On leadership, vision & insights.

Hey there.

In this week’s instalment of fascinating things to intrigue a curious mind we tackle new media trends, coffee pods and how blockchain is changing the finance world.

Why kids (might) dig the Nokia 3310.

Just wait. Nokia’s surprise comeback could well disrupt a market full of same-y monolithic glass phablets. It’s not just the 90’s kid nostalgia (though we loved snake). And it’s not just because potentially great, good value for emerging markets either. It’s a trend that could catch on with the kids.

The average UK kid spends six and a half hours a day in front of a screenevery day. With it comes sexting, bullying, mental health issues and cyber addiction. It’s driving a trend that 1 in 4 Brits lust fordigital detoxing.

Young people are more picky than ever about how they engage with social media. They’re using short form media and closed groups (look at SnapChat’s record IPO result this week if you needed any more proof). Times are changing, and brevity is the new king. Perhaps that’s why the 3310 was really the most searched for phone at MWC last week. Change is ‘a coming.

Coffee wars: how Nespresso’s latency opened great opportunity.

We’ll admit it.

We’re coffee nerds at TPT. And despite our snobbery, we’ve come to love the stalwart of any hotel reception worth its salt. And though sales growth has slowed from the heady heights of 30% YoY in the mid ’00s, it’s still a respectable 7% or so. Nespresso’s coffee is pretty good. Their marketing is great. But sustainability?

Take a look at their sustainability website and it mentions all the right things — from community to recyclability but it doesn’t mention the 13,500 pods that most of us will simply chuck into the bin every day. It’s not a surprise, and it’s not the consumer’s fault. Nespresso have resisted changing their packaging and it’s now impacting their brand.

Nils saw this as an opportunity.

He’s the ex Chairman of Ad-Giant Gray. In this FastCoCreate article he describes the “perfect storm” opportunity of media coverage around the damage disposable coffee pods do to the environment that led to the formation of a company producing sustainable coffee pods. His brand ‘Halo’ is super premium. It’s unlikely to be adopted by most coffee machine owners. But the early adaptors, and the noise that his company create will drive big industry changes. Where Nestle saw risk, Nils saw an unmet and acute need. Caution is important, but it’s crucial not to miss the big picture.We think you’ll see more sustainable options in Nespresso’s range very soon.

How blockchain is changing finance for the better.

Fintech is still the hottest topic on the startup block. So far, $25.8bn has been invested into disruptive businesses as the big corporates scramble to get a piece of the pie. As we see it, there are two key reasons for why FinTech has exploded (outside of just the sheer size of the industry).

One: the democratisation of access through interesting tech such as blockchain. It’s opening up industries with very high security requirements (and barriers to entry). Here a great article from HBR on it’s history if you’re a little rusty.

Two: the user experience. If the playing field has been levelled by removing some of those barriers to entry, startups have an opportunity to create a customer experience from scratch. We’ve seen how difficult that is for a large corporate first hand. It becomes as much about culture as the solution, and that’s a difficult thing to change.

BlockChain is enabling these FinTech Startups to get a hold and innovate, and it’s doing the whole industry good. It’s forcing big institutions to think about their culture and business model and it’s driving better, easier and friendlier customer experiences with higher security and more choice. Read more about how it’s changing finance here.

Jared Ruddy