Wiser #1: Interviews with the startup founders of Neeva and Sugar Insurance; Bitcoin 2021 predictions; MicroStrategy buys Bitcoin; Amazon's latest patent, and more
First published on 27th January 2021 on Substack
Most of my working life has been in sales of some kind. As a front line sales professional, people manager, entrepreneur and investor, I have always “been selling”. And to be successful at selling, I know the power of stories and anecdotes to persuade. And the importance of keeping up to date with what’s going on in my world.
If you are like me, your interests are the world of big tech, innovation, startups and strategy. In which case, I’ve written Wiser! for you.
Wiser! is a curated digest of original content, market insights, informed opinion, and the wisdom of others.
The original content will come from my interviews and discussions with the founders and entrepreneurs behind innovative new technology firms. This will be accompanied shortly by a podcast of my virtual fireside chat with the founder.
I focus on early stage startups because that is where the innovation of tomorrow will come from. And the best way to learn about it is to speak directly to those who are building it.
Then I share it with you!
Welcome to the community, I hope you enjoy Wiser! and I look forward to hearing from you.
P.s. please free to share this newsletter with anyone you think will find it interesting.
In this issue:
- Founder Interview: Sugar, a South African startup on a mission to provide home insurance for those who need it the most
- Founder Interview: Neeva - flipping the ad-based search engine business model on its head
- Is 2021 the year that Bitcoin goes mainstream?
- Amazon file patent for customised clothing!
- AirBnB by the numbers
- Evolution of the Scrollbar
- DoorDash versus Uber Eats
- Are you on Clubhouse yet?
Sugar - a South African startup on a mission to provide home insurance for those who need it the most.
Over Christmas I had a call with Ntando Kubheka, the founder of Sugar. Unfortunately Ntando had just been diagnosed with Covid and was admitted to hospital shortly after we spoke. Thankfully he is over the worst and recovering from the disease. Which is a blessing because we need more people like Ntando in the world!
This is more than a story about the application of technology to solve the problem of getting insurance to those who need it the most.
This is a human interest story. The social impact is huge when you understand that the United Nations estimate there are a billion people in the world living in informal dwellings. This group of the world’s population have the least and financial support the most. They simply can not get insurance as you and I know it.
Why? Because home insurance is a 1st world product and isn’t designed for the mass market population of the 3rd.
When it comes to tech innovation, Sugar is a digital platform that exploits AI and chatbots to automate the customer engagement over a mobile phone.
They have also built their own version of what3words, the tech platform that has divided the entire globe into 3 metre squares.
Did you know that the world can be divided into 57 trillion unique 3 meter x 3 meter squares? By using a combination of (just) 3 words, every single one of the 57 trillion squares are given a unique address.
As I write this newsletter, my geolocation is hippy.private.indicate. What’s yours?
The beauty of this approach is that it is extremely accurate, works offline and is universal.
Back to Sugar. I hope you find it an interesting and innovative story which you can read here.