Grounded fun with Google Trends


I had too much fun with my google search post and wanted to find out what type of useless output I could “analyze” with google trends. Same caveat applies, input is skewed towards consumer searches so output will reflect the bias.

First trend search:

I chose Mobile Banking (green) because it has been swimming in the collective unconscious for a while and is a good proxy for general consumer sentiment towards banking and technology.  I then chose Venom (yellow) due to incredible user traction of late, Crowdfunding (blue) – heck this space has exploded like crazy – and finally Mobile Wallet (red) because of the recent buzz around ApplePlay, Google Wallet… Mobile Banking wins hands down, most probably because of the direct impact it has on the lives of users and the penetration it has achieved.  I am surprised Crowdfunding has trended so much and comes in second.  Venmo is probably explained by the incredible usage among younger generations and mobile wallets, well their time has not come yet.

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Second trend search:

I inserted Fintech (in blue) and kept Mobile Wallet (a loser from the first search) and Crowdfunding (a winner from the first search).  Bravo Fintech, again unequivocal proof our industry is not consumer facing, and does not need to be frankly. I am not surprised, not even disappointed.  That Mobil Wallet fares as well as Fintech, which is dismal, is very alarming.

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Third trend search:

I inserted Wealthfront (in purple) as a proxy for the robo advisor movement, and keept Crowdfunding (blue), Mobile Wallet (red), Venom (yellow) and Mobile Banking (green).  I am surprised here.  Wealthfront is barely trending up, same level as Mobile Wallet which is equivalent to hell, while Venom is in purgatory. For all the hoopla about robo advisors in our industry, this is sobering to say the least.

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Fourth trend search:

I added Big Data (in yellow) to Fintech (blue), Crowdfunding (red) and Mobile Wallet (green) to the mix.  Big data is big, ubiquitous, everyone talks about it, and is applied to all industries, not only in Fintech.  Still, it is not exactly a consumer friendly term, or so I had assumed.  Well, Big Data handily beats Crowdfunding, go figure.  Do consumers invest in Big Data, much like they invest in Crowdfunding, or derive some benefit from it?  I doubt it.  Is it plain curiosity?

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Fifth trend search:

Next up I played with remittances and added Xoom (in green) as a proxy for the disruptors and Western Union (in purple) as a proxy for the incumbents, both consumer facing. Crowdfunding, Mobile Wallet and Venmo look puny.  Wester Union trends consistently and high over time, proof of the resilience of the business model I guess.  Xoom had a huge spike – maybe someone can explain that – and then trended down quite precipitously.  Remittance startups have had a tough time stealing market share in a significant way, still Xoom is one of the front runners in the space.  Does it mean people that use Xoom do not search for it on the internet?  Or that all remittance disruptors will continue to face a tough time breaking out?

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Sixth trend search:

For the fun of it, we needed to look at crypto of course, so I added Bitcoin (purple).  Consumers at large smell money and exuberance and are quick to tag along.  And quicker on the way down too.  Fascinating.

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What other trends should we have fun with?

Pascal Bouvier

Life and work experiences have given Pascal an unmatched vantage point, seeing things as both venture capitalist and aspiring entrepreneur. He currently is a Venture Partner with Santander Innoventures – Santander Group’s Global Fintech fund.

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