The event, well known and copied for its 7-minute, speed demo, shark tank format, didn’t disappoint this round. Time has always been the great equalizer, and it worked here for both system demos and industry analyst rants. Time focuses. Time clarifies. Occasionally, time gongs. Everybody in the audience is in on it. They know that if something stinks, it won’t last long. In that spirit, this article will be completed in no more than 7 minutes, GonzoBankers.
So, let’s get to it:
In a sea of startups, the best demo in my opinion was Yodlee Envestnet’s FinCheck. It brought together data and visualizations in a powerful way for the purpose of improving lives. And, it showed that innovation can come from mature providers and acquirers as much as starving startups. Finn.ai was also a great demo. If Ask Jeeves had been born later as a Facebook Messenger bot, you’d have Finn.ai.
are among the most interesting topics, but they don’t usually demo well. Yet, demos from Uniken and ID Analytics showed remarkably well. And ID Analytics had me at hello when they kicked off with “Let’s jump right into the demo!”
Unless they are as entertaining as Jim Marous was when he used Alexa to order up a box of Fruit Loops with extra sugar, Alexa demos are both a dime a dozen and cloying. Bad combination.
In the name of all that is good and holy, is it too much to ask that the yammering on about Millennials cease? Beyond the demographic stereotypes, use cases on behavior are so much more powerful anyway.
Finovate is a week of squeaky PR. I get it. But, could we spare the annoying embargoes and the vacuous announcements about unmentioned coming announcements? Gonzo salute to buzzwords-kept-to-a-minimum announcements tied to something as simple as revenue. Q2’s CardSwap announcement case-in-point. It’s probably no accident that the first example was a direct bank like Chime. When customers only reach you remotely, you have to figure out process.
That’s going to cause a bit of confusion. Best of show winners at Finovate included Finn.ai and Fincheck while hallway chats about fintech, Finxact, Finastra, Finkit, and so on left me occasionally stuttering to keep them straight. Does a startup need to demo a new name generator app at the next event? Or, in the spirit of Monty Python’s “Bruces,” do you mind if we just call everyone Fin to keep it simple?
Minor nit: we caught the expo hall holding back Brooklyn Lagers for by-request-only. C’mon! But you have to hand it to Greg Palmer and the conference organizers who kept both the coffee and conference process flowing well.
This event was as much about getting developers talking to each other about their own internal building and cobbling as it was about what they might buy or partner with from the stage or expo hall. One fun expo conversation (nerd alert) was trading notes on how dev teams and agile scrums were organized. Another was a fantastic sidebar conversation with an ABA tech working group. To its credit, as tech has become increasingly strategic for banks and credit unions, Finovate has given energy to lots of these important building conversations among CIOs and CEOs alike.
So, I’m a fan and, in conclusion … GONG! [Time is up.]