Deep House & Pay Ruption - Surviving the Pay Apocalypse!

Blog Post created by on Sep 19, 2016

Hi -


Thank you for your visit!  I hope to engage with you on the Vantiv ONE community. Let's make this work together. My blog has a house music theme ... why? Because I love house music ... The link below, is one of my favorite Dj sets this year. I have listened to this Dj set time and time again, in so many contexts...


Please join me in appreciating this mix while you read, and more importantly - consider - this blog post!


SOHO HOUSE MUSIC // 013: JUSTIN MARTIN by Soho House | Mixcloud


Justin Martin is part of a music production collective from San Francisco, called "Dirty Bird" who, over the course of the past 10 years, have become recognized globally as an innovator in the specialized field of house music.  A field of music dominated by producers and labels out of Detroit, Chicago, London, and Berlin... and, for the first time (this statement will be controversial) ... San Francisco is on the map not as a follower, but as an innovator.  Why is this?  If you listen to the music of Dirty Bird in cultural context, what you realize is this... they are not afraid to take risks and try new things!  Their music is unapologetic in it's creativity, humor, and best of all, you can tell that these guys are having a great time contributing to an industry that they love! And look at this ... Best American Dj of the year 2016 ... Dirty Bird Founder ... Claude Von Stroke!


This story of Dirty Bird, and house music innovation, reminds me a lot of the payments industry, and the opportunity to innovate that is in front of Vantiv today ...


Innovation in this space is happening around us at every corner ...  Bitcoin, smart contracts, digital wallets on their first, second, and third iterations are getting better and potentially more threatening to the Vantiv value proposition we offer our merchants. Do these innovator entrants have strategies? Of course they do!  Are they trying to dis-intermediate Vantiv ... come on, you know that's a rhetorical question! ... Status quo is death.


The questions I hear from the bleachers and from some of my colleagues is this ... "but what do they do for us" ... "how do we make money" ... let me ask you a rhetorical question in response ... "are you serious?" ... merchants are DEMANDING emerging payments technology ... have you not seen the hashtag #paymentfails ... seriously ... when was the last time you were WOWED with a payment experience? Oh, nevermind, I know when... the last time you took an UBER, or tried Google Hands Free ... but ... I digress ... My point is this, we do care about enabling emerging payment experiences and WOWING our customers, versus, standing guard at the old school and watching the ship slowly sink as transaction volume is siphoned away first by tiny leaks of WOW experiences and then finally by major blows to the hull caused by lack of innovation... Vantiv is not a blockbuster video and we are NOT one of the other failed emergentalists of yesteryear... (yes, I made that word up). We can do better, we are doing better, and we are innovating ... in fact... as future posts will expose, we are already way ahead of the curve - let's stay there!


Back to this blog post... --> I am a passionate technologist and despite the fact that when I took the job with Vantiv, I believed it was going to be the boring, yet, stable choice... I have been proven wrong!  Payments are everywhere, and payments are exciting! In no other time that I can see, is payments more exciting than it is now, nor is there more opportunity to innovate the consumer payment experience then there is now.  I am having so much fun, Vantiv is exciting - we are so well positioned and there is so much potential and opportunity ... So much is happening in this space, not only in payments, but in the broader "FinTech" revolution, and we are privileged to be able to play a role in the invention of the future!


Here is where I want to take this... Thoughtful blog posts take time to put together... I've been brainstorming... Where can I start? What stories can I tell?  What themes can I pick up on?  Will anyone actually read, and more importantly, engage in ideas, stories, concepts, and thoughts that I share? I really don't know... this is an experiment, so... here... we... go!


Montell Jordan - This Is How We Do It - YouTube


Rather than pick one idea and work on it, I've decided to share a few ideas for blog posts that may be of interest to my colleagues on Vantiv ONE - Vantiv employees, as well as industry colleagues we've invited to participate in the community.  And while I am on that point, let's be clear... Vantiv ONE is meant to be a community of Vantiv insiders, outsiders, and everyone in between... this is a place to work towards making a better experience for anyone that works with Vantiv... I look forward to hearing from our partners, customers, third parties, and even competitors!


With that said... I'd love to hear your thoughts about the blog post ideas below, and especially, if any of the topics below resonate with you and we could collaborate and create a larger story that we could both share and create a singular post that was more encompassing - I welcome the opportunity to have some phone calls and collaborate!  Please do not hesitate to reach out!  Best way to reach me is via text: +1 650 504 5154




Entrepreneurship / Product Management 101: See the big Picture, Perserverence - My first startup ,  I built one of the first eCommerce, credit card processing web sites on the Internet in 1996, but thought it was a failure because no one bought any Christmas cards from our web site. Stories from early adopting Linux, Apache.


Entrepreneurship / Product Management 101 : Don't fall in love with your product - Don't become your product, don't over identify with your product: How keeping emotional separation is critical to maintaining objectivity. Using examples and storytelling from my second startup , fun times in Audio Alley 1996-2000. Stories from early adopting streaming technology.


Leadership 101 : Do it right or not at all. Examples and discussion of deciding to engage or not, how and why it's so important to make these decisions with intention.  And when making that critical decision to engage, going in 110% or not at all.


Customer Support 101: My first actual tech job, technical support ... Introducing ringtones, wallpapers and other premium mobile content to the US market. Front line customer support and how it relates to dealing with customers today wanting to adopt emerging payments technologies. What's next?  Platform opportunities...


Entrepreneurship / Product Management 102: Contracts, intellectual property, the cost of litigation : 5-year adventure where as founder and CEO of Drop In went on to hire 20 full time employees, generate $6M/year in revenues by licensing technology to Verizon, T-mobile and other wireless carriers, become entangled in litigation and learned some hard lessons.


I look forward to your feedback and engagement... More to come!