Posts Tagged ‘BarCampBankSF’

PodCamp Boston 5 tomorrow!

September 24, 2010


PodCamp Boston 5 starts tomorrow, and I’m excited to be going there with my sweetheart, Lesley Lambert. Both she and I will be facilitating sessions on Sunday. Lesley’s topic is Advanced Twitter, and I’ll be facilitating a discussion on Geolocation. I’ve facilitated sessions on Geolocation at RE BarCamp Orlando and RE BarCamp Rye, and my slidedeck for it has been viewed 1,178 times on I’ll be modifying the presentation for the PodCamp environment versus the real estate camp.

This will be my third PodCamp Boston, and lucky 13th camp of any variety.

I love the things that happen at camps, the people, the sessions, the networking, the brainstorming, the learning, the teaching, the sharing, the connections that people make. Being somewhat of a Camp veteran, I especially enjoy helping newcomers have a good experience as much as I enjoy reconnecting with old friends. I also love “seeing” the camp through others’ eyes, especially Camp virgins, but I love veteran’s thoughts, photos, videos, blogs, tweets, and whatever other media is produced.

Here are some links looking back at my previous Camp experiences, including PodCamp Boston 2, where I knew no one going into it, but made some great friends:

Looking forward to what this weekend brings at PodCamp Boston 5!

Finovate NYC

November 13, 2008

A month ago I had the privilege of attending Finovate NYC, as a guest blogger. The event is hosted by Jim Bruene, President of the Online Banking Report and NetBanker, and features short 7-minute presentations from 24 leading innovators in the financial world. It’s a wonderful format, featuring twelve presentations in the morning and twelve after a lunch break. The brief duration of each presentation forces the presenters to be very clear about what their product is, who it is for, and how it is useful and different. Props to the event organizers for fading out the presenter and fading up the music right at the time limit to keep things focused, moving, and on-track for the audience.

Read my event tweets here.

Because of twitter conversation, I knew that Mark McSpadden and Lisa Randolph of Banktastic were going to be there, as well as Ron Shevlin and Parisian Jean-Christophe Capelli, who I first met at BarCampBankSF. What I didn’t know until the morning of the event was that Apoorv Dwivedi, who I met at BarCampBankBC, came down from Alberta.

A pleasant surprise was that there were also several other twitterers who I had never met before in the audience of approximately 200 people. Read the entire Finovate twitterstream here.

Is there value to all the twittering of one event? You betcha! Just one benefit is that finance professionals from all over the world got a sampling of the important information being presented. This creates additional exposure and added reach for the presenters as well as the conference itself. My favorite tweet reply is this one from @mrsmcj, who at the time was attending the Love at First Website conference in Portland, OR: “@mmpartee, @rshevlin. Thanks for the finovate tweets! It was almost like being at two conferences.”

My favorite presentation at the event was from Carlos Cardilli of mFoundry. He did his entire presentation without slides, just showing what he was doing on his iPhone. mFoundry has created an iPhone interface that banks or credit unions can give to their members to enable banking transactions. It’s much more than just online banking brought to a mobile phone however. At it’s core, that is what it does. You can schedule bills to be paid in advance, using the elegant date sliders that the iPhone employs. You can also make transfers between accounts naturally. Where it REALLY gets fun is the ATM and branch locator. Since the iPhone “knows” where it is, and has access to map data, this mFoundry application can locate the ATMs and branches nearest to you. You can then follow the directions the iPhone provides to get you there. Not only that, but it provides you with a phone number, so you can call the branch right from your iPhone if you so desire. This may not be mainstream yet, but with so many companies coming out with iPhone wanna-bes, this is clearly the wave of the future. I’d recommend that all credit unions hop on board as soon as feasible.

I was impressed with many of the other presenting companies as well. Also worthwhile are: Vidoop, SmartHippo, Credit Karma, Lending Club, FiLife, and Loanio. It was particularly interesting to see the FiLife and Loanio presentations since both of these companies were in pre-public release stages at BarCampMoneyNYC just a few short months ago in April.

PFM discussion at BarCampBank SF

March 30, 2008

Session 3 of BarCampBank SFThe following are my rough notes typed during session two of BarCampBankSF, held in the Wozniak Lounge of the UC Berkeley campus. BarCampBank SF was an unconference devoted to innovation in personal finance. Here is the wiki page and the CrowdVine page. More photos can be found on the BCBSF Flickr Group. Attendance was around 60 people, including Andy Kaufman who found out about the event that morning at 9 am (because someone who had already arrived was twittering about it), and arrived in time for the last two sessions of the day.

One of the most remarkable things about this session is that we had several different Personal Financial Management (PFM) companies represented at one table, along with two companies in the personal retirement/net worth site category. (And Zopa, and someone who formerly worked for a personal finance division of Yahoo!) While there was a small amount of guardedness re: business plans, there were also a lot of kudos given, and much sharing of ideas. This was probably mostly due to the consensus that this type of site is just in its infancy.

Personal Financial Management Sites session (Session two of the day)

Areas to be discussed during this session:
1 – account aggregation
2 – making it simple
3 – customization
4 – mobile
5 – security

Notes from what was actually discussed:
Let’s introduce all the PFM companies here at the table:
Expensr – build awareness for each user – compare expenses to people like me
– tag yourself — manually enter or bank ofx download
Wesabe – Prospective tool, helps you going forward (compared to Quicken is rearview mirror)
– banks think of PFM as a tool to sell more products to customers, lock them in, etc.
– Wesabe really wants to help people
Networth IQ — track your net worth – track, share, compare your networth
(Also at table: Boulevardr, VaultStreet)

Other PFMs not here:
Mint – the positive about Mint: drives through to a result

Wesabe & Expensr, shoot for a positive customer result FIRST, unlike Mint which built the right side of Google before the left side

users want to analyze data – in a consumer form –

what’s the value proposition of PFM sites?

difference in these types of tools for investment vs expenses – who am I comparing to? large, global community versus small tight-knit community like me

different people in different life stages and income want different things out of these tools
(college students budgeting pizza and beer vs. older folks looking at financing kids’ college)

trust level with the PFM tools- younger professionals totally trust, not a big issue. Issue is for older folks.

with Wesabe – security – decouple person’s name from financial data
Jason is worried about one security corruption by ANY one PFM company blows up the entire industry

Pizza Breakwhat is the ideal way that transactions SHOULD work for PFM sites?

Jason -wesabe – wants customer transaction to belong to CUSTOMER – token given to Wesabe once by customer so that bank then gives JUST transactional data to Wesabe and nothing else
suggestion: why not create a consortium of PFM’s for this platform of interoperability standards (BITS – banking industry technology secretary)

Credit card companies – don’t know Expensr and PFMs exist
Wesabe – big banks know this is happening, some things are great about it, some things they wish they could make go away

Yodlee – good at building sucky tools. Yodlee plateaued at 1 million users

Jason – what is a PFM tool at end of day? Decision support tool. Interested in helping people make good decisions about money. helping people about making good financial decisions. Overcome ability to actually transact (like bill pay)

People don’t like to manage money. how do we overcome inertia?

Is Wesabe and PFMs where it’s going?

Jason – people aren’t going to chose their bank based on PFM (ie Mint is wrong/bad)

Banks have snouts in trough with customer fees – banks will eventually have to take snouts out of trough and actually help people with their money

Jwalla PFM – through CU online banking side

PFMs will be like Bill Pay is now – another tool/product, which hooks you into the instutuion so the customer won’t leave

Wesabe in discussions to partner with CUs

Takes forever to get trusted in the financial space – Yahoo didn’t have that. – at the end of the day made by brand name is all that matters, even when product is inferior

PFM only at the very very beginning of what this space is/will be (Wesabe, Expensr etc)

Social aspect is where it’s at (for both Wesabe, Expensr) (not about wizards and tools) community gives emotion, sticky & voyeuristic

Life events are what drive people to PFM (graduation, marriage, etc), not bottoming out

How do we make PFM fun? video game-like? what’s the pain point? notifications that are in my best interest. get rid of pain, maximize opportunity

Three BarCampBanks in Three Weekends

March 27, 2008

I’m excited to be attending three BarCampBanks over the next three weekends. I thought it was going to be just two, until BarCampBank founder Frederic Baud discovered that Jonah Keegan is putting together BarCampMoneyNYC on April 12. Jonah embarked on this endeavor without knowing about the BarCampBanks on the docket. And he’s glad that his event is now part of this movement. Dan Reynolds and I are getting on a plane bright and early tomorrow morning for San Fran. For those who want to follow along, here are the info/networking pages for each event. CrowdVine is designed for attendees to connect with each other before, during and after the event, but if you want to virtually follow, feel free to join in there.

BarCampBank SF – March 29
Facebook: event page

BarCampBank NewEngland – April 5
Facebook: event page

BarCampMoney NYC – April 12
Facebook: event page

The quality of people, ideas, topics, and sessions on the agenda is amazing. Check out the links above if you don’t believe me. I am preparing to be floored at these events, and will try to blog, tweet, and photograph as much as I can. If anyone has any questions for any of the attendees at these events, please feel free to share them with me and I’ll relay to the best of my ability.

Special thanks to designer, Nate Duval, for the spectacular logos for BarCampBank SF and BarCampBank NewEngland.

New BarCampBanks update

October 18, 2007

I just had a great Flashmeeting with Frederic Baud in Paris and Matt Iverson in the Bay Area. (Love the Flashmeeting interface…. good stuff.) Frederic is interested in helping Matt get BarCampBankSF off the ground, and helping me get BarCampBankNewEngland off the ground. So here’s what came out of the virtual meeting:

BarCampBankSF: Matt Iverson of BoulevardR has interest from Jason Knight of Wesabe, as well as the Mint people and Bryan Sims of Brass, in being a part of the event. That should be enough to get the ball rolling. He’s thinking about doing it on the Sunday before President’s Day, so that’s February 17. He’s looking for local Bay Area help in organizing the event and finding a venue, and he’s thinking about holding it in or around the UC Berkeley campus.

BarCampBankNewEngland: I’ve talked with Peggy Powell, the director for America’s Credit Union Museum, located in Manchester, New Hampshire, on the site of the very first CU created in the United States, and we’re looking good for holding the event there. I think it’s mahvelous that we will be discussing the current revolution in personal finance at the site where the CU revolution in personal finance was launched 99 years ago. At this point, I’m thinking April 26, 2008, and would love any input/feedback on that date for coming to New Hampshire for the event.

I’ve got interest from several parties for being a part of this event, including Ron Shevlin of Epsilon, Peter Glyman and Shawn Ward from Geezeo, and Doug Williams, and possibly Trey Reeme, and Matt Dean of Trabian. If you would like to participate, please put your name down on the BarCampBankNewEngland page.