The Patel-Sharma BA Paradox

Some fun with Business Analyst’s, this is totally tongue in cheek, I still love you business analysts 😃. Hat tip to @ojas for the collab!

Patel-Sharma BA Paradox (Modeled after the barber’s paradox)

Suppose there is a town of Product managers’s (PM’s) with just one Business analyst (BA). In this town, every PM keeps all the requirements ship shape, and he does so by doing exactly one of two things:

  1. Writing the requirements themselves, or
  2. going to the BA.

Another way to state this is:

The BA is a person in town who writes requirements for those and only those PM’s who do not write requirements themselves.

All this seems perfectly logical, until we pose the paradoxical question:

Who writes the BA’s requirements?

This question results in a paradox because, If the BA does write the requirements for himself, then the BA is no longer a BA as BA’s only write requirements for others

You could also ask, why should the BA write his own requirements? BA never has their own requirements, so no paradox. Good question, if that is the case – then why need a BA?

Ergo, BA must not exist.

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Reputation in lending marketplaces

For marketplaces to be successful, generating trust between the participants is key. We know this intuitively, for any transaction to occur there has to be a modicum of trust! An interesting way to build trust is via signaling “reputation” which is doubly important in lending marketplaces as there is a required level of anonymity between the participants.  As a product manager, always think like the user :). What are the key concerns of the users (Borrowers and Investors) in a lending marketplace?

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Building a better mousetrap – Peer to Peer Lending edition

Interesting paper over at the NBER about peer to peer lending. I highly recommend reading the entire paper.

The TLDR version:

  • A market set Interest rate is better predictor of default over credit score. This is primary because credit scores are backward looking.
  • For lower quality borrowers, soft/non standard information is relatively more important (in this case for outcome=Fraction repaid) over credit score (this was very counter intuitive  to me) Continue reading

General Solicitation and Product Roadmaps

Fintech is a world not much different than regular consumer or b2b businesses except for one huge external element that takes almost equal priority on roadmap and feature buildout – Regulation. A lot of the consumer web internet concepts cannot be blindly applied to Fintech, you have to watch out for what is legally permissible. In this blog post I’m going to talk about user acquisition in the context of what the SEC defines as “General Solicitation”

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