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WYFT or What’s Your Focus Today!

WYFT or What’s Your Focus Today!

By WYFT-What’s Your Focus Today?
I curate 3 things daily for you, at the intersection of fintech, startups and gaming & gamification. This podcast expands on that. Sign-up for more regular updates at
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With Chris Skinner, the "Enfant Terrible" of finance, on Digitization, Darwin, and Doing (Digital that is) - From Poland, with Love (and some Covid-19 wisdom)
Author, Speaker and Troublemaker.  (currently learning Polish ...) Yup. That's him. In a nutshell: (from his LI profile) Chris does all sorts in banking and technology.  He writes a daily blog at, and consults about the future.  When people want digital banking done, he brings in 11:FS.  When they want to know everything FinTech, he refers them to Innovate Finance.  When people want to meet, he tells them about the Financial Services Club ( and Nordic Finance Innovation (  Oh, and he speaks at lots of conferences and is a prolific author of 14 books. In this episode, I talk with him about: The 5 banks in the world that "get" digital banking Being a bank provoker vs. bank basher His 4 major phases of digital transformation What's the deal with Darwin? Doing Digital and The Cloud His UK bank during Covid-19; Monty Python comes to mind ... Why India and China are leading the way Where the massive (payment) opportunity is in both US and EU And where we will be in 10 years - becoming socially useful Enjoy this episode, share lavishly, and give me a great rating and/or review on any platform of your choice. Check out also my other conversations with key industry players: - - - - - - - - -
May 25, 2020
The Currency Cold War, Cash, and Cryptography, Hash Rates and Hegemony - my fascinating discussion with David Birch about his upcoming and visionary book on the subject Du Jour!
David Birch is without any doubt one of the most astute long term observers of the financial services and fintech space, and I'm extremely excited and honored to have been able to talk to him about his upcoming book (The Currency Cold War; Cash and Cryptography, Hash Rates and Hegemony, published in May 2020), and other related issues we care about here. His bio is impressive: He's an internationally-recognised thought leader in digital identity and digital money; Named one of the global top 15 favourite sources of business information (Wired magazine); Emerging Payments Industry Contributor of the Year (EPA); One of the top ten most influential voices in banking (Financial Brand); One of the top ten Twitter accounts followed by innovators, along with Bill Gates and Richard Branson (PR Daily); Named one of the "Fintech Titans" (NextBank); Ranked Europe’s most influential commentator on emerging payments (Total Payments magazine). In this episode, we talk about: His background in the space and how he has been at the origins of 2 digital money / currency plays way back; How he came to be interested again in publishing this particular book now; Why he think that "... this time may be different..."; How he defines digital currency, and the confusion about it; What are the drivers of change that we are witnessing; What does he mean when talking about a currency cold war; And what's all this about the Red and Blue corner? (and me who thought is was about the Red and Blue pill ...) Enjoy this episode, share lavishly, and give me a great rating and/or review on any platform of your choice. Check out also my other conversations with key industry players: - - - - - - - -
March 9, 2020
My discussion with Dara Albright, recognized authority, thought provoker and frequent speaker on FinTech, crowdfinance, digital/crypto finance, next-gen IPOs & P2P and retail alternatives.
Dara's second appearance on this show is beyond timely, and most insightful. Since 2011, Dara Albright has been helping set the direction of the crowdfinance industry through leading-edge industry articles and acclaimed conferences that introduce crowd-driven asset classes such as crowdfunding and p2p lending to the financial community.  She produced the very first crowdfunding conference in January 2012 which was headlined by key JOBS Act architects: Congressman Patrick McHenry and Dave Weild. That event birthed the crowdfinance movement and led to the founding of the industry’s trade and leadership organizations.  In 2013, she co-founded LendIt which went on to become the largest and most recognized global p2p & online lending conference organization.  In this episode, we talk about: * How blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are bringing us into a new era of more access to new products for a larger segment of the population; * The Token Taxonomy Act and its impact; * The 2 most attractive pieces of crypto (a must read/understand/listen to part!); * The one most important upcoming change in legislation re. retail investors; * Investor base diversification; * Asset tokenization; * How advisors and VC's are adapting and adjusting to this new situation; * The mango project? * and so more more being covered here ... Enjoy this episode, share lavishly, and give me a great rating and/or review on any platform of your choice. (for more on Dara, check out: - a recent appearance talking about digital securities and crypto; - on crowdfunding at the national press club; - her piece on the retail investor here; - and her most recent op-ed on The Roaring Twenties here; ============================================================== Check out also my other conversations with key industry players: - - - - - - - -
February 9, 2020
My discussion with Joel Comm, Futurist, Speaker, Author, Influencer, Podcaster, and all around a huge breath of fresh air!
Joel Comm ... what can I say? I don't know where to start ...  I've been following his work for more than a decade, read all his books, event went on private workshops with him and his team (in Colorado at the time) to learn a thing or two (or three) about this online world, and how to harness all its awesome power (for good, that is). So who is he? A generational buddy, Joel Comm is an entrepreneur, NY Times bestselling author, and new media innovator. He's an expert on harnessing the power of social media and mobile applications to expand your brand’s reach and engage in active relationship marketing, He is a sought-after public speaker who leaves his audience inspired, entertained, and armed with strategic tools to create a new media campaign that will explode your business. On Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and the Future of Digital Money As co-host of the popular blockchain show, The Bad Crypto Podcast, Joel is uniquely qualified to make the topic of blockchain relevant and easy-to-understand for any audience. Whether you require a basic introduction to the topic or a more in-depth dive into the world of blockchain, Joel is the ideal keynote speaker or workshop trainer for your event.  On Video As a pioneer of live video online, Joel has been streaming original content to the web since 2008. With the introduction of easy-to-use live streaming applications such as Facebook Live and Periscope, it is more important than ever for businesses and brands of all sizes to embrace live video. In this important keynote, Joel shares the latest technology and tips for how anyone can leverage the power of live video to expand their reach, engage with their customers and build their brand. On Social Media Joel has been involved in social media since the early days of MySpace. In this keynote, he demonstrates why a social media campaign can be an integral part of any business. From Facebook and YouTube to LinkedIn and Twitter, Joel cuts through how businesses CAN use social media and shows how businesses SHOULD use social media. His lively delivery, real-life case studies, and insights gained from experience will give the audience a deep understanding of the benefits of social media and practical strategies for developing a winning social media campaign.  Enjoy this episode, share lavishly, and give me a great rating and/or review on any platform of your choice. ============================================================== Check out also my other conversations with key industry players: - - - - - -
February 3, 2020
My discussion with Phil Rosen, CEO and Founder of EVEN Financial, the leading API for financial services monetization, shooting for gold!
In this episode, I have the real pleasure to speak (and very fast for that matter!) with Phil Rosen, CEO and Founder of the rapidly scaling EVEN Financial, the company with the leading API for financial services monetization, based in NYC.   EVEN helps connect your consumers to personalized products at the right time with the definitive search, comparison and recommendation engine for financial services. There is no other company out there doing something similar at scale, and with the kind of results and growth trajectory that is beyond impressive: => Even works with all parties — financial institutions, marketers, affiliates and consumers — to enhance the online finance ecosystem for everyone, creating the optimal end-user experience; => For Partners: Proven greater monetization, comprehensive turnkey FI access, managed compliance, backed by machine learning recommendation engine; => For Financial Institutions: Proven lower cost of acquisition, lower delinquencies, lower charge offs, access to vast high quality organic network to reach consumers => A team of 130+ and growing fast; => An A-list of VC and other investors backing the company: $50M total funding, with some of the biggest brand names, like Citi Ventures, MassMutual Ventures, LendingClub, American Express Ventures, Canaan Partners, F-Prime Capital, GreatPoint Ventures, and Goldman Sachs; The bottom line, with EVEN Financial: Financial Institutions Build Profitable Portfolios with proven lower acquisition costs, through access to the vast, high-quality, organic Even network – reaching millions of consumers with native integrations featuring programmatic purchasing, full compliance, machine learning, and data backed by over 40 million user profiles to support decisioning. Channel Partners Increase Monetization with turn-key financial institution integrations across loans, savings, credit cards, and more – powered by Even’s best-in-class compliance, pricing options, controls, and machine learning optimization. Consumers Enjoy the Optimal User Experience with the ability to search, compare, and get matched with the financial services they need instantly through Even’s industry-leading recommendation engine. In my conversation with Phil, we address: * How he started EVEN 5 years ago after leaving Orchard; * How the business has evolved while product/market fit was being adjusted; * If the company pivoted at some point and how/why; * Experience as a CEO vs. pure CTO type of work; * Hiring challenges and future growth plans; * Quid crypto / blockchain? * The end game, if there is one; and many more insights to share. So, enjoy this episode, share lavishly, and give me a great rating and/or review on any platform of your choice. =============================================================== Check out also my other conversations with key industry players: - - - - - -
January 29, 2020
My discussion with Thomas Spaas, leading international (Crypto) tax lawyer, focused on strategic, regulatory and compliance advice, in the fields of taxation and blockchain / cryptocurrency
I've enjoyed my conversation with Thomas Spaas in this episode of #WYFT. Death and taxes - the only 2 things in life that are certain. And while I'm not going to talk about the former - at least not here - crypto and taxes is one of those areas that is not being covered really at this time in the MSM. But oh boy - is it important and key to understand and thrive throughout and going forward. So sit up and listen. So who is Thomas Spaas? In 2016, Thomas Spaas founded the law firm CONSYSTA, offering strategic, regulatory and compliance advice, in the fields of taxation and blockchain/cryptocurrency technologies. Thomas Spaas had been active in the legal field since 2005, first as a consultant for Belgian and European clients in Antwerp (BE) and Shanghai (CN) and subsequently as a lawyer at Tiberghien, at Laga (attorneys aligned with Deloitte) and at MVRV CVBA. Working in the field of international and Belgian taxation, Thomas Spaas has built up a broad experience in analyzing and resolving international and Belgian tax issues and recommending tax strategies. He also assists clients that are confronted with tax controversies. A second main area of expertise of Thomas Spaas is the law and regulations pertaining to cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. Since 2013, Thomas Spaas has been assisting the Belgian, European and US bitcoin and blockchain-tech community, both in his capacity as a lawyer, and as a (co-)director of the Belgian Bitcoin Association ASBL. He is also a Director and driving force behind the Belgian Bitcoin Association. Why is this such an important issue? - There are only 2 certainties in life, and taxes is one of them (death being the other ...) - As the crypto industry grows and being global by definition, the issue of taxes is going to be key at all levels - There are very few people in the tax world, that have the kind of global expertise that Thomas brings to the table, having been an early participant in the space on a global scale - Thomas is based in Brussels, The power center of the European Union (call it the Washington, DC of the EU), and where all the lobbying is taking place and tax history and future is being decided - it's where all key European institutions are based, and yes, you want to be close to the sun (there's a reason why Jeff Bezos has been massively increasing his presence - personal and Amazon - in the DC area...) So, enjoy this episode, share lavishly, and give me a great rating and/or review on any platform of your choice. [Add. info: to connect with Thomas directly, go here) =>>> If you're a HODLer and are looking for the next big thing, I invite you to check this out and reach out to me thereafter.
January 24, 2020
My discussion with Bryce Paul, The man (with Aaron Malone) behind the #1 crypto podcast: Crypto101, with 5 stars and 500+ ratings!
In this episode, I talk with a very outspoken Bryce Paul, L'Enfant Terrible of the crypto space, of Crypto101Podcast fame, fellow podcaster therefore, but more importantly, a must-go-to resource with a finger on pretty much any pulse of interest out there.  =>> So who is Bryce Paul? Bryce is an accomplished business development pro in the cryptocurrency space. He’s established blockchain partnerships with some of the world’s most prolific companies, across a wide variety of industries ranging from smart cities to online identity to artificial intelligence.  As a cryptocurrency expert, he has spoken about blockchain and crypto at numerous high-profile conferences both domestically and abroad, including COIN Agenda Puerto Rico, ETH San Francisco, and Blockland Cleveland. His crypto travels have taken him to Dubai, Japan, Korea, and other exotic locales. When Bryce is not following the crypto markets or recording Crypto101, he likes playing guitar and chess. You can challenge him on under the username stratocaster4. He is also the organizer of the #1 (free) virtual crypto conference (upcoming later this month), with 50+ speakers on their business and outlook, and over 6K registered attendees.  =>> What you will learn in this episode: All about his take on enterprise level blockchain and crypto developments What does it mean: Higher prices beget higher prices ... ? His one big prediction re. ETH We touch upon names like: BTC,ETH,Tezos,Ocean Protocol, Atom, etc. We talk trading and techniques We rant! ... Talk economics as well - yeah baby. Crypto is money at the speed of life (didn't hear that one before) Outlook for miners Square - another big prediction and so much more ... So, enjoy this episode, share lavishly, and give me a great rating and/or review on any platform of your choice. If you're a HODLer and are looking for the next big thing, I invite you to check this out and reach out to me thereafter. Today is January 17, 2020, and BTC just broke $9,000 again! Fly, baby, fly!! =============================================================== Check out also my other conversations with key industry players: - - - - -
January 17, 2020
My discussion with Steve Faktor, Futurist, Author of "Econovation", and Founder and CEO of IdeaFaktory => the 4 C's of Innovation methodology.
In this episode, be ready to be shaken ... not stirred! I'm speaking with my good friend Steve Faktor, CEO of IdeaFaktory innovation incubator, author of Econovation, Forbes & HBR writer and ex-Fortune 100 Innovation Executive. In this podcast, we cover his current thinking on politics, education, technology, social media and ... Crypto & Blockchain!  So who is Steve Faktor? Steve Faktor is an innovator, futurist and digital commerce expert. He is Managing Director of IdeaFaktory, which helps companies accelerate growth by partnering with top startups, developing new innovations, and restructuring for growth. As a senior executive at American Express, Citi and MasterCard, Steve has created several $100M+ businesses and deployed multiple enterprise innovation programs. He is author of Econovation, which critics describe as “a fascinating, erudite, bitingly funny, well researched, and…important book“ about capitalizing on the end of consumerism and rise of 'producerism'.  Steve is a top-ranked global keynote speaker, who has keynoted major events for CFO Magazine, New York University, Harvard, PDMA, Frost & Sullivan, Rocketspace, New Media Expo and numerous corporations. He also leads workshops, ideation and training sessions based on his proprietary 4C’s of Innovation(TM) methodology. Steve writes provocative articles on innovation and entrepreneurship for Forbes and Harvard Business Review and is one of 160 original Linkedin Influencers (along with luminaries like Richard Branson).  Steve graduated from the NYU Stern School of Business and lives in New York City. He actively supports Junior Achievement and several Thai restaurants in his neighborhood. You can learn more about Steve and IdeaFaktory here: NOTABLE LAUNCHES: American Express: Zync | LoyaltyEdge | X-Points | Private Sales (JV with Ventee Privee) | SimpleFX | Facebook travel app | MasterCard: Commerce Coalition & Commerce Intelligence | SpendingPulse | EXPERTISE: Innovation | Strategic Planning | Business Development | Marketing | Business Model Design & Pricing | Stage-Gate(TM) NPD | Executive Facilitation | WhatIf!(TM) Ideation | Social Media | Process Change INDUSTRIES:  Financial Services & Payments | Consumer Goods & Services | Technology & Electronics | Professional Services | Advertising | Retail | Internet =============================================================== Check out also my other conversations with key industry players: - - - -
December 21, 2019
My discussion with Kevin Werbach, author of "The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust", a reference work for the industry and required reading for any practitioner!!
I'm extremely excited to share my recent conversation with Kevin Werbach, a leading expert on the business, legal, and public policy implications of emerging technologies such as broadband, blockchain, and big data. In this conversation, I focus on a number of topics he covers in his book: "The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust", a reference work for any practitioner in the space. In there, he covers a wide range of issues, divided into 3 chapters: 1) A Revolution In Nine Pages; 2) Ledgers Meet Law; and 3) Building The Decentralized Future. It's a critically important work, and I would recommend it highly to anyone who wants or needs to "dig deeper". So who is Kevin Werbach? Keep reading...  Werbach is Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and founder of Supernova Group, a technology consulting and events firm. A longtime thought leader in communications and internet policy, he served on the Obama Administration’s Presidential Transition Team, and later was an expert advisor on broadband issues at both the Federal Communications Commission and the US Department of Commerce. He is a pioneer in emerging fields such as gamification (applying digital game design principles to business), algorithmic accountability, and blockchain governance. With his current focus on the business and legal implications of distributed ledger technology, he heads the Cryptoregulation initiative of the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research, bringing together regulators, experts, and business leaders from around the world. Werbach is the author of The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust (MIT Press, 2018), co-author of For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business (Wharton School Press, 2012), and editor of After the Digital Tornado: Networks, Algorithms, Humanity (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2020). Nearly half a million students worldwide have registered for his top-rated Coursera Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), and he was named Wharton’s first-ever “Iron Prof” for his research. A sought-after speaker and commentator, Werbach has appeared in print and broadcast media including CNN, PBS NewsHour, CNBC, NPR, ABC News, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Financial Times, and The Economist. His writing has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Wired, IEEE Spectrum, Harvard Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, and Slate, among other publications, and he has testified before the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and FCC.  Other resources: * * Check out also my other conversations with key industry players: - - -
December 16, 2019
With Jason Goldberg, Founder and CEO at OST and Pepo, meeting the people shaping the crypto movement, one download at the time!
In one of the most exciting new developments in crypto land, I invite you to enjoy my conversation with Jason Goldberg, serial entrepreneur and brains behind both the OST platform/protocol, and the Pepo app, the first blockchain driven app to be approved in the App store!   Jason is a product designer with more than 20 years of experience designing consumer internet products, who has previously founded,, and Social Median. Today he is known as the founder and maker of and Pepo, the latter being the first crypto-powered app approved by Apple in the App Store, built on OST technology, the world's first seamlessly embeddable Ethereum wallet SDK. OST OST is a full-stack technology platform that enables companies to easily integrate cryptocurrency micro-transactions into their apps. Under development since 2016, OST is now live on Mainnet. Developer tools OST has offices in Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Pune. For more information, please visit: Pepo Pepo features video shorts with integrated cryptocurrency-micro-appreciation. Until now, crypto has mostly been a solution looking for a problem. We flipped the coin and went looking for good problems to solve, with crypto. We interviewed hundreds of people about their online behaviors, looking for gaps where crypto could move the needle in a big way. We learned that communities need better ways to connect with creators. Pepo is the best crypto user experience ever made. It’s blazing fast. Simple. Human. Pepo removes many of the icky bits that have limited crypto mass-adoption, while making crypto about the people, not just the technology. It’s an app the entire movement can get behind. Pepo is so fast, so easy to use, that you’ll reimagine what’s possible with crypto. Other resources: - - - Check out also my other conversations with key industry players: - - -
December 1, 2019
With Ruben Merre, Co-Founder and CEO of Ngrave, leading the crypto wallet revolution to new heights - To Crypto Infinity, And Beyond!!
Get ready to grab the last wallet you'll want to own going into 2020! Enjoy my conversation with Ruben here and share lavishly. For more resources: =============================================================== Ruben Merre is a serial entrepreneur who launched his first small business when he was eight years old. Prior to NGRAVE, Ruben worked for a startup in strategy and management consulting, playing an integral role in scaling the company internationally. Fluent in six languages, Ruben could really make the difference by leading projects in the local tongue. Apart from collecting multiple postgraduate degrees in parallel with his professional life, Ruben played a crucial part in launching the first automated portfolio investment platform in Belgium. Ruben not only led the project, he also unraveled the algorithm black box by rebuilding the full mathematical logic from scratch, ultimately proposing important quantitative readjustments of the implemented models. After scaling the platform to other countries, this combination of a strategic, visionary helicopter view and an experienced project management eye for detail made Ruben the obvious choice to lead a large international financial institution's entrepreneurial endeavor to set up a group-wide algorithmic trading / investment platform from scratch. Ruben led all twenty sub-projects for about two years, then decided to shift his focus completely to blockchain and, ultimately, NGRAVE.  >>>Ruben has a M.Sc. in Business Engineering (MBE), several postgraduate degrees, and is a certified PMP (Project Management Professional) and LEAN Six Sigma Black Belt. Ruben also successfully completed Oxford University's Blockchain Strategy Program. The root cause lies with the private key. This is the access key to any blockchain wallet. Every crypto hack to this date involves stealing the private key. At NGRAVE, we call this phenomenon the Private Key Paradox. If you don't know my private key, you cannot computationally break it with any existing computing power. But if you just watch over my shoulder, it's game over. The private key is the strength, but also the Achilles heel of the system. => NGRAVE is the first end-to-end solution in the world. It generates your private keys offline and never exposes them afterwards, ever. We effectively solve the private key problem by offering a full A - Z solution: 1. The ZERO: A 100% Offline Hardware Wallet, completely air-gapped from any connection whatsoever. 2. The GRAPHENE: A 100% Offline Everlasting Private Key Backup, just in case you lose your ZERO. 3. The LIQUID: Our mobile app for the last mile connection to the blockchain. Only public information. This is the most ingenious security solution you'll encounter. And as it happens, also incredibly fast, intuitive, and well...easy to use. The future is blockchain. We might as well make it incredibly secure. And easy. Visit and subscribe to get Early Adopter VIP status.
November 18, 2019
With Alex Mashinsky , Founder & CEO of Celsius Network, from VOIP to MOIP ... and how he's disrupting the banking world, Crypto style!
In this episode, I catch up at length with the very outspoken Alex Mashinsky, Founder and CEO of the Celsius Network - the platform of choice that lets you ... => check out corporate video intro here
October 25, 2019
With Phil Millo (CEO of Magenta) on Bitcoin Growth Bonds, a world first, and musings about blockchain, crypto, and other war stories!
Magenta & Phil Millo, transforming the way to look at growing your BTC holdings. (If you are interested and want to know more, get in touch with me here) In this episode, I caught up with Phil Millo, a friend and forward looking innovator in the structured finance industry. Phil Millo is the Group CEO of Magenta, a full-service crypto-structuring firm and ICO accelerator operating in London, Luxembourg, and Cayman. He is a recognized expert in the creation of crypto-based financial products and is named on several patent applications relating to blockchain consensus algorithms. He attends the UK government’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain and is an adviser to a number of specialist ICOs. He has spent much of the past decade executing advanced fiat structures and advising ultra-large asset managers and sovereigns on alternative assets. Phil has worked around the world and structured many complex financial products involving both fiat and digital assets. A technology leader in the 1990s, he was voted one of the top 100 most important people to have driven the first decade of the commercial internet. Phil holds an MA in Mathematics from the University of Oxford. During my discussion with Phil, I talk about past and future, but more importantly, we talk about probably one of the most interesting and timely innovations in the crypto space - the Bitcoin Growth Bonds.  The Concept: The programme has been designed to appeal to digital asset holders who are looking to grow their long term bitcoin holdings without risking any exposure to fiat price volatility. These are the first ever bitcoin denominated securities to have been allocated International Security Identification Numbers (ISINs). The Objective and Strategy: The programme delivers passive bitcoin growth through an investment grade structure with no exposure to fiat. Growth is delivered by securitizing exposures to a portfolio of collateralised digital asset debt instruments. All settlement, underlying collateral, and growth is denominated in bitcoin. The Structure: The bonds are issued from the Argento Access platform. Argento Access is a Luxembourg registered securitization company established in 2013, which offers exposure to a range of alternative asset growth strategies through easily purchasable financial products. Argento Access has extensive experience in catering to investors’ needs and interests. For more information, get in touch with me here. #WYFT
September 2, 2019
Innovate Now! Scale Up with 16 Breakthrough Sales Techniques - getting to Emotional Intoxication with Andy Gole.
This podcast episode is a bit out of the ordinary I would say, then again, maybe it'll end up being one of the most interesting ones. Why? Andy Gole is a veteran sales trainer, educator, and more in general, a great guy. Completely unknown to me, until recently that is, I met Andy at a private conference in NYC a few months ago, whereby he briefly presented to the audience his concept of Urgency Based Selling.  From his website:  "For more than three decades, as a sales theorist and practitioner, Urgency Based Selling® Founder Andy Gole has taught sales professionals how to transform a bold vision for their work into breakthrough selling techniques and management strategies to achieve their goals.  Andy and the expert team at Urgency Based Selling® are proud to work with organizations of all sizes, in a variety of industries." As a sales professional, I know that everything in business, at some point, starts (and ends) with (no) sales. Whether you're in Fintech, Startups, or Gaming/Gamification. Sales is eternal, and in my book, everyone is in sales in this day and age. Having some novel insights from a seasoned pro like Andy is very gratifying therefore, and beyond helpful. In my conversation, we cover in detail a selection of his key concepts: Embracing “do or die” vs. Best Efforts Overcome self-limiting assumptions The pre-mortem for confirmation bias The PIK method Risk aversion and many others are talked about in passing.  After listening to my conversation with Andy, go and grab a copy of his brand new book: "Innovate Now: Scale Up with 16 Breakthrough Sales Techniques" and let me know what you've learned, and how you're going to apply this in your own situation.  "Innovate Now shows how to sell for emotional intoxication! In modern culture, it’s an oxymoronic idea. Consider the direct and indirect impact of negative stereotypes like Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman; on the surface “joyous selling” is absurd. It’s an extraordinary idea! To potentially achieve emotional intoxication through selling, that is: heroic selling. What makes business development heroic is opening the closed mind, bringing the prospect who says “I’m good” to explore new ideas which lead to a higher state of well-being. This is why salespeople are heroes. Innovate Now shows how to be a sales hero. This typically requires novel new approaches to selling.Innovate Now helps the reader jump-start sales innovation. It provides new ideas you can implement immediately - like payments in kind - and methods to develop your own innovative ideas - like overcoming self-limiting assumptions and confirmation bias." Enjoy! Yvan De Munck
July 1, 2019
The Next Big Thing? Yu(gen) bet! My interview with Lee Guzofski, Founder & CEO of NYC based G2G Enterprises, Inc., and visionary behind YUGEN.
I invite you to listen carefully to my conversation with Lee #WYFT, when I caught up with him most recently in NYC, where we discuss where he is with his vision of and for the world IRL, and how he foresees Yugen changing the landscape - forever, and for the better. Something that is urgently needed, and will have nothing else to compare it with. People … places … experiences … Yugen, it's time to tell YOUR story. It is now more than 5 years ago when I met Lee Guzofski, Founder & CEO of G2G Enterprises, a transformative company that is in the process of creating the next big thing. I met Lee at an after-party in NYC - he looked lost and miscast, so did I. And so we ended up talking. I am an early investor, and yes, too familiar with the concept of "staying power". However, we're coming close to that moment, otherwise called "aha", whereby everything will fall into place. Whereby nothing will ever be the same. Remember Second Life? "Second Life was well-known for its bustling in-game economy built on its Linden currency that still manages to drive a staggering $700 million in peer-to-peer transactions annually, according to Rosedale." In many people's mind, and in my book, something interesting but with not enough staying power.  And then came Pokemon Go! in July 2016, and the world got a bit more interesting overnight. As highlighted in the latest comments at BusinessOfApps: "Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game tied in to Nintendo's best-selling Pokémon game and film/television empire. Gameplay sees users encountering the eponymous creatures in real-world settings, utilising mobile devices' GPS. Pokémon Go users can catch and train the Pokémon, then battle against other users (a relatively recent feature), mimicking the gameplay of the videogame series. It utilises the freemium mode that seems to be de rigueur for viral games…and go viral Pokémon Go certainly did!" Did it work well? With a highest ever first month revenue number of $207M, a daily revenue of $200,000 still today, and a combined $2.5B revenue number since launch, we can talk about a category killer indeed. And still, a lot of people will tell you, it's a loser - it's a boring game. And what came after that? Nothing. Until … this came out a few weeks ago. "The mirrorworld doesn’t yet fully exist, but it is coming. Someday soon, every place and thing in the real world — every street, lamppost, building, and room — will have its full-size digital twin in the mirrorworld. For now, only tiny patches of the mirrorworld are visible through AR headsets. Piece by piece, these virtual fragments are being stitched together to form a shared, persistent place that will parallel the real world. The author Jorge Luis Borges imagined a map exactly the same size as the territory it represented. “In time,” Borges wrote, “the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it.” We are now building such a 1:1 map of almost unimaginable scope, and this world will become the next great digital platform."  Listen carefully to my conversation with Lee #WYFT, when I caught up with him most recently in NYC, where we discuss where he is with his vision of and for the world IRL, and how he foresees Yugen changing the landscape — forever, and for the better. 
May 20, 2019
With Yannis Moati at
Yannis Moati is the CEO of the leading domestic platform in day-stay hotel rooms. You can check out the basics in the video below. In my recent podcast interview with Yannis at his offices in NYC, I caught up with him after seeing him last about 2 years ago, and a lot has been achieved, clearly. The concept is novel for sure, but makes total sense, especially at a time where the economies are slowing down, and hotel operators will be looking for new ways to add margin to the business. I enjoyed talking to Yannis about the business and other things in life, and I recommend you try out the services and spread the word.  The bottom line about HotelsByDay: DISCOVER DAY STAYS => Find elegant hotels to book a Morning, Mid-day or Afternoon stay. Discover new properties through our curated catalog of exceptional hotels, with the best day stay deals, from value to luxury. BOOK NOW, PAY LATER => Make a reservation through the mobile site, IOS or Android App in just three simple taps. Book now at no charge - pay at the hotel*. Free cancellation up to the night prior to your check-in (subject to availability) YOUR DAY JUST GOT EASIER => Rest, relax, escape, get productive. Experience world class amenities - enjoy a great room with shower, free wifi*, complimentary breakfast*, parking and fitness center among others (*subject to availability). Amplify your day with the HotelsByDay experience.
December 31, 2018
The New Physics of Financial Services - a discussion with Jesse McWaters, Lead Author.
I had the chance and privilege to recently sit down and talk in detail with Jesse McWaters, lead author of this important and very detailed report. If you want to find out how AI and machine learning is transforming the financial services industry, listen to our discussion here, and refer to the full document on the WEF website for the whole package @ ( From the website: Artificial intelligence is fundamentally changing the physics of financial services. It is weakening the bonds that have held together the component parts of incumbent financial institutions, opening the door to entirely new operating models and ushering in a new set of competitive dynamics that will reward institutions focused on the scale and sophistication of data much more than the scale or complexity of capital. A clear vision of the future financial landscape will be critical to good strategic and governance decisions as financial institutions around the world face growing competitive pressure to make major strategic investments in AI and policy makers seek to navigate the challenging regulatory and social uncertainties emerging globally. Building on the World Economic Forum’s past work on disruptive innovation in financial services, this report provides a comprehensive exploration of the impact of AI on financial services. Key findings include: • From cost centre to profit centre: Institutions will turn AI-enabled back-office operations into external services, both accelerating the rate at which these capabilities improve and necessitating others to become consumers of those capabilities to avoid falling behind • A new battlefield for customer loyalty: As past methods of differentiation erode, AI presents an opportunity for institutions to escape a "race to the bottom" in price competition by introducing new ways to distinguish themselves to customers • Self-driving finance: Future customer experiences will be centred around AI, which automates much of customers’ financial lives and improves their financial outcomes • Collective solutions for shared problems: Collaborative solutions built on shared datasets will radically increase the accuracy, timeliness, and performance of non-competitive functions, creating mutual efficiencies in operations and improving the safety of the financial system • Bifurcation of market structure: As AI reduces search and comparison costs for customers, firm structures will be pushed to market extremes, amplifying the returns for large-scale players and creating new opportunities for niche and agile innovators • Uneasy data alliances: In an ecosystem where every institution is vying for diversity of data, managing partnerships with competitors and potential competitors will be critical but fraught with strategic and operational risks • The power of data regulators: Regulations governing the privacy and portability of data will shape the relative ability of financial and non-financial institutions to deploy AI, thus becoming as important as traditional regulations to the competitive positioning of firms • Finding a balanced approach to talent: Talent transformation will be the most challenging speed limit on institutions’ implementations of AI, putting at risk the competitive positioning of firms and geographies that fail to effectively transition talent alongside technology • New ethical dilemmas: AI will necessitate a collaborative re-examination of principles and supervisory techniques to address the ethical grey areas and regulatory uncertainties that reduce institutions’ willingness to adopt more transformative AI capabilities This report is the culmination of one year’s worth of research, including over 200 interviews with subject matter experts and seven global workshops, prepared by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Deloitte.
November 2, 2018
With Jay Samit on Disrupt You! and how to get excited about life and opportunity!
I've kept this conversation stacked away somewhere, and I can only regret it deeply. Apologies therefore. But, I'm not exaggerating when saying that this is one of those conversations that never left me, and will forever be grateful for. Jay Samit is a digital media innovator and pioneer in the music, video distribution, social media, and eCommerce space. When you hear him talk, it's like getting a live recap of every single technology development that matters over the last 30+ years or so, and he's been a player in pretty much each one of them. 'Nuf said - dive in, listen, and get excited. And when done, get his 40 page companion workbook at From his website: Jay Alan Samit is a dynamic entrepreneur and intrepreneur who is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on disruption and innovation. He launches billion dollar businesses, transforms entire industries, revamps government institutions, and for over three decades continues to be at the forefront of global trends. Everyone from the Pope to the President calls on Samit to orchestrate positive change in this era of endless innovation. Samit helped grow pre-IPO companies such as Linkedin and eBay, held senior management roles at Sony and Universal Studios, pioneered breakthrough advancements in mobile video, internet advertising, ecommerce, social networks, ebooks, and digital music that are used by billions of consumers every day. Combining innovation with commercial success, Samit is the consummate dealmaker; his list of partners and associates reads like a who’s who list of innovators, including: Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, Reid Hoffman, David Geffen, Richard Branson, Paul Allen, and Pierre Omidyar. A proven trend spotter, Samit accurately predicts the future because he is constantly working with those who create it. An adjunct professor at USC, Samit teaches innovation at America’s largest engineering school and is author of the internationally best-selling book Disrupt You! Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation (available in seven languages including Chinese, Russian, Japanese and Korean). He is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and host of its documentary series WSJ Startup of the Year. Samit frequently appears on ABC, Bloomberg, CBS, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NBC and tweets daily motivation to the over 100,000 business professionals who follow him on twitter @jaysamit. An expert on transformational corporate change, Samit has been quoted in The New York Times, The Economist, Businessweek, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Fast Company and TechCrunch. Samit is a change agent, who combines his bold vision and humor, to motivate audiences to become disruptors within their organizations. Samit gets people passionate about innovation, overcoming obstacles, and teaches them how to think bigger and embrace change. Samit motivates and delights audiences from Moscow to Mumbai, London to Las Vegas, Phoenix to Philadelphia, Berlin to Beverly Hills, Toronto to Tokyo, Seoul to San Francisco, with compelling keynotes that leave the crowd wanting more. Samit provides disruptive solutions for such corporate clients as American Express, AT&T, Best Buy, Clinique, Coca Cola, Disney, Ford, GE, Intel, Linkedin, McDonalds, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, Starbucks, Unilever, Zynga and dozens more. His talk It’s Time to Disrupt You! is a high energy presentation on how to create and embrace change in any field. Designed to be as entertaining and inspiring as it is informative, Samit customizes each presentation to highlight the sales, marketing, and leadership goals of the audience before him. Samit delivers a speech that stays with the audience long after the conference has ended.
October 16, 2018
With Dara Albright on crowdfinance, fintech, disfunctionalities, and other observations.
I go back with Dara now more than 6 years, when she was an early player, mover and shaker with all things related to the JOBS act and related crowdfunding issues. She continues to be a power in the space, and a big voice around the issue of small business, capital markets and formation, the rapidly changing landscape around exchanges, and most recently her interest in all things cryptofinance related. My conversation with her at the time was before Bitcoin was a conversation starter, and DLT/Blockchain nowhere to be seen. However, in our conversation, she's showing a keen understanding of many of the issues that are out there, need to be addressed, and what is keeping us from getting there. It is now clear that she was and continues to be a visionary, and her latest focus on the cryptofinance space is only testament to that. Check out her work at, and be sure to tune into my update with her, I'm sure pretty soon. From her bio: Dara Albright is one of the earliest pioneers of the crowdfinance movement. Her leading-edge articles, white papers, webinars and acclaimed industry conferences helped birth and continue to cultivate the crowdfinance industry. Dara writes and speaks about financial injustice; market bubbles; the rise, fall and resurrection of the small cap IPO; P2P investing; crowdfunding; investing red flags and how FinTech is changing the world – all in a style that is as appreciated by investing novices as it is by financial experts. Dara’s ability to inject humor, emotion and edge not typically found in financial articles has made her one of the most revered writers in the industry. Since the inception of the crowdfinance industry, Dara Albright has been a predominant resource for crowdfinance education and industry connections. She is regularly publishing trendsetting content and is most known for breaking new ground in the conference space with industry-leading programming and unparalleled networking. Her body of work – that has helped shape and continues to set the direction of the crowdfinance and fintech industries – can be viewed by going to: Dara Albright is one of the earliest pioneers of the crowdfinance movement. Her leading-edge articles, white papers, webinars and acclaimed industry conferences helped birth and continue to cultivate the crowdfinance industry. Dara writes and speaks about financial injustice; market bubbles; the rise, fall and resurrection of the small cap IPO; P2P investing; crowdfunding; investing red flags and how FinTech is changing the world – all in a style that is as appreciated by investing novices as it is by financial experts. Dara’s ability to inject humor, emotion and edge not typically found in financial articles has made her one of the most revered writers in the industry. Since the inception of the crowdfinance industry, Dara Albright has been a predominant resource for crowdfinance education and industry connections. She is regularly publishing trendsetting content and is most known for breaking new ground in the conference space with industry-leading programming and unparalleled networking. Her body of work – that has helped shape and continues to set the direction of the crowdfinance and fintech industries – can be viewed by going to:
October 2, 2018
With Eric Burgess on Connect Lending and other juicy stuff...
It's been a while, but last time we spoke, he was still at it, and building fiercely to get his baby from being a toddler to a full blown ... well ... to what it is today: Your Connection to Business Lending. Connect Lending was created to bridge the gap between Businesses looking for loans and the Lenders that are actually lending money. The process of simply walking into "your bank" for a loan doesn't always work or isn't the best choice for the large number of businesses. Many banks have partnered with them because they recognize that no bank can give the best loan to every single client; it's just impossible. Connect Lending understands that lenders have very specific lending criteria and usually focus on niche markets. ABC Lender might never lend money to retail businesses, but XYZ Lender specializes in lending to retailers. One man's trash is another man's treasure. They only connect business owners/borrowers to lenders that have a high likelihood of approving your loan. Their system is engineered to match lenders (based on their specific loan criteria) with borrowers (based on their answers to a short list of questions). Connect Lending, with Rick Burgess at the helm, is there to offer a better alternative to all the other online and alternative lenders, and to increasing success. Listen to his story so far and get inspired.
September 16, 2018
With Brett King in the fast lane - and what a ride it continues to be.
I've known Brett King from way back (in my Wall Street days), and was always beyond impressed to see what this man is capable of ... I was also fortunate enough to have briefly worked with him on a financing round (with Moven), and had him also present at one of my early Meetups at Belcham's Atelier. Anyway, as you will find during my conversation with him, it's all over the place, which is a good metaphor for the man himself. From his LinkedIn profile, let me share with you his bio for proper color: "Brett King is a world-renowned futurist and speaker, an International Bestselling Author, and a media personality who covers the future of business, technology and society. President Xi Jinping cited his book Augmented on the topic of Artificial Intelligence. He has spoken in over 50 countries, at TED conferences, given opening keynotes for Wired, Techsauce, Singularity University, Web Summit, The Economist, IBM's World of Watson, CES, SIBOS and many more. He has appeared as a commentator on CNBC, BBC, ABC, Fox, and Bloomberg. He previously advised the Obama administration on Fintech policy and advises regulators and bank boards around the world on technology transformation. King hosts the world's first and #1 ranked radio show on FinTech called "Breaking Banks" (177 countries, 6.5 million listeners). He is the CEO and Founder of Moven, a successful mobile start-up, which has raised over US$47 million to date, with the world's first mobile, downloadable bank account, available in the United States, Canada, UK, Indonesia, Russia, and New Zealand. Named "King of the Disruptors" by Banking Exchange magazine, King was voted American Banker's Innovator of the Year, voted the world's #1 Financial Services Influencer by The Financial Brand and was nominated by Bank Innovation as one of the top 10 "coolest brands in banking". He was shortlisted for the 2015 Advance Global Australian of the Year Award for being one of the most influential Australians living offshore. His books have been released in over a dozen languages and he has achieved bestseller status in 20 countries. His fifth book Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane is an international bestseller, top 10 in North America and has remained in the top-10 on Amazon for over 18 months. Bank 4.0 is his latest bestseller. You wanna talk disruption? Talk to Brett! Enjoy (and apologies for the "outside" background at the start, as I was taping on his porch, which was not a good idea, clearly).
September 2, 2018
With Jorge Newberry about Burn Zones, AHP and Debt Cleanse.
Better late than never they say, and that's very accurate on my end here. I interviewed Jorge now more than 2 years ago in Chicago, and I had a ball. His story (personal and business) is very inspiring, and his earlier book (Burn Zones) is one for the ages - and most definitely highly recommended. He's an entrepreneur at heart, has failed and come back, and went on to bigger things, all to the benefit of not only himself and his investors, but primarily to the cause. And what a cause it is indeed. I'm looking forward to have an updated conversation with Jorge soon, but in the meantime, enjoy my conversation with him, now nearly 2 years ago. From his bio: Jorge P. Newbery is a successful entrepreneur, distressed debt and real estate investor, endurance athlete, and author. He turned around some of the country's most troubled housing complexes in amassing a portfolio of 4,000 apartments across the USA from 1992 - 2005. However, a natural disaster triggered a financial collapse in which he lost everything and emerged over $26 million in debt. He never filed bankruptcy. Instead he developed strategies to gain leverage over creditors to settle debts at huge discounts, or simply did not pay them at all. He is a veteran of dozens of court battles, once fighting a creditor to the Missouri Court of Appeals. The entire debt (over $5,800,000) was inadvertently extinguished due to sloppy legal work. As an athlete, Newbery raced bicycles for a living from 1986 - 1990 as a Category 1. He competed in the 1988 Olympic Trials and was 4th in the Spenco 500, a nonstop 500-mile bike race televised on ESPN. He also raced for the Costa Rican National Team in the Tour of Mexico, was 2nd in the 1987 Southern California State Championship Road Race, plus held the Green Jersey in the 1987 Vulcan Tour. Newbery also runs and has completed over 70 marathons and ultramarathons. In 2012, he was the overall winner of the Chicago Lakefront 50K. At 46-years-old, he was double the age of the 24-year-old second-place finisher. Today, Newbery helps others crushed by unaffordable debts rebuild their lives. Jorge is Founder and CEO of American Homeowner Preservation (AHP), a socially responsible hedge fund which purchases nonperforming mortgages from banks at big discounts, then shares the discounts with families to settle their mortgages at terms many borrowers find "too good to be true." Jorge's response to the nation's mortgage crisis creates meaningful social and financial returns for investors, while keeping families in their homes. AHP's mission is to facilitate win-win-win solutions for homeowners, investors and lenders. "Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands" is Jorge's autobiographical account of how he was pushed to his physical and mental limits during his time of strife, and how he overcame the challenges he faced. Jorge's latest book is: "Debt Cleanse: How To Settle Your Unaffordable Debts For Pennies On The Dollar (And Not Pay Some At All)," which provides step-by-step help for families overwhelmed by debt. Jorge is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and other publications, and speaks regularly on debt, investing, finance and housing issues. Connect with Jorge at:
August 2, 2018
With Geoff Miller on the couch - the former CEO of GLI Finance and now advisor to fintech companies.
I have worked with and for Geoff Miller for a period of time, primarily during his successful tenure as CEO of GLI Finance, a London listed fintech company. This is a conversation I've had with him now a while back, focused on corporate governance and other issues that we both care about deeply. Geoff Miller now is an investor in and consultant to a variety of principally early stage technology and finance companies, a Director of various businesses across a number of sectors globally drawing on his 20 years of listed company Board experience and a mentor to a variety of entrepreneurs. At the heart of his approach to business are good corporate governance, equality and diversity. He does not believe that these are words to be thrown around but rather they are fundamental to the core of any great organisation. Where a company does not agree with this, he will not work with them. Outside of his work with corporates he is managing the creation of a food forest in Guernsey and he is involved in encouraging the introduction of more permaculture principles to the unique and precious environment on the island. Latest updates on this can be viewed on Instagram @larameefarmhouse.
July 2, 2018