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There’s $7 trillion of market cap for U.S. based financial institutions. In most major industries, the “challenger” technology company is now the most dominant — Facebook, at $540bn, is the most valuable media company, and Amazon is 3x the size of Walmart, at close to $1tn in market value.

This has not yet happened in finance. Despite strong technology players like Stripe, Square, PayPal, and Robinhood, traditional banks are still dominant.

With a regulatory environment that favors smaller companies, digital infrastructure that enables data portability, personalized data and machine learning, and increased trust and user preference for mobile-first products, digital-native financial institutions will have a foot-hold to get started and eventually consolidate financial services. …


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I was lucky to be a part of the Messenger team in the early days. As product manager, I worked on the Messenger Developer Platform, integrations with key partners (such as Uber, Lyft, KLM), and the transition from Facebook to a standalone Messenger app. It was an insane period of hypergrowth — we went from 200 million users to 1 billion users in 2 years. This is what I learned from helping drive the product for the developer platform during that time.

Why focus on engaging developers, and not just getting more people on the platform?

At Messenger, even with our impressive scale, we always lived in fear of irrelevance. We believed our product was a better way to communicate, but in a world with pre-installed SMS, we needed to give people a great reason to use Messenger instead. Similarly, in late 2014, there were a lot of great apps that took off, but each of them suffered from the same issue: it was extremely hard to get people to discover them, and even harder to build a habit of using them repeatedly.

By looking at the data, we were starting to see hints of people using other apps to share pictures and videos with their friends on Messenger, and over 1 billion messages were being sent every month to businesses on Facebook (i.e. Facebook pages). So, we embarked on the Silicon Valley right of passage: We created a platform. We had the opportunity to give developers and businesses access to the people using Messenger, while, in turn, providing useful tools and services to make Messenger more engaging for people.

Below I’ve shared 5 lessons I learned from launching the Messenger Developer Platform — all battle-tested, with the scars to prove it! …


And the fourth rule of robotics

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Oxford University researchers have estimated that 47 percent of U.S. jobs could be automated within the next two decades.

With everything from Amazon Go’s cashier-less stores to automated customer service, to robo-advisors and driver-less cars, we are moving toward a world with more productivity and fewer jobs.

As many have commented, this is very reminiscent of globalization and outsourcing. But, with outsourcing, we only did half the work — we struck trade deals around the world, which increased productivity and corporate profits, but forgot to help re-train the work force to land jobs in the new economy. …

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