LFP144 – Convergence: The Innovative Combination of Different Silos w/Sam O’Connor CEO Coconut

So far Fintech has lionised technologies – APIs, Open Banking, AI/ML and so forth. But from a different perspective these are just glues to connect things that haven’t been connected before to make new propositions not previously possible. Although this has been touched on so far – marketplaces aren’t the best example – after all marketplaces are tens of thousands of years old.

In this episode we are joined by serial entrepreneur Sam O’Connor, CEO of Coconut to discuss convergence – the gluing together of components which were previously seen as different things.

Our smartphones glue together things we would have historically done in different places using different devices – camera, mp3 player, and emails for example, In the same way Coconut are focusing on micro-businesses into which all of us indies seem to need to fold ourselves these days and combining banking, accounting and tax in one place – items which historically would have been seen as different propositions.

Topics discussed include:

  • the morning after the night before – how the election looks the morning of the results
  • a shoutout for Tea2You Borough Market
  • Brexit certainty and uncertainty in the new world of Boris I
  • positive visions for the future as opposed to managing the present
  • in or out the EU regulations are like a black hole distorting space around them
  • open banking as an example of UK pioneering ahead of the game
  • in 3-5yrs time we could be a lot better or a lot worse – we shall see…
  • British long-term strengths at muddling-through
  • comparison of the British East India Company and the French East India Company formation as archetypal history
  • state-centrism, technocracy and top-down approaches to governance on the Continent as opposed to British bottom-up, decentralised
  • Sam’s career journey as an entrepreneur
  • the rationale behind the formation of Coconut
  • the challenges of being an indie – how there is a genuine problem to be solved
  • accountancy software MegaCos market caps around $100bn
  • “90% of new SME’s since 2000 are non-employing businesses”
  • 5.7m SMEs in UK of which 5m are owner-managed businesses
  • gluing together different silos – example of Coconut
  • accounting historic changes to cloud
  • importance of platforms like Amazon or Uber opening up their platforms data
  • unexpected benefits that came from combining functionality in the smartphone
  • example of payments and invoicing and additional functionality
  • have App Banks been doing this well – product-push versus demand-pull
  • customer acquisition
  • reconceptualisations of eg banking data as amounting to real-time accounting information
  • Coconuts running assessment of P&L as an example of “real-time accounting” as opposed to collecting cashflow data and then finding out what the accounts say at the end of the year
  • how technology and market shift to more portfolio careers are overlapping
  • the highest earner on Substack earns over $0.5m p.a
  • shoutout for Smart Pension’s tie-up with Revolut
  • Coconut are customers of Smart Pension ๐Ÿ™‚
  • why Coconut is called Coconut…
  • Coconuts planned fund-raising in 2020 Q1

And much more more ๐Ÿ™‚

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