Author Paul Rohan On API Economy & Financial Trends

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Irish author Paul Rohan explains what led him to research financial services & opportunities, his take on globalisation & why entrepreneurs should trust their instincts:

We sat down with author Paul Rohan to talk about API economy, the future of banking startups and the PSD2 implications for businesses in the EU.

Paul, describe yourself in 50 words or less.

Deep thinker, quite private, temperamentally unsuited to answering questions like these without being somewhat flippant.

What are you currently working on?

I have a freelance research and advisory business that is focused on the transition of the financial services industry into the “API Economy”.

What led you to this?

I worked on the wave of innovation that introduced electronic banking services in the 1980s, the emergence of financial eCommerce on the Internet in the 1990s and the standardisation of digital payments platforms across the EU in the 2000s. Young professionals often think that their challenges and opportunities are entirely new so grey haired veterans like me have to stick around to help out.

What drives you?

I like working with different businesses, helping them to synthesise robust business strategies from complex environments. New gadgets and devices get a lot of attention these days, but innovations grow through the combined impact of technology, sociology, culture, regulation, geography and economics.

Describe your typical day from waking up to going to bed.

The only typical aspect of my days seem to be an early start. If I am travelling to a customer, it can often be a 5am run the airport. If not, it is often a 5am drive in a car pool dropping kids for early morning swim training.

In 7 years from now: Where do you see yourself?

Personally, I hope to be buying my daughter a car, so she can drive herself to the swimming pool at 5am. Professionally, I enjoy what I do, so something in the same area. Perhaps some teaching and research with a little less travel.

What trend would you bet your money on? And how will it influence everyday life?

I always bet against businesses and ideas that think that technology and globalisation will sweep away national and regional cultures. The vast majority of business takes place between people who share culture, language and history. These factors can be many hundreds or even thousands of years old.

What seemed to be the most important thing in the world when you were 10 years old?

The fortunes of the County Dublin Gaelic Football team. This is still important 40 years later.

Who is your hero and why?

Like many middle aged men, Bruce Springsteen, of course. He shows how to utterly commit to your customers, your team and your craft. He shows the age you should be starting to approach your peak: 65. The music is pretty good too.

What advice would you give first time entrepreneurs?

You are effectively on your own, so trust your instincts. Your instincts are often right. When they are wrong, at least you made the decision quickly.



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