The future of blockchain. Consulting gets ugly. Banking IP trends. 

Look who's back

Hi there,

It's been a while, but due to popular demand, we’ve got some new management consulting gibberish for you today.

Thanks for continuing to send these.

Why big corporations continue to hire management consultants to help them with innovation is still beyond me.

But thankfully, they do.

Thank u, NExTT 

We analyzed the top emerging blockchain trends — including stablecoins, Bitcoin mining, data marketplaces, and more — and mapped them out to help you understand where blockchain is headed next. 

Want a glimpse into the future? Check out our full report on Blockchain Trends In 2019


Sorry, not sorry

So far, we’ve refunded 56 vendor tickets to TRANSFORM.

We have a strict no vendor policy for this particular event, so if you’re a vendor, please do not purchase a ticket.  


Shop talk 

The line between physical and online retail is blurring, as more startups bring tech to the brick-and-mortar space. We mapped out 110+ startups using digital displays, automated checkout, smart dressing rooms, and more to update the retail experience


You’ve arrived

If being listed in a CB Insights market map/research brief is the moment the real world starts to care about your startup, you should ensure your profile is 100% up to date here.

BTW, if you or your comms/PR team is updating your profile, here are a few tips:

  • Update often. Make sure you’re updating your profile on The Editor religiously and completely. (Not just sharing data you think makes you look good.)

  • Talk like a human. Avoid jargon, as we have a jargon filter built in. Know that if you manage to slip some by, it only hurts you. If you’re a 4 person company, please don’t describe yourself as “world leading."

  • Be nice. If you reach out to us, be nice (this is especially for PR folks). Some PR folks are such a-holes, they do a disservice to the whole industry. We get that they are trying to do their jobs, but being a jerk doesn’t help the company you are representing; it hurts it.

  • No briefings. We don’t do briefings with startups or investors. If you want to pay someone for coverage of your startup, there are a host of industry analysts who are happy to take your money for coverage.

Got it? Good. Now go update your profile on The Editor here.

Feeling secure

Security tokens are assets that are digitally represented on a blockchain, and often correspond to real-world assets like vehicular titles or company shares. Tokenizing real assets could make them easier to trade online.

Get the lowdown on security tokens — and 17 other notable blockchain trends — in our Blockchain Trends In 2019 report. 

Source: Felix Feng

Design thinking. Blah blah blah.

Here's what's required to innovate: 
  • start with empathizing
  • move to ideating
  • then throw a couple of random stand ups in there

Rinse & repeat.

Thanks to reader Paul Crowe for sharing this gem.

 Get off my property 

Top banks are pursuing intellectual property to stay relevant in an ultra-competitive industry.

We analyzed patents filed by Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo to see what technology these top players are prioritizing. Expert clients can read about it here.

Inclusive + value = buy more isht

Here’s another gem from some consultant using the age-old consultant trick of adding two random things to have them equal some other random thing.

In this case, the “equation” is as follows:

Inclusive Culture + Mutual Value = Customer Centricity

Oh, my eyes.

In any case, for all you aspiring consultants out there, take note of this great hack. Equal signs make one’s drivel look more scientific.


Keynote time

One week from today, my keynote at TRANSFORM will feature:

  • a story about a starving donkey
  • details on why the term intrapreneur is insulting to real entrepreneurs
  • data on the efficacy (or lack thereof) of corporate accelerators, M&A, and more

We’ll also talk about the thing that growth, innovation, and digital transformation groups do to undermine their success. (Hint: it’s about metrics.)

Prices went up $1200 earlier this week. You can get $800 off here until tomorrow using the code starvingdonkey.

Note: any old discount codes will be expiring in 24 hours as well.

 Reap the rewards 

Uber and Lyft both recently rolled out new loyalty programs, joining the hordes of startups and incumbents using rewards to encourage repeat customers.

We mapped out 55+ startups using tech to help companies manage loyalty & rewards programs, from management software to blockchain-based solutions. 

Clients with expert intelligence can view the full analysis here

The Industry Standard

CB Insights data is the most trusted by those in the industry and the media. A few recent hits.

Washington Post. Nir Kaissar (@nirkaissar) discusses the benefits of putting off an IPO until a company is more mature, and cites CB Insights' unicorn list.

CNBC. Saheli Roy Choudhury (@sahelirc) covers Didi Chuxing's driverless cars efforts and cites CB Insights data. 

Financial Review. Andrew Ross Sorkin (@andrewrsorkin) writes about WeWork's upper hand over its landlords and references CB Insights' WeWork analysis.

I love you.


P.S. If the allusion to starving donkeys, ineffective corporate accelerators or something else in this newsletter offends you, I’m truly sorry.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Good behavior. Beijing will judge every resident based on a digital "social credit" system by the end of 2020. 

Out of this world. NASA's InSight spacecraft takes its first photos after a supersonic descent to Mars. 

Human learning. Amazon just made the machine learning courses it uses to train engineers available to the public for free.

More is less. The seven deadly paradoxes of cryptocurrency.
Bank Underground

Find your bliss. A new study looks at how people value different types of happiness. 
Harvard Business Review

Rocket man. Elon Musk says there is a 70% chance he will personally go to Mars via a SpaceX rocket.
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