future Wealth Management is WealthTech that looks like…
In the end, your business needs to operate in an efficient and modern way. Partnering with a firm that allows your business to keep up with the macro trends—online collaboration, data and AI, co-planning, and a subscription-based software model—allows you to focus your time on what really matters: engaging with clients.
Are you ahead of the curve?
Darren Tedesco — Integration has long been considered the holy grail on a financial advisor’s desktop—and for good reason. Integrated technology can improve efficiency and help you maintain a high level of service for your clients. Still, there are two interesting truths to keep in mind when thinking about the role of integrated technology in financial services: integration means different things to different people, and integration is never complete.
Integration Is a Work in Progress
This is true in every industry, not just ours. Take the example of car manufacturers, which are trying to integrate more Internet-based apps and functionality into their vehicles. At some point—perhaps in the not-too-distant future—each time you drive up to the window at Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, your car will know who is with you, along with their preferred drinks. It will then connect to the coffee shop, place the order, and pay with whatever payment preference you have on file, all while making sure that your loyalty reward card is properly credited. This is just one illustration of the millions of integration points being worked on at this moment across all industries.
The Internet of Things
The move toward total integration is part of what’s known as the “Internet of Things” (IoT). The IoT refers to how almost every single electronic item that we use on a daily basis will connect to us, to other electronic devices, and to commerce. The rise of inexpensive electronic components, as well as ubiquitous high-speed Internet, is paving the way for a more automated future.
Just look at tablet computers, which were considered a luxury item when they first burst onto the scene. Now, they’re practically disposable. Have a cracked screen? No problem! Just throw out your tablet and get a new one. It’s probably cheaper than fixing it. That’s how far we’ve come. What was once considered a thing of science fiction has now morphed into science nonfiction.
The Age of Convenience
Integration has also helped us push the limits on personal and business productivity, giving rise to the “convenience” age of integration and the IoT. Here’s just one example: Purchased by Google in 2014, the Nest thermostat probably knows more about your location than your significant other! It knows when you’re away, when you’re on your way home, and when to turn on your heat or air conditioning at just the right time to save you money while ensuring that you’ll feel comfortable the moment you step into your house. Change the thermostat manually often? Nest learns your patterns and starts to make adjustments before you do.
We’re seeing trends like this in business as well, with innovations such as printers that automatically order ink when it’s getting low and voice over IP systems that smart route to cell phones or remote receptionist vendors.
All of these things point to something I’ve come to think of as “perfect” technology: technology that you don’t have to actively use. Instead, it’s constantly working in the background and knows what to do for you and when.
What’s the Cost?
Clearly, the benefits of device interconnectivity are very real, but what’s the cost? The 2016 distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack comes to mind.
The attack targeted a company named Dyn, which offers Domain Name System (DNS) services. DNS services translate the web addresses we see every day into the IP addresses (i.e., numbers) needed to find and connect with the right servers, so browsers can deliver requested content. A DDoS attack overwhelms a DNS server with millions of lookup requests at once, rendering it incapable of completing any request.
In a nutshell, an attacker can take out the entire Internet for any end user whose DNS requests route through a given server. To orchestrate this attack, viruses were installed on unpatched devices that people simply don’t think of as “computers.” The thermostats I mentioned above were part of the electronic zombie armies that perpetrated the attack, as were refrigerators, DVRs, TVs, web cameras, and even wireless printers.
In almost all of these devices, users can go into the settings menu and check to see whether a “firmware” update is available—these updates often have both security- and performance-related enhancements baked into them. Unfortunately, some manufacturers don’t care about patching firmware, even when their devices have known vulnerabilities; they just move on to the next generation of devices.
One important lesson here: Check your Internet-enabled devices for firmware updates at least a few times a year. The benefits gained likely outweigh the downsides, and reputable manufacturers are more likely to maintain their hardware with security patches for years after purchase.
Looking beyond integration, will the world even need people for commerce? There are already programs writing programs (PwP), meaning that code is being developed without any human intervention (other than the person who writes the initial code). Plus, artificial intelligence (AI) continues to progress at a steady pace and the ubiquitous Internet is connecting even the most remote areas of the globe. Given all of this, I suspect there will come a time when you and I are no longer needed for the services that we currently provide.
The good news? AI is not likely to take over the jobs that we perform anytime soon. But what is in our near future is the next evolution of integration: unification. We can debate what led Apple to rise from bankruptcy to the world’s most valuable company one decade later. My take is that Apple took integration to the next level, creating a unified experience across devices and programs—iPods, iPhones, iPads, and iMacs all working with similar interfaces. This drove user adoption, as people were less intimidated by the technology because it all looked and worked the same way, substantially reducing the learning curve.
Darren Tedesco — If you haven’t heard of Pokémon GO, I can only imagine that you’ve been vacationing on a remote island or in the middle of Siberia. Since its release in early July, the game, a modern-day iteration of the original Pokémon trading card game, has seen unprecedented success. The uber-popular app has already been downloaded tens of millions of times, and Nintendo’s stock is up more than 60 percent in the past month (although Nintendo recently said that its exposure to profits would be limited). Never has a mobile app game been so hyped—and for good reason, I think.
My 15-year-old daughter hopped on this game the day it was released. She eventually convinced my wife to join, who then convinced me to join. This became the impetus for us to buy my 12-year-old son his first phone so that he could join, too. And that, in and of itself, exemplifies one of the many strengths of this game: it can bring families together (mobile and video games often do the opposite).
But Pokémon GO is more than just a game. After playing it for a week, I’m convinced that it will not only usher in a new chapter of gaming for humankind, but that it will teach us lessons that will change how we do business. You may think this is a bold statement. How can a game change our approach to business? Let me explain.
Lessons from Pokémon GO
1) It’s bringing families and generations together. The fact that kids and parents can go out “Pokémon hunting” together as a team—or even as rival teams—is fun. But when I first witnessed a 75-year-old man playing Pokémon GO with his granddaughter, I knew this was something more. While the original Pokémon game was largely popular with 10- to 12-year-old boys, the new game is appealing to nearly every demographic.
How can this change your business? Anything businesses do to help connect family members in general is a positive. For financial advisors, one big risk they face is losing their clients' children (and assets) to another advisor after a client passes away. It goes without saying that finding creative ways to help your clients’ families connect across generations—and with your brand—will pay dividends.
2) It’s making us feel part of a community. In general, I’ve talked with more random people in the past couple of weeks than I think I’ve talked with in the past year. That’s because PokéStops and Pokémon gyms are static and people flock to them. (If you don’t know what these are, check out Wikipedia’s description of the game.) Additionally, so far in my experience, there seems to be a bond between Pokémon GO players that is fun and genuine.
For example, one very cool aspect of the game is the concept of “lures.” Lures are not easy to attain—unless you buy them through the app—and they attract wild Pokémon to PokéStops without your having to move from that spot. (Okay, so this is the lazy part of the game.) If you use one of your lures, everyone playing Pokémon GO within about a one-half-mile radius will see it and can benefit from it. I’ve witnessed individuals thanking total strangers for their generosity.
How can this change your business? When people feel part of something bigger than themselves, they develop a profound appreciation for that connection. We partner with a local organization and invite home office staff and their guests to roll up their sleeves and make a positive difference in the world.
Do you hold your own giving back initiatives? The next time you hold a food drive or offer a book swap, consider putting signage outside your office to promote the event and invite your local community to participate. Then, if your business is lucky enough to be a PokéStop (or if you want to submit a request to become one), consider dropping lures at a set time each day. It would cost you about $1 per day to do this, and the increased traffic in front of your building could ultimately lead to extra donations to your giving back initiative—and perhaps even a new prospective client or two.
3) It’s taking gamification to the next level. Many companies have implemented a “badge” or “medal” system for social media and marketing purposes. Pokémon GO is built on the same psychological principles that drive such programs, and once you get started earning rewards, it’s hard to stop.
How can this change your business? This one’s a little tricky to implement on your own, but think about fun ways to get your clients more involved in their financial planning. If they’re struggling to set aside money for a child's college fund, for example, maybe you give them a gold star each month they contribute to the account. Once they get 12 stars, you’ll take them out to lunch.
4) It’s opening our eyes to the real world around us. It’s hard to believe, but the most popular game in the world right now is teaching us about the areas where we live and work. I’ve learned more about landmarks in my town in the past week than in the 12 years I’ve lived there.
How can this change your business? Appreciation events are an excellent way to develop greater rapport with your clients. In every town in the U.S., there are treasures that many people either don’t know much about or don’t know exist at all. Hold a client appreciation event at one of these lesser-known venues; throw in some finger food and libations and you’ve connected your clients to the community in which they live. And I’m sure they’ll spread the word that they were there . . . because of you!
5) It’s taking augmented reality (AR) mainstream. One of the best parts of this game is the introduction of AR into mainstream gaming. AR is nothing new, but it is new to the masses. Overlaying a game like this on a map of the U.S. (or other countries) is a game-changer.
How can this change your business? I’m not sure yet, but I bet it won’t be long before we know.
6) It’s keeping people active. One of the many brilliant aspects of Pokémon GO is that you have to go to the game; the game does not come to you. Although the details of how to play this game are outside the scope of this blog post, players have to do a lot of walking. PokéStops, Pokémon gyms, and wild Pokémon are all found out in the real world, not from the living room sofa. By way of example, I walked more than 20 kilometers in the first week with my family, and I’m pretty sure I would not have done so otherwise.
How can this change your business? Health and wellness—both financial and physical—are important topics in our industry today. As you work to help ensure that your clients have enough money to retire comfortably, why not find ways to help them stay active as well? Organize a team for Walk for Hunger; start an exercise club with a group of A clients and get together to play basketball or go for a swim or run on a Saturday morning; or, if you have a nice space for it at your business, hire a yoga teacher to come in and offer a class on your lawn.
A Dose of Caution
Pokémon GO is representative of how people are interacting with technology and the world around them today. But it’s not all rainbows and lollipops. Some news stories have reported that players have been “lured” into trespassing on private property and walking off cliffs; some have even walked unsuspecting into a robbery in progress. While there are always some downsides to change and disruption, I believe this summer marks a huge turning point for the future of gaming—and a huge opportunity for financial advisors to change the way they do business for the better.
Every day, each of us makes a number of decisions that affect our lives. (Research says the number of decisions is somewhere between 3,000 and 35,000; I couldn’t decide which source to trust, so I’m giving you the range instead!) In making these decisions—regardless of whether our choices involve something rather ordinary or matters of consequence—we are attempting to optimize for something.
Optimizing the User Experience
When it comes to the technology one of our core goals is to optimize our users’ time. By saving time, advisors and their staff gain efficiencies (e.g., cost savings) and productivity (e.g., the ability to focus on revenue-generating activities), along with more personal time to spend however they see fit.
In addition to optimizing the tools we build and support to save advisors time, we believe that we have an even higher calling, so we focus on optimizing the user experience with our technology. Of course, that begs the question, “What leads to a great technology experience?”
Although the answer can vary, I believe these seven ingredients are essential to creating an amazing experience:
What I find most interesting about optimization is that it is in the eye of the beholder. Two people might perform the same action but do so for different reasons. One advisor might place a trade to buy IBM, viewing it as a vehicle to maximize long-term growth, while another might buy the same stock for the company’s stability and the potential income stream it can generate.
Optimization isn’t black and white or wrong or right; it’s all about perspective. And just as many technology platforms have had to evolve to become browser-agnostic, so they work with any system from Chrome, to Firefox, to IE, I believe financial advisor technology will need to become user-agnostic—so it works to meet any advisor’s needs, no matter how he or she chooses to run a business
I’ve never understood the infamous New Year’s resolution. What’s so important about a single day (i.e., January 1) that warrants a different human behavior from what existed a day earlier (i.e., December 31)? People—myself included—should make resolutions all the time when they want to change, even if they make the resolution on June 19. I know, it sounds “soap-boxish,” but you can get away with that when it’s your own blog. :)
In any case, while you might have weight loss or getting in shape, eating better, getting more sleep, or a whole host of other standard resolutions on your docket, how about adding this one: getting your computer into shape. Of course, via the Shield program, we take care of advisors’ common software patches (e.g., Microsoft Office, Adobe, Java, Antivirus), but there are other things that you can do to your computer to help it perform even better. Here are a few:
Happy New Year to both you and your computer!
I recently read an interesting Computerworld piece on the “Internet of Things,” which talked about the many electronics and even nonelectronics (such as toilets) that are becoming and will become connected via Wi-Fi. Typically, articles like this one go on about all the cool things that these new devices will bring us, including a refrigerator that will text you when you are out of milk or better yet that will order milk for you from the store to be delivered. Of course, outside of Cyber Monday, one of the big buzzes this week on the Web has been that, in the future, such deliveries will likely happen via an Amazon drone. This Computerworld piece, however, had nothing to do with future conveniences or sci-fi prognostications.
No, instead it discussed the threat that the “Internet of Things” will bring to us. A solid example provided has to do with a Linux bug recently discovered by Symantec. Although almost no one in the world thinks he or she uses Linux, almost everyone in the world actually does. For example, most Internet routers, TV DVRs/TiVos, DVD players, and so on, use the Linux kernel as their core operating system. So when you are navigating those menus via your tablet or remote, you are in fact using Linux.
The Linux bug was patched more than a year ago, but the interesting point made in the piece was that most vendors of these devices do not expose the operating system to the end user, nor do they make it available to update with patches. Many devices, such as Internet routers, offer firmware updates, but, again, almost none of them patch those devices automatically. This leads to the conclusion that, as everything becomes connected to the Internet, there will be an increase in the devices that have vulnerabilities, which, of course, will lead to an increase in the number of people who try to do harm. Just think of what someone could do if he or she hacked into all of those aforementioned Amazon drone delivery devices! (Hint: It wouldn’t be pretty.)
I love that we live in interesting times and am glad that I’ll be around to see how this all plays out.
It’s been a year now since Microsoft launched its latest operating system, Windows 8. The release includes some really cool features, particularly for touch screens, yet its adoption numbers are paltry. Although its user base has been growing consistently by about 0.5 percent each month (or at an annual rate of 6 percent), as of the beginning of June, just 4.3 percent of users were running Windows 8, according to NetMarketShare. Meanwhile, Windows 7 users accounted for 44.8 percent of the market—and that number actually increased from October 2012.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and that smell may well be Microsoft. Here’s why:
What do you think?
This question is interesting in many ways. I was at a technology conference a few weeks ago, and the head of technology at Procter & Gamble mentioned that she poses this question to her innovation team to help them reach their potential. Let’s face it, we are all risk averse on some level every day; otherwise, we’d all be taking savings, running to Vegas, and putting it all on one spin of the wheel.
There is a lot that can come out of asking this simple question, both on the business and the personal sides of life. For this post, I’ll focus on the business aspect.
First, asking yourself this question can help you understand what your full list of priorities is if you remove the element of risk. That may not seem particularly helpful. But if you look closely at those priorities, you can determine which ones have a lower risk/reward quotient. Among those, you can determine which ones you can do the most quickly with the least amount of energy. Then, you can just do them. Certainly there are some items on your list that might represent huge wins if you executed them flawlessly. But, as I mentioned above, we all have some degree of risk aversion.