FinTech Won’t Revolutionise Banking

Bitcoin_logo

(excerpt from my book)

In my experience technology has always overpromised and underdelivered. At work, the IT projects I’ve been part of have almost always over-run and not delivered the promised functionality. Outside of work, my smartphone’s battery dies too soon and voice recognition comes up with the strangest answers.

In a move reminiscent of the dot-com frenzy of the late 1990s, many bankers have left to enter the financial technology (fin-tech) sector Continue reading “FinTech Won’t Revolutionise Banking”

Can China Innovate? (2min read)

Mo Yan

(An excerpt from my book)

The US is the oft-cited innovator. But  upon closer inspection, it seems it is only the technology sector, and more specifically Silicon Valley, where the US is the undisputed innovator. So could China create the equivalent of Silicon Valley? To answer this, we need to understand the roots of Silicon Valley. Continue reading “Can China Innovate? (2min read)”

The 3 Type Of Individuals That Transform Economies

Max Weber (1864-1920), Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950), Frank Knight (1885-1972)
Max Weber,  Joseph Schumpeter, , Frank Knight

In economics, there has always been a big debate about what drives economic growth. In the end, economists have assumed that positive “shocks” to an economy just kind of happen. However, there have been some thinkers who looked inside the black-box and focused on entrepreneurship. Continue reading “The 3 Type Of Individuals That Transform Economies”

Owned By Your Phone?

Reclaiming
“Technology doesn’t just change what we do, it changes who we are.”
I listened to an interview of MIT Professor, Sherry Turkle, on  her new book, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. She’s an expert on how technology affects us.

Put your mobile phone on the table when you’re with someone and it immediately destroys the possibility of deep conversation. Without even realizing it, everything gets superficial. Both of you will be ready to to scratch the near-addictive phone-checking itch. So you’ll never go deep as you know one of you will pick up their phone as a result.

Continue reading “Owned By Your Phone?”

Don’t Iterate, Be Bold

Whereismyflyingcar

“We were promised flying cars and we got 140 characters” says Peter Thiel. He co-founded PayPal with Elon Musk, Palantir* and was the first outside investor in Facebook. Thiel is perhaps one of most original thinkers to come out of Silicon Valley. In his book “Zero to One”, he outlines his take on the world. Continue reading “Don’t Iterate, Be Bold”

No Place Like Utopia

Yurt

Doomer, prepper, primitivist, romantic, survivalist, millennialist, catastrophist* : these are all types of people that believe one way or another that civilisation as we know it is coming to an end. Many take the next step and join or set up communities that would survive such an outcome. Dylan Evans was one such person. In 2006, he quit his job as an academic and sold his house to fund the “Utopia Experiment” – a post-apocalyptic styled community in the Highlands of Scotland. Continue reading “No Place Like Utopia”

The Foresight of “The Matrix”

The_Matrix_Poster

The deeper meaning of “The Matrix” has been much debated since its release in 1999. The three most common have been that is about the ultimate struggle between man and machine, “the brain in the vat” (i.e. world as illusion) paradox or the  coming of the Messiah. The last one is especially popular. In one version, Neo represents Jesus, Morpheus represents John the Baptist and Trinity represents Mary Magdalene. While all of these are appealing, I recently came across another which I prefer.  Continue reading “The Foresight of “The Matrix””

The Sweet Smell of Musk

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is hailed as the new Steve Jobs. He has been immortalised in the movies thanks to the character Tony Stark/Iron Man being modelled on him. He created the first private company, SpaceX, to  launch a satellite in space and the first to dock with the international space station. Oh, and his Tesla electric car company is the first major American car company to be established since Chrysler in 1925. So what makes him tick? I recently read Ashlee Vance’s biography of him, and 3 things stood out: Continue reading “The Sweet Smell of Musk”

You Are Being Watched

BigBrother

In an earlier blog, I wrote about the impact of social media and smartphones on children, but it also has a deeper impact on us all. Indeed, it could mark the beginning of the  “Age of Transparency”. Everything we do, say or think can now be tracked. I include thinking, because any thought you have often leads to you quickly checking it on your smart phone. All of this is recorded somewhere. On top of that, we know from spy agency revelations that our cameras on our phones, computers and TVs can be accessed and so we can be watched at home [1]. We know that our smartphone microphone can be remotely accessed. Any websites we visit, most our purchases and what we are reading (e-books) are all tracked. Continue reading “You Are Being Watched”