RIP – Buzzwords

HTNW has been missing in action for the last 2 weeks. A heavy work and travel schedule is not exactly conducive to quality blogging time. However, an extended break does help in collecting a bucketful of ideas and thoughts for the blog.

The format for this week is a more rapid fire, staccato informational style.

Fed Interest rates and Stock market fire-sale – Markets in disarray, and while everyone I know is part of the fire-sale, it’s interesting to pause and think about whether this “correction” will be different from others. One key difference – the unknowns in terms of the impact of months of passive investment. Without the usual counter intuitive opportunistic buying  of active investment managers kicking in, the usual market dynamics and price brakes may be missing. Here’s an interesting read from active investment managers on the subject.

************************************************************************************The Big Four and Sneaky Centralization

Alphabet in Insurance Tech? No?

Google-Insurance Tech

Source: CB Insights


Blast from the Past

Ultra FICO – the big news on the credit scoring front was the launch of the ultra FICO. Essentially, Ultra FICO is an opt-in credit model that uses money market, checking and savings account to supplement your credit report. Harsh Sharma and I had co-authored an article in 2016 on the need for alternate credit scoring system. Here’s a piece from that article

….At least 64 million consumers in the United States do not have a FICO credit score, according to Experian. But, 10 million of these so-called “unscoreable” consumers are prime or near-prime consumers, while a large portion of the remaining consumers have either professional jobs or low liability levels. Their income distribution is also in line with consumers who do have a FICO credit score. Clearly, there is a need to determine creditworthiness outside of traditional models….

Also got me reminiscing about the time the article was drafted with inputs (over several beers) from Hans Godfrey, Dan McPheeters, Justin Wiseman, Pete Mills. This week also was the last week in Sapient for Hans – one of my mentors and a close friend. While I’m sad to see Hans go, I’m excited for him as he starts a new journey.


Design Thinking – Crit

I have been trying to make myself jargon free in my conversations with clients – and instead focusing on hard, tangible value me and my team can bring in.  Are you as sick of phrases like exclusive inclusiveness…?

My Gripe for this week – Tagging obvious common place solutions and using the word Design Thinking. Here’s a great video from Natasha Jen on Design Thinking – what is and what it is’nt?


The Big Apple

Nov 2nd is an exciting day for folks in NJ – PATH service on weekends re-opens between JSQ and 33rd. Traveling in to the city during the weekend has been an absolute horror.  Spending needless dollars on Uber did have a silver lining – got me intensely interested in the pros and cons of the different cab services. Here’s a graph of how they line up in terms of market shares.

Note to folks coming into Manhattan – install Via ($5 shared rides – covers most of the city). And an article covering the pros and cons for each


While on the subject (and while being stuck for 30 minutes outside Holland Tunnel), here’s the shareholder pattern for Uber and how it’s changed since inception.


…and while being stuck for 30 minutes on the way back, Uber’s latest valuation – $120 bn. (nope, it’s not a typo). Great article on Uber by Scott Galloway.


Innovation Labs

Does your organization run an innovation lab? How successful has it been – what have been the lessons learnt? On my to-do list is creating a LinkedIn group to put together the best minds across marketers, lawyers, technologists, data scientists and regulators to share lessons and the way forward. And the key question – how do you make innovation mainstream?

Here’s a great piece on successful innovation lab to production journey.

I also want to call out the excellent work done by David Poole, Robert Oliver and Adam Fitzgerald in keeping our organization informed about the latest in the FinTech space. This is one of several great pieces this team puts together for Sapient and our clients in the Financial services space.


The Big Apple Circus is in town – yes, that mysterious tent next to the Lincoln center houses the circus.Skillfully orchestrated by Mark Lonergan, it’s a wonderful show. The trapeze act at the end is amazing. I recommend some downtime from Fortnight and a trip to the circus.



A chance conversation with a friend, watching Anthony Hopkins superb enactment of King Lear and this hauntingly impactful sculpture has resulted in a very conscious attempt to do a better job of being in touch with my parents back in India.


Melancolie by Albert Gyorgy

App of the Week…

My app recommendation for the week – use that iPhone and make that call to your loved ones.

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