Idealog - - IDEALOG / KIWIBANK -

Made up of Ki­wibank em­ploy­ees, mil­len­nial- fo­cused in­sur­ance ex­per­i­ment Wicket looks to use tech­nol­ogy to make i nsurance a pri­or­ity for young peo­ple.

Idea­log: So tell us a lit­tle bit about what your idea was and give us a taste of your el­e­va­tor pitch, if you’re not too sick of re­peat­ing it.

Cal­lum McPhail, co-founder and CEO (right): Our fo­cus was on life and liv­ing in­sur­ance. It was pretty much as ‘blue sky’ as can be, re­ally. We looked into who's not cur­rently be­ing served by the in­sur­ance in­dus­try and what we found was a big pool of mil­len­ni­als who are just not in­ter­ested in in­sur­ance. They don't trust in­sur­ers. Ba­si­cally, the po­si­tion­ing of in­sur­ance prod­ucts just doesn’t cater to them.

So what was the re­search stage like?

So be­fore run­ning head­first into de­vel­op­ing a so­lu­tion we ac­tu­ally sat down with dozens of [mil­len­ni­als] and con­ducted hours and hours of in­ter­views in their en­vi­ron­ment.

When we started to talk about risk, we asked 'what would hap­pen if you ac­tu­ally couldn’t work?" Al­most 100 per­cent of them said 'Oh, I’d just go back to mum and dad’. That threw us off ini­tially, but then we said ‘Well, in­stead of mov­ing back to mum and dad’s, which would be a bit crap to be hon­est, and mum and dad might not even want you to move home with them, if we could give you a prod­uct that ac­tu­ally in­sures your in­come for sev­eral months to sev­eral years af­ter you be­come sick or in­jured, would you be pre­pared to spend the same amount of money as you spend on a cof­fee per week to get it?’

Al­most all of them said ‘yes’, so we dis­cov­ered that pair­ing lifestyle, some­thing they as­so­ci­ate with, with in­sur­ance, a prod­uct they don't yet as­so­ci­ate with, gets them think­ing a lot more about it.

What did you learn from go­ing through the ac­cel­er­a­tor? What was the key take­away for you?

One very im­por­tant thing that hap­pened to us was the re­al­i­sa­tion that you have to fail fast.

We ran head­first for the first two weeks think­ing that it was the ap­pli­ca­tion process that was too dif­fi­cult. We had this idea that who­ever lands on a web­page to ap­ply for in­sur­ance is just find­ing it too dif­fi­cult to ap­ply and that's why they're not tak­ing in­sur­ance out.

What we quickly val­i­dated was that that's not the prob­lem. We went out and ac­tu­ally talked to peo­ple who were ap­ply­ing for i nsurance and asked them where the pain point was. They said that i t wasn’t the ap­pli­ca­tion that was the i ssue. For a l ot of peo­ple i t was cost. For a l ot of peo­ple i t was a mo­ti­va­tional i ssue. It wasn't ac­tu­ally the ap­pli­ca­tion that was putting them off.

So about two weeks in we re­alised, 'Oh, that's not the golden ticket'. That was a key mo­ment for us and a key part of any ac­cel­er­a­tor: fig­ure out what's not go­ing to work, as fast as you can.

What other ‘light­bulb mo­ments’ were there for Wicket?

Dur­ing one point of our re­search, we were ac­cused of ‘lead­ing the wit­ness'. We were try­ing too hard to prove some­thing and the way we were ask­ing the ques­tions, we were try­ing to get the out­come we ex­pected.

Hav­ing peo­ple who can call you out on things like that and say 'ac­tu­ally, the method you're us­ing here is wrong', that's re­ally, re­ally valu­able. We were lucky to have peo­ple around us who could point out those flaws, be­cause when you've got an idea and you think it's an idea that’s go­ing to solve the world's prob­lems, you don't want to hear that it's not. But if you can re­alise your own bias, that's very pow­er­ful.

When you've got an idea and you think i t's an i dea that’s go­ing to solve the world's prob­lems, you don't want to hear that i t's not. But i f you can re­alise your own bias, that's very pow­er­ful. Cal­lum McPhail / Wicket

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