Archive for March, 2014

Finance Innovations

March 31, 2014

Golden Key Bridge Between An Idea And Dollar Coins

The internet of everything solutions involve not just big data, but also at times the sensors for the collection of the data, as well as integration into supply chain solutions. This month, we are drilling down into specific examples of big data, mobile, cloud and sensor solutions which are facilitating the emergence of the Age of Personalization one industry at a time. The profiled companies and solutions are from “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Company in Finance” by Fast Company, and includes information from the company web sites themselves.  E-mail your input to


  1. ONEID: Single, Secure Login

Passwords are gone, forms are completed in a click, and you’re straight to checkout.

For businesses, OneID makes it easy and secure for your customers to login, complete checkout, and approve transactions using their mobile phones. With OneID Suite, you get an integrated identity system, while OneID Confirm adjoins your existing username/password system with two-factor authentication tools.  With both, OneID helps protect you and your customer from today’s threats.


  1. Estimize: Crowdsourced Platform for Earnings Forecasting

Estimize is an open financial estimates platform which facilitates the aggregation of fundamental estimates from independent, buy-side, and sell-side analysts, along with those of private investors and students. By sourcing estimates from a diverse community of individuals, Estimize provides both a more accurate and more representative view of expectations compared to sell side only data sets which suffer from several severe biases.

  1. eToro: Follow and Copy the Investment Pros

eToro is the first global market place for people to trade currencies, commodities, indices and stocks online in a simple, transparent and more enjoyable way. Today, we empower over 2.75 million users in more than 140 countries worldwide (but not currently including the US) to manage their funds through our innovative online investment platforms and active trading community, with thousands of new accounts created every day.

Processing Volumes of Data

  1. Splunk: Real-Time Data to Improve Service

Splunk helps financial services clients leverage real-time data to improve service delivery and customer loyalty, enable timely payment processing and improve trade processing efficiency.

  1. Wells Fargo: $1 Billion Dollars in Deposits

Wells Fargo & Company is the first major U.S. bank to offer mobile services for corporate and commercial customers announced that businesses have made more than $1 billion in mobile deposits through its CEO Mobile® Depositservice. With the free CEO Mobile iPhone app, customers can use an iPhone or iPad to quickly scan and deposit checks and money orders conveniently and securely, enabling them to speed up their cash flow.


  1. BitCoin: Person-to-Person MicroPayments, but not as secure and accepted as PayPal

Bitcoin is an open-source peer-to-peer payment system which doesn’t involve central authority or banks to manage transactions. When you use Bitcoins to purchase something you are directly exchanging it with the merchant.

At the moment, Bitcoin is used as a payment system by a lot of online shopping, gambling, web hosting websites as well as a few local stores and coffee shops in some countries.

  1. GiveDirectly: Charitable Donations Delivered Through SMS to Needy in Kenya and Uganda

Based on performance to date we expect to put 90% of your donation into the hands of a recipient in Kenya and 87% in Uganda.

Mobile Innovation

  1. Nice Systems’ Mobile Reach: Mobile Alerts and Phone Calls Anticipating Your Cash Flow Needs

NICE Mobile Reach analyzes, in real time, a multitude of data sources from the mobile device and enterprise systems and then recommends for the customer the most suitable channel to continue the interaction when they need assistance. As the customer and agent converse over the phone, multimedia collaboration tools such as text chat, image exchange, and document transfer will be available for both parties, making the interaction effective, increasing conversion rate, and driving quick and complete resolution on first contact.

Minimize Processing Fees

  1. Dwolla: Virtual Charge Card for 25 cents a Transaction

Dwolla is a payment network that allows any business or person to send, request and accept money. We’re not like those other big payment companies that rely on plastic cards and charge hefty fees. Instead, we’ve built our own network that securely connects to your bank account and allows you to move money for just $0.25 per transaction, or free for transactions $10 or less.

10. Transferwise: Foreign-Exchange for 0.5% of Transaction

Sending money abroad is deceptively expensive, thanks to the hidden fees we’ve all been forced to pay. Now TransferWise lets expats, foreign students and businesses transfer money wherever it’s needed, at the lowest possible cost. No hidden fees, no headache.

How does our list compare to your own? Who would you add or take out?  E-mail us at with your thoughts.


Agility – The Key to Building a Successful Career

March 22, 2014

March21PanelMarch21Panel2FountainBlue’s March 21 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event was on the topic of Agility – The Key to Building a Successful Career. Below are notes from the conversation.

Our humble and accomplished panelists spoke eloquently about the career choices they made, and their leadership journey in the high tech world. They were a diverse panel, representing marketing, training, HR, and management, and they had various levels of education and background, from technical training to business degree. But they had many things in common: they embraced opportunities at every turn, and succeeded at many levels through many different kinds of work. They consciously made career choices, *and* they serendipitously accepted opportunities as they arose. Collectively, they share these kernels of wisdom to those of us seeking to be more agile with our career.

Know Yourself. Be confident and accepting of who you are.

1)    Know yourself and what’s important to you, and make strategic decisions based on what you know about yourself. Recalibrate as your needs and interests will change, but always measure opportunities based on what’s important to you.

2)    Double down on your strengths.

3)    Have the confidence to reach for stars, even if you don’t feel quite qualified and ready to do something.

4)    You don’t have to have a privileged background and the right education and money to make it to the top. You do have to do a great job and work well with others though, no matter what your background is.

5)    Don’t judge yourself and put restrictions on yourself.

6)    Question the restrictions and limitations others put on you too.

7)    Surround yourself with people who believe in you, and help you believe in yourself.

8)    Have the confidence to speak your mind, share your opinion, even if you think others around the table may be more qualified to opine.

Your career is a journey.

9)    Your career, like life, is a journey: Learn from your mistakes; fail forward; don’t walk in the same river twice.

10) Choose to be self-sufficient and in charge of your own future.

11) Be strategic if and when you’d like to facilitate a career change. Do the research, ask questions, make connections, communicate your interest to others.

12) Wherever you next find yourself, you will find your way if you persevere, work hard, work smart, and are good with people.

13) Be clear about your motivations and intentions, and welcome the universe to provide you with serendipitous opportunities, while telling everyone you know what you want to do and why.

14) If you accept an opportunity which isn’t quite what you’re looking for, you may open up a whole new world of opportunities which might better fit your sweet spot.

15) Career change is often a multi-step process. Many people get frustrated that they can’t make the change they want in one foul swoop. Consider making one change at a time – either role or industry for example, pay your dues in that interim step, and plan for the longer term success of your career.

Support others.

16) The more we support ourselves, the more that we support the others around us.

17) It’s always about the people. Know who helped you get to where you want to go and show your appreciation. Consciously help others also to succeed.

18) Believe in others around you, and offer the kind of unconditional love and acceptance which helps you yourself to succeed and change and grow.

19) Lean in, share your challenges, your power, your experience.

20) Give generously in ways that energize you yourself.

In the end, remember that your career is more a jungle gym than a ladder. You may go lateral and around in circles. It may not be plan-ful, but you can see the equipment as a way to maximize exposure, learning and growth, in order to benefit all that participate.

Recommended Resources:


Please join us in thanking our generous hosts at Altera, and our speakers for FountainBlue’s March 21 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event on the topic of Agility – The Key to Building a Successful Career:

Facilitator Marsha Gastwirth, Wine Trail Escapes

Panelist Mercedes De Luca, Vice President & GM, eCommerce Sears Holdings Corporation

Panelist Jocelyn King, Head of Worldwide Corporate Marketing, Altera

Panelist Nancy Long, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hitachi

Panelist Tracy Meersman, Manager, Global Channel Learning, McAfee

Panelist Alexandra Shapiro, Senior Director, Small Business Marketing, PayPal

The View from Under the Bus

March 7, 2014

School Questions

We’ve all been there – minding our own business, working a big project, all systems are go, and from out of nowhere, there’s a little shove, and you find yourself *gasp* under the bus . . . again! This time, before you pick yourself up, brush yourself off, blow off some steam, shed a tear or two, sit back and observe your surroundings…

Of course we’re not talking about a physical bus or a murder attempt. We’re talking about corporate politics, and how to proactively manage that. Consider doing the following, whether or not you’ve just been pushed under the bus, whether you were the push-er, the push-ee, the instigator or the innocent bystander.

Accept that Politics Exists

1. Accepting that politics is a way of life when you’re working with people is part of the solution. Those who resent politics and those who participate in it may be more likely to be victims of it. How do you feel about politics in the workplace in general? How will a more accepting attitude help you manage the politics around you.
2. Know the landscape. What is the political landscape like for your team, division and company? How are you currently participating in it? How do you currently respond to it when it takes place?
3. What does it look like, feel like, smell like, taste like to be under the bus?

Delineate What You Can and Can’t Change

4. How much of the current situation can be attributed to you, yourself, and what you did now or in the past?
5. How much of what happened are the result of a specific other person or people?
6. How much is related to conflict within or between teams?
7. How much is just endemic with the company you’re in?

Play the Game When You Can

8. Based on the people dynamics and the causation questions above, what can you change and what must you accept? Of the things that you can change, what’s the plan to change things and who needs to be involved?
9. Of the things that you can’t change, what can you do to manage your emotions and actions around it? Is it worth staying where you are with what you’re doing if those things can’t be changed?
10. Looking at the shorter term and longer term impact of the political games around you, who needs to get involved? Who or what needs to be managed? What can you do to be more successful?

We hope that the questions above will help you to accept the inevitability of politics and take a broader view on how to manage the navigate it. What did we miss? What shouldn’t be there? Share your stories and feedback by e-mailing us at