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Competitive Edge
Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
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How A Feisty Start-Up Uses A Relaxed Management Style To Take On The Big Banks

How A Feisty Start-Up Uses A Relaxed Management Style To Take On The Big Banks | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Every day, it seems, brings a fresh scandal from the financial sector. But what is bad news for the bankers and their investors is good news for those trying to steal away some of their business. A case in point is TransferWise, a young start-up that has recently been seeking to get its message across through provocative ads at bus stops and underground stations across London.

Based (in the modern way) in London and Estonia, the company was born out of a frustration with what the founders saw as excessive hidden bank fees for cross-border money transfers. Taavet Hinrikus, one of the earliest employees of the internet-based phone company Skype, and Kristo Käärmann, a former consultant in the financial sector, hit on the idea when they were each sending money between Britain and the Eurozone and spending huge sums in commission charges on the exchange rates. Kaarmann explains how the friends devised a simple plan. He worked in London, but had a mortgage back in Estonia that he needed to pay in euros, while Hinrikus worked for Skype in Estonia and so was paid in euros, but lived in London, and so needed sterling to pay expenses. Once a month, the two of them checked that day’s mid-market rate on Reuters to find a fair exchange rate. Kaarmann put pounds into Hinrikus’s UK bank account, and Hinrikus topped up his friend’s euro account with euros. Both got the currency they needed, and neither paid a cent in hidden bank fees. Realising that others in the increasingly mobile economy must be in the same situation, they decided to make a business out of it – and TransferWise was born.

That was back in 2011 and since them the fledgling company, which has fewer than 100 employees split between London and Tallinn, has picked up numerous awards and accolades as well as attracting funding from investment vehicles headed by the likes of Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson and Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and early backer of Facebook. More importantly, perhaps, it has already helped hundreds of individuals transfer more than $1bn around the world, saving them substantial amounts in foreign currency commission charges. Since Kaarmann points out that the global market is about $200bn a year, that gives TransferWise a tiny share. But – with substantial backers now on board – he and his colleagues believe that they can make inroads, once they educate people. Hence those ads.

Kaarmann – who looks after operations, technology and regulatory issues, while Hinrikus focuses on marketing and related matters – acknowledges that the rapid growth that has already occurred and is set to continue requires a special kind of leadership. “I am a big believer that people don’t need to be managed. They need to know why they are doing what they are doing,” he says. One of the problems for large organizations like the banks with which TransferWise is competing is that it is hard for employees “to see that the things they do make life better for somebody else. The chain between the customer and the person doing the work is very long”. As part of making clear the link between the work done and making things better for TransferWise and its customers, engineers spend time with customers to understand their needs. Possibly more contentiously, Kaarmann is a great believer in measuring effects and believes extensive measurement of employees’ efforts is not a problem, provided they know it is happening. “Building a team fast is tricky and building technology fast is tricky. A lot of the magic is in making sure everybody knows what they are doing and doesn’t need to be told.”



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great ideas grow into great businesses. This start up proves it.

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Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy | McKinsey & Company

Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy | McKinsey & Company | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Twelve emerging technologies—including the mobile Internet, autonomous vehicles, and advanced genomics—have the potential to truly reshape the world in which we live and work.
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great report from McKinsey, 'Need to Know'!

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'The Emergence of Africa'

'The Emergence of Africa' | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Several interesting facts about Africa

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Do you take Africa into account in your marketing? Take a look at some of these numbers. http://alphaomegatranslations.com/2013/01/08/the-emergence-of-africa/

Several African listings on my site for investments: http://www.business-funding-insider.com/deal-flow-listing.html#VisitorPages

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The great Facebook exodus has begun

The great Facebook exodus has begun | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Facebook is shedding users. What's happening to the world's biggest social network?
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Have you spent less time on Facebook lately? I have. I was expecting something like this. My precious time goes to more essential tasks.

Like my site: www.Business-Funding-Insider.com Take a look, good information.

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5 Things Every Presenter Should Know About People, Animated

5 Things Every Presenter Should Know About People, Animated | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
On the art of moving words that move people.

"The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up t
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This is excellent. Ever been worried about public speaking or presenting? Watch this.



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50 Top Tools for Social Media Monitoring, Analytics, and Management - Pamorama | Social Media Marketing Blog

50 Top Tools for Social Media Monitoring, Analytics, and Management - Pamorama | Social Media Marketing Blog | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
These 50 social media monitoring and management tools help you gather intelligence about your social media marketing efforts.


Some great new tools here.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Pick up your 'Free Businesss Plan Template' here:

 https://growthink.infusionsoft.com/go/freebptemplate/gt4045/

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Yahoo Redesigns Flickr to Make It 'Awesome Again'

Yahoo Redesigns Flickr to Make It 'Awesome Again' | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
At a press event, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer calls new design 'heart-stoppingly beautiful.'
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

She really makes a difference transforming Yahoo. I like what she's doing.

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The Sandwich That Ate the World

The Sandwich That Ate the World | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
The founder of the world's largest restaurant chain explains how Subway became ubiquitous, and why surpassing his biggest rival came as something as a letdown.
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

If you really intend to build a successful company like this, take a look at this presentation from Dave Lavinsky, President of Growthink, the company that has helped many entrepreneurs and startups to grow into million dollar businesses.


Dave explains how to access the information to grow an 8-figure business.


Dave has created tools and products to 'cut the corners', to avoid the most common mistakes, and to go for the 'home-runs'. He created funding formulas, his 'Insider Circle', the 'Growthink University', and much more.


Take 20 minutes of your time and watch his 8-figure presentation:

https://growthink.infusionsoft.com/go/8ff/gt4045/ Good info.

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NEW YORK: Four in Ten Marketing Executives Unprepared to Meet Objectives Due to Lack of Funding and Internal Inefficiencies, Accenture Study Finds | Business Wire | Rock Hill Herald Online

NEW YORK: Four in Ten Marketing Executives Unprepared to Meet Objectives Due to Lack of Funding and Internal Inefficiencies, Accenture Study Finds | Business Wire | Rock Hill Herald Online | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Four in 10 top marketing executives say they are not well prepared to meet their objectives, citing a lack of funding and inefficient business practices as the main impediments to improved performance, according to global research by Accenture...
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent analysis. Comments?


A company that helps entrepreneurs and startups with strategies and products to grow their businesses is Growthink. To get an idea of what they're doing, subscribe to their "Grow your Empire" newsletter, which is full of value every day. Great tips, information, advice. http://bit.ly/189fdTk

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20 words and phrases that will doom your pitch

20 words and phrases that will doom your pitch | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Use these 'cursed words,' and many reporters and bloggers will delete your email. So will your employees. Plus, civilization might end.
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent article. As business plan reviewers, we see the same thing. Using this kind of words, or saying that your are "The next Google" will get your business plan sorted... on the 'not interested' pile.


Check for more articles like this here: http://www.business-funding-insider.com/

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