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About me

I founded and co-founded a couple of companies: Redington and mallowstreet; now I have launched a global initiative, Partnership for Change, which is working to improve healthcare, long term care, pensions & savings and technology for a rapidly ageing population. I write about issues of the day that touch me and make me think. Mostly about how to make things better.

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What’s YOUR Thing?

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What’s your thing? What do you do better than almost anyone else? Chess, tennis, cello, cricket, sudoku, red wine, swimming, coaching kids to play rugby, interior design, snowboarding, salsa?

So maybe you don’t do it better than almost anyone else, but you do enjoy it a lot. What’s YOUR thing? How long did it take you to get that good? 10,000 hours?

 

Sometimes we watch other people doing their thing and we ask ourselves –

 

I wonder how hard it is to play Elgar’s cello concerto / take that picture / dance like her / run a meeting like her / choose exactly the right colours / recognise a Sémillon from a single sip?”

 

I have lost count of the number of times I have heard people ask what it’s like working on the trading floor of a bank.

 

How difficult”, they ask, “is it to be a great trader? Do some people JUST KNOW instinctively which markets are going up and which are set to fall? Or can anyone learn in 10,000 hours?

 

Dark mystique and apocrypha swirl around the obscure world of trading and traders. Losing US$2.3 billion just adds to the hype.

 

So I have long itched to bring the world of trading to everyday folk, and what better place to do so than on mallowstreet – where the pensions cognoscenti rub along online? Well, this week we teamed up with our pals at Markit to bring a very cool virtual trading simulator to a select few wannabe traders; after 24 hours, the state of play makes for compelling viewing.

 

 

Seventy hopefuls, with little or no prior experience, are trading across 17 markets in real time.

 

 

Even after a single day on the piste, it is pretty obvious from our Leader board that some are making decidedly better calls than others. One player is up a tidy US$5.1m whilst another is down an eye-watering US$6.2m. Same set of markets, prices and trading conditions; very different results. Of course, it’s not over yet, and the weather has a way of changing.

 

The powerful dynamic here is that whilst the wunder-team at mallowstreet built the community platform, the geniuses at Markit have spent the last three years constructing the frighteningly realistic virtual simulator. We brought the two together and – hey presto – the iPhonification begins.

 

Markit has, if you will, created a highly sophisticated virtual trading App that sits nicely on Mallowstreet’s iPhonic platform.

 

What’s more, over the last couple of months I have had some truly innovative and – dare I say, revolutionary – discussions with some highly creative entrepreneurs; we’re getting ready to introduce their Killer Apps shortly.

 

The question that intrigues me is: how many other plug & play Apps are out there? Apps that this community would love to use? I’ll bet there’s loads.

 

 

What happens when we have enough amazing Apps to offer you a truly unique experience which draws out, hones and refines YOUR incredible talents – even the ones you don’t yet know you possess?

 

We’ll find out.

 

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