Look out. The bankers are heading to tech en masse. There has been steady drift this year. Morgan Stanley CFO Ruth Porat went over to Google parent Alphabet. Michael Evans, former head of Asia at Goldman Sachs, became president of China e-commerce outfit Alibaba. And now three bankers in Goldman’s technology investment banking group have quit to take jobs in Silicon Valley over at Uber.
To compete in the collaborative economy, established companies need to recognise how price, convenience and brand can drive buyers towards sharing. And each of these can provide a path to winning customers back to the firm, particularly if they tap into sharing models to serve customers in new ways, according to the New Rules of the Collaborative Economy report from Vision Critical.
Almost one-fifth of British online adults are currently making use of ad blocking software, up from 15% in June. And ad blocking is more prevalent among men (23%) than women (13%), while the propensity to block ads declines with age – from 35% of 18-to-24 year-olds to 13% of people aged 55-plus, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau UK’s Ad Blocking Report, conducted by YouGov.
Crowdfunding isn’t merely a start-up game. In fact, the average age of companies raising finance from the crowd in the UK this year comes in at 3.3 years. And there’s a good spread, The oldest company ever to crowdfund had been kicking around fome 37 years at the time of the raise, with the youngest being just a few days old, according to the Where Are They Now? crowdfunding report from AltFi and Nabarro.
What’s the future of London’s Silicon Roundabout? And we don’t mean Tech City here, but rather the actual piece of transport infrastructure on Old Street. Well, over next decade, those working in the tech sector (many of whom pass daily through the Old Street Tube and rail hub) want to see pedestrian and cycling overpasses and underpasses across the location’s main thoroughfares, according to a survey conducted by tech careers outfit Dice. Also on the wishlist? A simple monorail connecting Old Street to mainline train stations, writes Root Wilson*.
Microsoft has launched its Affordable Access Initiative, offering grants to outfits looking to provide scalable solutions to enable people in underserved communities to go online and use cloud services. The company estimates some 4.2 billion are without affordable Internet access and it wants to offer grants averaging $75,000 to firms selected for the new programme. Qualifying projects will need to use low-cost forms of Internet connectivity, demonstrate innovative approaches to selling cloud services geared for underserved markets, and integrate localised payment platforms and consumption models.
British companies demonstrate a follower mentality when it comes to sourcing ideas for digital innovation. They’re pretty insular, preferring to react to what their competitors are doing rather than engage outside their immediate communities to find new digital ideas. In fact, fewer than 10% of UK firms actively engage external business networks – think suppliers, or leaders from other companies/industries – for sources of innovation.
Technology media and telecoms firms have acquired 12.5 million square feet of office space in Central London over the past four years, and that’s equivalent to 15% of the entire stock. This reflects what Knight Frank tags as “seismic changes” within the market as London shifts away from finance and towards the “new digital era”. You see, over the same period financial companies have taken just under 8 million square feet of space, while professional firms such as lawyers and accountants have acquired a mere 5.6 million, writes Root Wilson*.