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The Internet Revolution

Tim Waterlow

There is lot of talk about how the internet is going to continue to change the way we work. The pace of change is increasing and new ideas constantly appearing that make dramatic changes to way we operate either in business or socially.


At Affinia we are amused when we see companies or organisations trying to prevent change or slow change down. If you find yourself in that camp you are in a lot of trouble. Recently the American yellow cabs went on strike due to the launch of this new service UBER. UBER for those don’t know is an app that allows you to order a taxi track the taxi to your GPS location, pay by credit card etc. UBER Is great for the consumer. Yellow cabs striking because this is going to change their market place is self destructive.


Although this is an extreme example it is not unusual to see similar practice in the financial services industry. We have ways of doing things that suit us. We ask customers to help us do our jobs for them with complicated process and forms. For instance do your application forms or process enhance your customer experience or damage it? We hide behind legislation as an excuse for not being able to simplify things.

On a macro level one of the best things for the consumer about the internet revolution is that the door is permanently open to new and innovative competition. In that environment a business needs a clear identity and mission to survive.


As CEO’s of businesses you need to be passionate about your business and get angry when you see compromise or “settling for”. When was the last time you got angry about something small? We don’t have to all become Steve Jobs but if we are not emotionally connected to what we are trying to achieve for our customers and every day, driving that belief and passion into our business we are opening the door to a competitor who wont compromise.


I went onto 6 or so websites this week for Insurance companies and if you were outside the industry, apart from some difference in colours, they are all exactly the same. They all talk about being dedicated for their customers etc. What I don’t see is any sense of individual identity and that for me would be a concern if I were a CEO of a large insurance company. What do we really stand for and do we really live that message at every level within the business.


Maybe one day we will get customers queuing for the launch of a new FS product! Probably not but it should be the ambition.

Posted: 19th October 2014

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