Welcome to this week’s LEAP:IN newsletter. Each week, we unpack leader’s powerful quotes and decipher the tech landscape. With exclusive content from some of the world’s leading experts in AI, robotics, space, edutech, climate tech and more, read on to discover this week’s insights and subscribe to receive weekly updates direct to your inbox.
This week we’re quoting…
Noha Shaker (Founder and Secretary General at Egyptian FinTech Association)
What Shaker said:
“The ability to concentrate, to build solid knowledge and expertise in only one area…that focus on building that solid know-how is one of the key drivers of growth later on.”
Just do one thing
What Shaker was saying is that the explosion of digital tech is increasingly enabling innovators and companies to focus on doing one thing, and doing it well. And in turn, that creates the conditions for both technological and economic success.
Are partnerships really that important?
Research says yes:
- When it comes to growth from a marketing perspective, partnerships are better than investing in paid searches. On average, a business generates 18% of its revenue from paid search, and 28% from partnership programs. (source: Forrester and Wolfgang Digital)
- 75% of global trade flows indirectly – meaning that businesses need to leverage the networks and content-distribution power of strategic partners in order to access customers and build awareness of products, innovations, and services. (source: Forrester)
- In the US, 40% of CEOs planned to pursue new strategic partnerships in 2019. (source: pwc)
Doing your one thing in more places can improve customer experience
Partnerships over the last few years have shown businesses and consumers alike that collaborative tech can make life better, and drive the pace of technological change.
- Taxi app Lyft partnered with dating app Tinder in 2021, enabling Tinder users to hail a cab for their in-app matches. The person hailing the cab doesn’t receive any private data about the person they’re getting the taxi for – and matches are free to decline taxis if they want to.
- In 2020, Zoom announced a partnership with Formula 1 to develop a Virtual Paddock Club experience. Guests get hospitality offerings, including access to live updates from F1 legends, all accessed through Zoom during F1 races. As of 2021, Zoom is now F1’s official communications platform – not only to enhance user experience, but also to help F1 hit its sustainability targets by conducting more of its meetings and events virtually.
- As part of a broader partnership between the two, car manufacturer Volvo is providing a fleet of electric vehicles to UK-based, sustainability focused education charity, the Eden Project. The vehicles will facilitate transport to and from the Eden Sessions, a popular series of large-scale live music concerts. With a three-year partnership agreed, Volvo and the Eden Project hope to raise awareness of the benefits of low emissions transport – and encourage more people to choose electric cars.
- As cryptocurrency continues to become more mainstream, Mastercard has partnered with Bakkt – a crypto trading platform. The collaboration is designed to make it easy for people to pay with bitcoin and earn crypto rewards, enabling banks to issue debit and credit cards that work with cryptocurrency. Mastercard shares rose by 0.6% after the partnership was announced, and Bakkt shares more than tripled – as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
One more for luck
This one deserves its own subheading. Back in May 2021 a startup called PsiQuantum, and a $6 billion semiconductor manufacturer called GlobalFoundries, announced something very exciting.
Together they’ve arrived at a breakthrough in the journey to develop a real, working quantum computer. GF developed a single photo detector in a silicon chip, within a semiconductor fabrication plant. Which means that the crucial building block of quantum computing (qubits) can be integrated into a chip that can be scaled in order to process actual, useful, real-world computations.
So GF and PQ have the foundational blocks to bring their shared dream into fruition: bringing the history of semiconductor chip advancements forwards into quantum scale.
We’re definitely going to be watching this space.
Renato De Castro (Executive Director at RMA Advisory)
What De Castro said:
“In 2010, our kid was born. We gave him a big teddy bear. And every time I see that bear I remember that if instead of buying that bear I had bought $200 in Bitcoins, I would today have $43 million.”
Missed opportunities hurt. Especially when they’re worth a lot – either in dollar, or in impact.
Do other people in the tech industry have similar regrets?
When it comes to bitcoin, regrets are flying around all over the place.
Because on average, Bitcoin has recorded an ROI of 1,645% over the last five years, according to Finbold’s Bitcoin ROI tool. That’s 70x higher than the average of these five major indices: NASDAQ, S&P 500, Dow Jones, NIKKEI, and FTSE 100.
Look to the future
Regret hurts. But instead of letting it hurt, you could use it as inspiration to invest your money, time, or other resources into the next big thing (De Castro said it’ll be the metaverse).
American stock broker Peter Schiff (CEO at Euro Pacific Capital Inc.) was initially a critic of bitcoin, but in 2021 he admitted he regrets not buying into it; it was a “ground floor for an opportunity,” he said, and “this is when the people who got in at the ground floor are getting out.”
And current critics of the metaverse might feel the same, a decade from now.
Matthew D. Green (Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute) said in an interview:
“You couldn’t have predicted this was going to happen with Bitcoin. The thing about Bitcoin is that it could be two dollars tomorrow. The one thing I’ve learned about these cryptocurrency prices is that they’re not rational: If you go thinking, “I could’ve seen this, I could’ve predicted this,” then all you’re going to do is make yourself feel bad.”
The metaverse, on the other hand, does seem quite rational. Its format and tech might develop differently to current predictions, but adoption of the metaverse appears to be a logical next step in the digitised era.
We think the metaverse is a logical next step for a whole host of reasons, many of them summed up neatly in Accenture’s Meet Me in the Metaverse report:
- 98% of global executives believe tech advances are becoming more reliable than economic, political, or social trends, when it comes to decision-making for the future.
- 86% report that their organisations have adapted to the disruptions of the pandemic and the rapid shift to digital, and found a ‘new normal’ in digitised operations.
- 71% of executives think the metaverse will have a positive impact on their organisations.
- 42% think it will have a ‘breakthrough’ or ‘transformational’ impact.
- 95% believe that future digital platforms must be unified – with customer data in operation across different spaces and places.
As De Castro said, “This is not the future. This is happening already.”
So what are you going to do in the metaverse?