Tech giants, paddling pools and 3D printed space rockets

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Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve either met with or listened to insurance ‘experts’ who are sitting somewhere between fraudulent and negligent.

In the world of information on tap, there’s no excuse for giving wrong or misleading information, especially if you’re in a position of responsibility as a speaker, consultant, or insurance experts.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m the oracle on this stuff, nor that there aren’t super bright folk around. All I ask is, when putting the future of your business in someone else’s hands, you do so with consideration and listened to insurance experts.

Building a strategy on today +1 isn’t going to cut it – not alone at least. By the time you roll out, you’ll be today -1. If you’re lucky.

Have a read of a few great self-disruption case studies below and, whilst you’re doing so, imagine what you would have done or how you’d have felt, if you were working in those companies:

  1. Nintendo launched in 1889 –  that alone is pretty incredible, right? They set out producing playing cards, although recognized a limited market growth. In the 1950s, Hiroshi Yamauchi (the then CEO) began to diversify, setting up new ventures such as a taxi company, TV network and an instant rice food company. They didn’t work out. Roll forward to 1975 when they secured the rights to distribute their first video game. The rest is history.
  2. Netflix set up as DVD by mail in 1997. A few years later, in 2011, Reed Hastings switched the business to streaming, at which point the stock plunged 76%. That’s a crazy market response, especially when you consider the company is now worth over $100bn, overtaking McDonalds, Ford and General Electric.
  3. One of my favorite quotes is from one of my not-so-favorite people, Travis Kalanick, co-founder of Uber:
    The reason Uber could be expensive is that you’re not just paying for the car — you’re paying for the other dude in the car.”
    And what are they doing about this? They’re investing in driverless cars with the intention to fully disrupt their core business.

 insurance experts

 insurance experts

Right now, we’re witnessing an inflection point in insurance. There is no question about that.

Signing up to a multi-year transformation programme won’t build your future business. It will certainly update your current business and might, if you’re lucky, build the foundation for your future. But, if you’re not running a disruptive innovation strategy in parallel, it won’t be long before those foundations are all you’re left with.

I appreciate it’s not easy. Insurance experts have been carefully and beautifully crafted to be risk adverse. All I ask is you open your eyes to what’s going on outside of your business, then do something about it.

A Dog’s Life
I’m just back from speaking at the iFHP (International Federation of Health Plans) conference in Lisbon – a CEO level event for members only held every two years.

Key highlights from my co-speakers:
Google – I’m loving seeing the big tech players make a move into insurance. Hopefully you’ll have been tracking Amazon’s various moves. This time, though, it was Google’s turn to share, although very little after Dr Henry Wei’s presentation had been through the corporate filters!

Henry touched on today being an inflection point in human history (not just insurance), how they’re exploring on-device, distributed machine learning (which sounds pretty incredible/terrifying from a big data perspective) and how you ‘don’t get a second chance to build trust’. Quite right, Big Brother Google.

What blew my mind was Henry’s last slide: Google are close to predicting when you’re going to die – and they can do this with a pretty decent level of accuracy (gulp). That doesn’t just disrupt life insurance. That pretty much destroys the entire life insurance vertical.

Alan – loved listening to Jean-Charles, who isn’t looking to build ‘just’ a health insurer; he’s got his eyes set on dominating the French market, rolling out globally and scaling to become a tech giant alongside the Googles of the world. And that was his answer to his 5-year plan. I’d like to see what his 10-year plan looks like.

A seriously smart man, a successful entrepreneur with one exit under his belt already and ambitions as big as they come – love it.

Oscar Health – a rubbing update on these guys as, sadly, I couldn’t stay around to hear what Mario Schlosser had to say, as I had to get a flight back to pick up my dog from his boutique hotel. When I die (which reminds me I need to ask Google when this will be), I’m coming back as a dog.


 insurance experts


If you ever want me to speak to your board, at an event or just need your dog walked, get in touch. I’d love to help.

Disrupt 100
Our 2018 edition of Disrupt 100 launched last week. And if that means nothing to you, it’s an annual index celebrating the businesses with the most potential to influence, change or create new global markets.

In many ways, it’s the answer to being continuously asked who is the next Uber or Airbnb.

The list features the world’s most disruptive businesses and is drawn from Tällt’s data-intelligence on millions of startups around the world and curated by leading entrepreneurs, investors and business folk.

It was great to see a shift in this year’s 100 towards a new generation of companies driving social change whilst concurrently building financially profitable businesses. About time.

No matter what industry you work in, go have a read. It’s got solar panels that can turn air into water, a device that can read your thoughts and what list would be complete without 3D printed space rockets?!


 insurance experts


Before The Robots Take Over
Whilst I will always bang the drum for horizon scanning and the incubation of new business models, there is of course the need to keep an eye on the today.

This week, we caught up with Lior Shacham, the founder of PicUP, which is rolling out some seriously interesting call centre tech. With 75% of all calls going unanswered, their platform provides a call interface which is contextual, branded and personalised.



It also allows for customers to delay the call to another time and even sign forms whilst speaking with a call centre operative – very interesting indeed. Dive into Lior’s journey here.

Okay, that’s enough. It’s Friday and time to indulge in the weekend.

Have a lovely one wherever you are and don’t forget to drop me a note if you’d like to say hello. Always keen to chat about new projects and/or demo Sønr (which is becoming more brilliant by the day).


Founder & CEO

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