The boys are back in town

Written by: Mike Laven
Published on: November 18, 2013

The boys are back in town

In a new and exciting twist, I’m now part of a group known as “innovators” or “disruptors” or “challengers” or [please insert another synonym here]. We gather together to talk about how disruptive we are, using phrases like “tearing down the walls” “bleeding edge of innovation” and “payments evolution” in a bid to receive funding from VCs. In a moving address to our peers, we declare how we challenge the moribund status quo, subverting the traditionalists in financial services today, which are only holding the economy back. We should be knights of the realm, rescuing millions of helpless businesses and consumers from the clutches of financial institutions…

(…financial institutions which we used to be part of once upon a time…

…and may still rely on to fuel our “game changing” technologies. We don’t dwell on this minor, minor technicality…)

You have to look the part as well if you’re a “disruptor”. A “disruptor” isn’t a “disruptor” without dressing oneself in casual attire – namely sneakers, jacket and jeans. Our suits are draping over our breeches, pantaloons and flares – long out of fashion, but still great for a fancy dress party. Don’t forget to carry your iPad with you though; otherwise it doesn’t look as if you have technological wits about you.

Then again, it’s not just about what you wear. It’s about where you hang out. A “challenger” isn’t a “challenger” without having a regular seat at the Shoreditch Grind, a drinking buddy at The Rotary or one hundred business cards from meetings at Google Campus (not forgetting Level 39, which we like as it reminds us of our former days in banking).

Us “innovators” salute the worn-out, ageing individuals in suits from our banking past. In a shock move, we are now the one, true “digital” presence in financial services representing generation Y.