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This Week: My Fifth Year of Finovate

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For the last 5 years, I've been going to Finovate and this year is no different. Finovate Spring is in less than 24 hours. This is where I got to meet the people behind Prosper, Lending Club, Credit Karma and more.

For the first time in 5 years, I decided to be un-Lazy with Finovate and look at the companies presenting in advance. I couldn't be more disappointed. I went through 48 of the 64 companies presenting last night and did not see much for consumers to get excited about. One of the few exceptions was WattzOn a company that helps you save money on electric bill by analyzing how much you are spending and where you can spend less. (I apparently would be well served asking my landlord for a new fridge, because the current one isn't very energy efficient.) Other than that, the vast majority of companies seem to be those that are providing services to other financial institutions or small businesses. I'm all for mom and pop shops getting access to technology to help them take payments anywhere, but it isn't that noteworthy and solutions are already in place.

I hope that by setting my expectations low, there will be some pleasant surprises.

Here are a couple of quick hits before some personal finance links of the last week.

  • SoapBoxers has a fiction writing contest and you can win money by voting - I'm probably not going to write for the Soap Boxer's Fiction Writing contest, but I may vote for a chance to win $5 - that's the right amount of effort for me. However, I could surprise some by writing about how Justice Jake thwarted the Evil SpiderBird. It was a dream from a couple of years ago, but my dog was pretty cool... and you never want to run into SpiderBird.
  • I was a little disappointed by the lack of comments on my late Friday post: Pyramid Scheme Questions Cause Herbalife to Lose 3 Billion Dollars, but I got an email from an expert on Pyramid Schemes that more than made up for it. It seemed like a very productive discussion.

And now for the links:

Posted on May 7, 2012.

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8 Responses to “This Week: My Fifth Year of Finovate”

  1. tom says:

    Re: Lack of comments:

    Well… it was late Friday…

  2. Steve says:

    What Tom said. I hadn’t even seen the article yet.

    I tried WattzOn but it told me useless stuff about buying a new washing machine and car (despite me specifying that I already have an HE front-loader earlier in the questions, and it not asking me about my car or driving habits at all). I was hoping for personalized recommendations. Our electricity use has jumped significantly since we moved into our new house, despite the fact that we used to heat with electricity and now we heat with natural gas.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Unless you have an electric car, I wouldn’t expect WattzOn to focus much on it or your driving habits. I got some recommendations like you, but I need to dig through them. Some of them were obvious like the old refrigerator.

  3. Martin says:

    Thanks for the mention, and yea the weekends are random. I find myself checking out more blogs on the weekends, while others avoid the internet altogether.

  4. “I’m probably not going to write for the Soap Boxer’s Fiction Writing contest, but I may vote for a chance to win $5 – that’s the right amount of effort for me. ”

    Yeah, the person who wins the $5 will basically get paid for reading a few short stories. Not a bad gig.

    I’m excited to see what type of stories people will write. I led an online fiction writing class last year and was quite impressed by the work that was produced (3/4 of the participants weren’t self-described writers).

  5. Evan says:

    Thanks for the mention! I have you gone back to your old Finovate posts and see what panned out (LC) and what didn’t? I’d love to see a post like that

  6. […] Monday, I mentioned that I was going to Finovate for the fifth time, but for the first time I had reservations as to whether the event would be worth going to. When I […]

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