Friday five: groupthink, fintech and books

The dangers of groupthink – via

When the press uniformly jumps on a certain bandwagon, we tend to not question it. We’d rather appear knowledgeable than accurate.

“Groupthink is actually a corollary of the “Wisdom of the Crowds” concept. But crowds include lots of different kinds of people  –  the wisdom comes from the diversity of opinion that each person brings to the decision or action. In a crowd, mistakes cancel out and the average opinion tends to be right.

In groupthink, people are all just alike. Same profession, same social status, same town (or Valley), same age, same … get the picture. In groupthink, the group tends to make the same mistakes so the mistakes don’t cancel out.

But it’s actually worse than that.”

Healthcare, on-demand food delivery, bitcoin… What other sectors are booming thanks to groupthink?

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This lovely video both pokes fun at the Silicon Valley innovation culture and at the same time highlights a simple but cool education initiative.

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Stop being a freak and just look at your phone – via Medium

The body language of mobile phone use… Brilliant.

“One afternoon I walked from the Mission to downtown to log the many different ways people use smartphones to communicate intentions without words. When people meet for coffee, their phones are out on the table. Phones are hidden for a proper lunch, at least until the check comes. Sitting on the grass in Union Square I watched a guy bump into an acquaintance that he clearly didn’t want to talk to. I could tell because as soon as the other guy called his name the first guy pulled his phone out of his pocket.”

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The future of money – from Virgin

There’s a lot to think about here. A lot. This selection of articles on where financial innovation is going is both exhilarating and overwhelming. Cashless society, obsolete wallets, biometric security, social media payments… Most of the changes they talk about are already happening, but we have yet to notice because we’re stuck in old habits.

Read all the articles, or even just one, and you’ll start getting excited about what’s coming. If, of course, we can dig ourselves out of old habits.

Some of my favourites:

How technology is changing our attitude to giving – “a powerful new social experience”

Will the death of the invoice lead to more ethical business? – solving the critical issue of late payments to small businesses

The future of money – fair and transparent? – “Traditional consumer finance has been unfair for decades.”

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Why being busy makes you less productive – via the World Economic Forum

I know that you know this, that we’re more productive when we’re calm, that we need to focus on health and pace, and that multitasking is not as efficient as we think. But if you’re like me, you need reminding every now and then. Because apparently we all suffer from “idleness aversion”. I’m going to try to work on that.

“The researchers also found that we use busyness to hide from our laziness and fear of failure. We burn valuable time doing things that aren’t necessary or important because this busyness makes us feel productive.”

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This is epic: the recreation with Lego of a Roman scene at Hadrian’s wall – via My Modern Met.

rome lego

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Yes, Australians are really petitioning to change their currency’s name to the Dollarydoo – via Quartz

You couldn’t make this stuff up…

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Have a fantastic weekend! If you live in Europe, remember that the clocks go back on Sunday…

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