When not getting down with some house thumping Soul and Funk, the team at Aperture works to launch new businesses, bringing together strategy, product design, product building, branding and go-to-market plans to ensure our clients exceed in becoming digital leaders.
What is Aperture?
Aperture is a strategy consultancy that supports companies (focusing on financial services) in launching and developing digital-era businesses. In practice, this means helping companies to design, build, launch and develop ecosystem-based models that benefit from network effects.
What are you helping your clients to do?
It really varies according to the individual clients needs and objectives. Sometimes, we help companies to build a business plan to gain funding for a new venture. Sometimes we provide guidance in system selection and platform architecture. But most of the time we help to launch new businesses, bringing together strategy, product design, product building, branding and go-to-market plans to ensure our clients exceed in becoming digital leaders.
What is a ‘network effect’, please explain in plain English?
We’re discussing network effects on our panel session with Tide Bank and Trade Ledger on the Strategy Stage on 12 November. A network effect is achieved when every additional network member brings more value to the overall network. To give a financial services example, Mastercard has two-sided network effects in that every scheme member adds more value to every merchant member and vice versa. Our view is that since smartphones became ubiquitous, we have seen a fundamental shift in how sustainable competitive advantage is achieved: from economies of scale (maximizing production efficiency) to network effects (maximizing network size/usage).
What type of companies do you work with?
We have a really strong team with lots of experience across financial services, which enables us to work with a broad mix of clients. For example, at the moment, we are working with several challenger banks. We’re also working with one or two banking software companies to help them launch app store models. In addition, we are supporting an emerging group of companies providing systems of intelligence, which run analytics on multiple parties’ data sets to derive greater intelligence on behalf of their ecosystem – such as reducing fraud or making better credit decisions.
What advice would you give startups seeking to achieve network effects?
Even if your product or service has been designed to exploit network effects, you still have to overcome the chicken-and-egg problem to kickstart those network effects (a network with no users has no value). In financial services, this challenge is often compounded by regulation which can make it hard to export network effects from one market to another. Our advice would be to get an expert to help you!
We have an array of craft beers and independent music at FinTECHTalents – Give us a great song to listen to AND tell us your favourite tipple
At the office, we’re big fans of funk and soul so we’d pick something from that genre with a great bassline – maybe The Glow of Love by Change. Favourite tipple is easy: Zipp, a German Pilsner from La Nebuleuse, a Swiss craft brewery (that is also an Aperture client!)