Tags ArchivesDistributed Engineering

Interview with SVSG Financial Services Practice Manager Carter Smyth image

The following post is an interview with SVSG CTO and Financial Services Practice Manager Carter Smyth. Carter is an executive with over 25 years experience building technology teams to solve enterprise challenges in the financial services industry. He has extensive experience leading software development teams, business process reengineering, and global expansion projects. Carter joined SVSG in March 2017.

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The 200 billion dollar chatbot disruption (part two) image

In the last post, we highlighted the disruption that chatbot technologies are poised to make in call centers. To recap, we are seeing the trend that Generation X and Y have now shown a preference for text-based communication over voice. This results in consumers increasingly wanting to talk with brands via messaging platforms like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. Simultaneously, there has been an explosion of conversational A.I. technology tools and frameworks in which natural language processing can be used to automate customer support inquiries. As the last installment discussed, this trend provides a compelling opportunity for companies to drastically reduce the costs of running their call centers.

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The 200 billion dollar chatbot disruption image

In 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion. That astronomical number set off waves of speculation as to what value Facebook could possibly see in a company with just 55 employees and roughly $20 million in revenue, although it had 500 million users. At last week’s F8 conference, that vision became a lot clearer, and it’s big. Chatbots will cause a near-term disruption in how businesses interact with consumers, and a long term paradigm shift in how people will interact with machines.

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Pre-seed vs. Seed Fundraising image

At SVSG, we regularly talk with early stage companies about a myriad of topics. One topic that comes up most often from first time founders is fundraising -- how much should we raise for our seed round? My answer is always the same: Before the founders can raise a seed round, they need to ensure that they have built the foundation for doing so -- what we call meeting the Five Pillars of Successful Seed Stage Fundraising. If they have not, we recommend that the startup step back and raise a pre-seed round in order to build their minimal viable product (MVP).

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