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Sunday, 13 October 2019

Instead of payday loans, lets promote saving

After many years of fintech research, let me say this - I am uncomfortable about payday loans, and automatic credit lines extended at high rates of interest. I am not even too happy about credit cards.
Just as sugar, alcohol and tobacco rely on  catchin' em young, so to does the fintech industry. Being  habituated to debt at a young age, can be disastrous for long term financial health.
People who want money to serve real needs - my maid who wants to buy a house, a friend who faces years of expensive treatment for blood cancer - cannot get credit. But any one who cannot live within their means, can get a payday loan easily.
As a culture, we have always been oriented to saving vs spending, and it would be good to see that behaviour being encouraged more, through more products/schemes and accompanying tax relief. I am unable to understand how credit at extortionate interest enriches anyone's life. It only enriches the companies providing it. Source : Engadget
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FinTech hashtagpaydayloans hashtagmoney2020 hashtagloans hashtagsavings hashtagmobileapps hashtagplaystore hashtagGoogle

Friday, 26 July 2019

Why the retweet button has killed social media

Veteran developer Chris Weatherell built the retweet button for Twitter, which was later copied as the ‘share’ feature on Facebook, and ‘forward’ on whatsapp. Today, he regrets creating it.
Initially, the retweet was meant to be a way to quickly share information about emergencies or to quote Weatherell, ‘to be used in situations which were positive, and showed humanity in its best light’.
But this idealistic thinking has withered, and the retweet is not just about putting power for good in people’s hands. It is about putting the gun in the hands of a mob.
The question we need to ask is ‘what is being shared?’ Very often, it is content fueled by hate, propaganda or spreading of misinformation.
Sharing or retweeting absolves us of the responsibility of composing and sending out something in our own name. It can be done mindlessly, and we can share something libelous because we don’t like the person being addressed. It also encourages extreme, polarizing content from the fringe, from people who want to be amplified. For example, it leads to spread of fake news.
What is the answer? Some solutions being explored include – curation of audiences, retweet limit, and forcing people to comment when retweeting. But the fact remains – social media platforms have little power to curate. Algorithms will win, and when algorithms favor the beast of popularity, popularity will win, even over sanity and reason.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Netflix goes mobile only, with mass pricing in India, but will it work?

Does Netflix's mobile-only streaming plan, at Rs.250 per month make sense to you, as a strategy to woo Indian subscribers?
It is a radical departure from their worldwide premium pricing strategy. It also makes sense in India where the mobile is the second screen of choice for consumption of personal entertainment.
However, there is a slight catch - the value conscious behaviour of Indians that defies linear marketing logic.
The mobile service, is exclusive to one device.
I have met many young people who 'share' a Netflix subscription with friends or neighbours. At Rs. 800 per month, a premium plan lets 4 viewers simultaneously access 4k video on any device of their choice. Do the math. If they split the subscription 4 ways, its Rs. 200 per month. Does it not represent a better value for money than a mobile only personal plan?
Of course, it adds to the nuisance value of finding friends, pooling in money etc. But we are ready to put up with some nuisance value, for a larger benefit.
It will be interesting to see how consumers react to the plan when its launched. Source : The Verge
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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

'There are no Superheroes'.

'We are the change we have been waiting for. There are no superheroes - just us.'
Words of wisdom from Shiza Shahid, social activist, member of Forbes 30 Under 30, and CEO of the Malala Fund, a non-profit that aims to educate every girl.
Not every millenial girl can be a Shiza or a Malala or a Dutee Chand, but chances are, this statement willresonate with every millenial woman because;
1) They are unapologetic about finding the hero in themselves
 2) They are unafraid to follow their heart
3) They are  the action heroes to their own peers, more than ageing celebrities. They look to each other for inspiration, courage and advice that inspires action.
Targetting millenials? Remember to talk to the hero within.
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