Where does our future really lie? May’s deal, no deal or the next really big deal?

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Business Leader Columnist Feature - Rob PerksRob Perks is the CEO of Inspire, a company dedicated to helping businesses in the South West maximise their success through business strategy, making the right connections and knowledge sharing.

In the summer of 69, the Japanese Company Busicom sent a message to its suppliers. It wanted to make a powerful new calculator and needed a set of microchips to power it.

Traditionally, the done-thing was to solder together special purpose chips; one to power the display, another to do the calculations, another for the memory and so on.

But one supplier proposed a radical solution – it would make one microchip to do it all.

That Company was INTEL and the microchip was the 4004 micro-processor.

It was the first modern computer and was the launchpad for the IT revolution that has dominated the world ever since.

As many of Europe’s biggest financial firms’ trim staff and brace for Brexit, their emerging competitors are charging full-speed ahead.

Fintech, a broad category encompassing businesses from mobile banks to peer-to-peer lenders, hired aggressively in the first quarter in the UK, Europe’s fintech hub, according to Ollie Sexton, a principal at recruitment consultancy Robert Walters.

That follows a 61 percent increase in new fintech roles in 2018 that made it the fastest-growing part of London’s pre-Brexit economy, according to a report this week from Robert Walters and Vacancysoft, which provides data on recruitment.

That contrasts with industry stalwarts such as Societe Generale SA and Nomura Holdings Inc., which are eliminating thousands of jobs to cut costs.

The growth shows how the hype around the gaggle of upstarts that emerged after the financial crisis promising to reinvent finance is being translated into reality.

“A lot of people are excited about how digitalization will change the financial industry and many fintechs working to that end are experiencing exponential growth,’ said London-based Sexton.

“A large proportion of job seekers and those open to taking new positions are looking to join start-ups experiencing hockey stick growth rather than companies making large-scale redundancies or going through an internal restructure.’’

As economists and analysts are focusing on a global slowdown in the US and Chinese economies, trade wars and the potential breakdown of the EU and Brexit here in the UK, issues which are important to consider, are we in danger of missing the success of a new breed of company vying to take on INTEL’s mantle?

For example, Nvidia, which makes specialised processors, Amphenol which makes specialised connectors and sensors or Broadcom which makes semiconductors.

As the 50th anniversary of that first microprocessor passes, someone you’ve never heard of is about to invent a general-purpose technology for the next half century.

Which will dwarf our seemingly never-ending focus on whether, and how, to leave a trading block called the EU.

Inspire looks to focus on positive innovation, excellence in our leaders and managers which can take us to new heights and beat the gloom that pervades across the economic debate today.

For more information, telephone 01172 034288 or email us via our website www.inspirebiz.co.uk.

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