The Kodak Moment of WealthTech: Learning From Invision’s Sunset

We’ve all heard the phrase evolve or die.

In this week’s feature piece, I’m talking about how this phrase feels all too real in today’s wealth management industry.

The tale of Kodak, a once-dominant force in photography that missed the digital revolution, is a poignant prelude to our discussion on InVision's recent announcement of discontinuing its services by 2024.

Invision may not be that familiar to most of our readers, but to me, Invision was a key part of my journey.

As I matured in my professional design career, serving firms like Buckingham, Orion, Brinker Capital, Carson, and others, much of my time (and my team’s time) was marked by hundreds of hours using InVision.

To me, Invision was a groundbreaking prototyping tool that transformed how our designers collaborated. It allowed us to design, get feedback, iterate, and turn pixels into code all through one communication layer.

However, the swift rise of Figma, with its superior cloud-based collaborative capabilities, illustrated the relentless pace of technological advancement. For a while, we held fast to Invision and Sketch - all while doing in-person demos with Sarah Pease and the early Figma team.

Despite our reliance on InVision, we eventually jumped in with both feet on Figma, acknowledging the importance of staying ahead in technology.

InVision's end, despite substantial investments, is a stark reminder that innovation is not a luxury but a necessity for survival in any industry.

Why This Matters to Advisors

It brings to light the critical decisions we face in wealth management regarding vendor choices, from operational tools to technological partnerships. At Milemarker, our alignment with innovators like Snowflake, AWS, and Microsoft reflects our commitment to staying at the forefront of the WealthTech space.

While we are committed, we must be fully informed about where innovation is happening. While we are growing in our commitment to Microsoft, CoPilot, and Open AI, we are actively studying what else is happening in cloud computing at the other major players and the emerging start-up landscape.

You may feel committed to Salesforce or Envestnet. But if you are like most of the advisors we talk with daily, the tools you use today are becoming less of your platform and more of your current setup. You need constant evolution, not static systems.

This scenario compels us to consider two essential strategies:

  1. Proactive Business Strategy: Are we actively ensuring our business models and strategies remain relevant amidst massive shifts? Anticipating and preparing for change is more crucial than merely reacting to it. With this, are we adopting internal change processes that lead to a consistent process of transition?
  2. Fostering Innovation: Leadership through example and a commitment to continuous learning are essential for success in our dynamic industry. When leaders openly embrace change and innovation, it significantly fosters a culture of transformation across the organization. In some companies, team members are encouraged to propose significant improvements to the business. The best ideas are not only recognized with spot bonuses but also given priority for implementation. This approach stimulates innovative thinking and ensures that valuable ideas are swiftly acted upon.

The accelerating pace of change in both the global landscape and the wealth management sector necessitates an urgent call to action. We must embrace innovation and adaptability to stay relevant. Otherwise, we risk being perceived by our clients as outmoded, much like those companies that failed to evolve.

What are the areas you are currently facing that you know you need to innovate?

Related: The Future Is a Synthesis: Finding a Framework for Your Advisor Technology