What does the disruption being visited on the financial advice software business have to do with removing background images from photos? Plenty, as it turns out.
Recently, I searched the Web for an easy way to delete a background from a head shot photo and came across Clipping Magic, which makes removing an image background as simple as drawing two lines and clicking once. Instead of Adobe Photoshop, I’m now paying $3 a month for a Clipping Magic account, and I used the app with Fritz Meyer's head shot below. Point is, Clipping Magic is contributing to the disruption of the graphics software business in the same way that the financial advisor software business is being disrupted by one-trick apps.
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To call these one-trick apps is unfair. They can pack heavy-horsepower. David Zolt’s retirement software
, which uses Excel to simplify a highly complex calculation created by an actuarial professional with 25 years of experience in designing retirement plans, is a one-trick app. It does one thing great.
The Apple marketing slogan of five years ago today means there’s an app for everything, even the most complex financial calculations and algorithms and now they’re developed by thoughtful professionals with serious skills and an entrepreneurial spirit.
I love the way the American economic system is empowering people like Zolt, Alex Murguia, Robert Keebler and other thought leaders to create new software solving personal financial planning problems. These people are translating their life’s work into an app or series of apps, these highly skilled individuals whose names are their brands. They design simple software heretofore only big software companies had the intellectual capital and tech skill to produce.
These one-trick apps help advisors do one thing great but are easier than working on a big financial planning software system larded with features you don’t need. They are like Clipping Magic to financial advisors.
Over the next few years, we’ll see the business of providing software to financial advice professionals continue to be disrupted by entrepreneurial thought leaders. Software for financial advice professionals is a niche business and these one-trick apps are going to chip away at the user base of the big software companies.
The one-trick apps are going to do more and more of the work for financial advisors in the years ahead, and they are well suited for the financial advice business, which is so fragmented. If the right combination of $3 a month apps does everything a financial advisor needs, guys like Zolt, Keebler, and Murguia are going to disrupt your desktop.