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System integration – concept independence

I’ve recently been advising the digital division of a telecommunications company on part of their payment system infrastructure. At the same time my startup business is deep in the throes of building a new platform to complement our existing business. In both cases part of the challenge is how to integrate a new system into […]

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The business of everything

We live in a commercial world. Nearly everything in our lives today is run on the business principles of return on investment, cost minimization, and increasing profitability. This includes many things still considered community services like education, the arts, hospitals, transport, sports, your local kindergarten fete, and religious activities. The idea of community service runs […]

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Too big to pivot

Over at my startup,, we’re currently working through a minor “pivot” for our business. A pivot for a startup is where you shift from the premise of your original business in order to chase a specific opportunity (that’s us), or because customer feedback has told you your original premise isn’t working. It’s common with […]

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Short term success in the long term

I once heard of a senior manager in a business who, when meeting a new hire into the business welcomed her, pledged his support when she needed it and then said, “Come back to me in a week and answer this question: how will you know you’ve succeeded this year?” It occurred to me that […]

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The importance of owning the customer for payments

The emerging payments market is fragmenting into a number of exciting new areas, such as NFC, mobile payments, Google Wallet, and a variety of online experiences. While many people are focused on getting the technology right for an eager consumer, one of the key questions to consider with any of these emerging payments is who […]

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Losing your Innovation mojo

It’s obvious to say that most established businesses are good at what they do. They understand their product or service, they understand their market, they understand their competitors, and they understand their customer. So why do so many businesses reach a stage in their growth lifecycle where they stagnate, or get trapped in their niche? […]

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Is your Strategy really just a plan?

As a word, a concept and an ideology, “strategy” suffers from overuse and little real understanding. I’m sure your business has a defined sales strategy, probably also a marketing strategy (possibly linked to the sales strategy), and may even have an operational and IT strategy as well. However, when most businesses embark on defining a […]

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Surprise and delight is important

As humans we like to quantify our world as a way of making sense of it, and to cope with change. One way of quantifying our world is to break it into easily understandable stages of time. e.g; the Stone Age, the Ice Age, the Industrial Age, the Information Age, etc. We are currently living […]

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