Ryan Clifford
Jul 22, 2019 · 3 min read

The 5 ways I could be innovating better

Last week I attended Unbound the innovation festival and here are my 5 learnings on how I could be innovating better. Side note: there seems to be a trend to call conferences festivals now 😂

  1. “Tech is a garden that needs pruning, it is not a project.” I’ve seen so many digital transformation projects which run for a period of time, get delivered, and then are left to…☠️ To embed a culture for digital transformation it begins and ends with the people. Getting the people into the right mindset is a step towards growing a successful garden 🌱(that is also regularly pruned). In my opinion, this starts with less buzzwords for the sake of it and more explanation/training on the technology.
  2. One of my favourite talks at Unbound was from Ben Hookway, CEO of Relative Insights, who spoke about linguistics. How do you distinguish and determine whether someone typing online is a 13 year old girl 👧🏽 or a 40 year old man 👴🏻? The key is the difference! The difference between how two audiences talk is universal across many industries. For example: 20 year olds ‘wear’ makeup, whereas 50 year olds ‘apply’ makeup 💄. Most people ‘take pictures’, whereas owners of DSLR cameras ‘shoot images’ 📸. To me this is all about understanding the difference between your audiences and what your product or service means to them.
  3. Innovation in finance and what fintechs offer depends on the consumer type. The trend in personal consumer based banking is this unbundling of services (e.g. current accounts, investments, pensions) to create a suite of companies who have an expertise in a specific area. On the contrast, in business banking there is a trend towards integrating admin tools and services into one e.g. Xero is a great example.
  4. Digital representation is everywhere so comparison is unavoidable. Nowadays everything can take a digital form and consumers are used to it, therefore comparison is unavoidable. Consumers are bound to compare their social media apps to their banking apps 🏦 and expect an equal experience (even if regulations are vastly different). In my opinion, this is why taking best practice from across industries is valuable and is a better benchmark to aspire to then your direct competitors.
  5. “Don’t build for 2–3yrs out, build an MVP and deploy an iterative framework.”When I heard this I also thought of the book “The Lean Startup” and the well spoken about process of iteration, minimum viable products (MVPs), pivot or persevere and on and on… I agree with the principle and think there is no better way to build a product then to get real consumer feedback and iterate. But I’ve heard so many people talk about MVPs and then try to shove every feature into the first release (that never happens because it costs too much, takes too long or suffers from too many opinions). I think a step towards embedding this culture into an organisation is to flex/change how funding works and realise that ROI may not come from the first MVP and requires time to breathe and grow (in your garden 🌳).

There we have it, a couple quotes and insights I found interesting! Time to implement them now ➡️

About the author

I’m Ryan, Developer Evangelist Lead at Finastra and Founder of the Tech Allies Network. My previous experience in Financial Services has been in a variety of roles including: product, strategy, technology and advisory.

I’m a techie interested in APIs, Ecosystems, Platform Thinking, Product & Human-Computer Interaction (aka most buzzwords 😂)!

Ryan Clifford

Written by

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade