TL;DR – Even when data exists in on prem monolithic closed systems, there is a path forward.  Facilitating an integration of emerging technologies in our volatile market takes time, but it’s time well spent.

After the pandemic hit, my family, like so many out there, needed a puppy. I’d been looking for a new dog anyway, but shutting our four kids into the house 24 hours a day was taking a mental toll. They needed something to motivate and encourage them. I knew a puppy would get that job done. 

Nacho joined our family in April of 2020 – a tiny mini goldendoodle with ears darker than his body and one paw of white fluff. A couple of weeks later, on Mother’s Day, while working in a flowerbed, Kim turned around to see the dog had something in his mouth. ‘Something’ turned out to be a dead rabid bat. 

It Sounds Like a Sitcom, but It Really Happened

The state is extra careful about rabies exposure because rabies is 99% lethal. The only way you can test for it is to dissect the brain. They didn’t want to take any chances. They wanted us to have the dog put down. 

It was a dark day when they told us. But I couldn’t accept it. I could not agree to such a drastic outcome for a situation that still, from where I was standing, had hope. I called friends who were veterinarians. I called dog handlers for the military. I kept talking it through, kept turning it over and over. There had to be a path forward that didn’t end this dramatically. 

I Guess You Could Say I’m an Optimist

Eventually, the state relented. The dog would have to be quarantined, without any human touch for four months and receive multiple doses of rabies vaccines along the way.

Four months later, we picked up our dog from the Humane Society and reunited him with our kids. 

It was a scene fit for a movie but it only happened because of a relentless drive to find a viable alternative. 

*Jim Gaffigan voice: Why Is He Telling Us This?

In the world of advisor software, we don’t really face situations that are life threatening. Our pets lives aren’t at stake here. But the future of our businesses are. The viability of what we are creating is on the line every time we make technology decisions. 

Even in the most dire of situations – the ones where there are on-prem monolithic closed systems – I can see a path forward. I can’t find it in me to just let go and pull the plug. I understand that facilitating an integration of emerging technologies in our volatile market is likely going to take time. It might even make those four quarantine months seem like a blink of an eye, but how else are you going to finally control your own advisor and client experiences? 

Who’s Going to Push the Industry Forward

I recently mentioned that I think Stripe is the most important technology in the fintech space. They’re attempting to create a developer tool set that allows us all to control the interface. Financial planning and portfolio management tools could learn a lot from the way Stripe focuses on their core competency and then opens the door for their customers to control UI/UX.

When I look at where we are right now as an industry, it would be easy to get bogged down in the parts that are holding back advisors and teams from creating user experiences that they can control. Instead, I’m looking around. I’m calling the vendors who provide those closed systems and I’m looking for possibilities. My team is finding work arounds. We’re pulling data out of those closed systems and creating a future that reunites advisors with their own dreams of how their client and advisor experiences should be. 

What’s the best work around your persistent optimism has delivered lately?