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Talking Trading and FinTech @TechweekCHI

Last week TT had the opportunity to speak at the 5th annual Techweek Chicago conference at the Merchandise Mart. Every year, Techweek brings the hottest startups, VCs, developers and tech companies in the area to showcase their stories, ideas and best practices, as well as tout themselves to recruiting talent. This year, one of the most anticipated (and subsequently one of the best-attended) sessions was that on FinTech.

FinTech has gained a lot of traction lately in the consumer space with companies like Betterment, Ameritrade’s Think or Swim and one of the Techweek presenters, Dough. Technically, much innovation has gone into the user experience to help generate consumers’ acceptance and adoption of “do-it-yourself” investing and banking.

TT’s CTO Drew Shields, EVP Human Resources Katie Burgoon, CEO Rick Lane
and CMO Brian Mehta on stage at Techweek Chicago 2015.

Of course, with us focusing on the professional trader, TT’s take was very different. Fortunately we had the audience’s attention with the topic “Out of the Pits, into the Future.”

Back when TT was founded 21 years ago, the pits were alive and well, bustling with activity and looking like what some of us recall from movies such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or Trading Places. Katie Burgoon, our EVP of HR, recalled her first experiences in the pits as loud, raucous, and probably where everything that you were taught in school was thrown out the window.

But things got done—markets were made and liquidy was driven effectively through the pits. Our CEO, Rick Lane, talked of how he was introduced to the futures pits nearly 10 years ago. He also found the experience both intimidating and exciting. Enough so, he jumped into the industry and started working on what ultimately would be ADL®—a plug-and-play automated trading tool for traders who don’t code but want to employ algo trading strategies.

But electronic trading is now the norm, and TT is re-igniting its innovation engines. Beyond continued incremental updates on the existing X_TRADER® 7.x platform, TT is rolling out the SaaS-based TT platform that will provide the trader with greater accessibility, flexibility and customization. The new platform will also enable faster and more fundamental changes to improve the user experience.

As our CTO Drew Shields stated, the purpose of innovation is not purely to change the product, but to be true to the user and derive our innovation through the user, because of the user, for the user.

It was great to look back at the some of the key takeaways from live tweets captured during the session. Here are some of the more memorable tweets:

 

 

 

 

 

As these last few tweets suggest, we talked a bit about the role of culture in driving a company’s—and TT’s—success.

I don’t think the importance of culture can be overstressed. While we’ve transformed our product offering over the past year at TT, we’ve also grown a culture that has become one of our key differentiators.

We are committed to feeding our culture with talent that brings fresh ideas and a great attitude because, ultimately, culture is what drives our product. It’s one of the things that excites me when I come to work every day, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about it here on Trade Talk. Stay tuned.

Posted by: Brian Mehta, CMO

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