November 2023, Amplified – The Debacle at OpenAI, Embedded Insurance and a Bidding War for Partnerships


Michael Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.  Michael lived and worked in Tokyo from February 1990 until December 2011.  Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, building one of the biggest and fastest-growing podcast listener bases in the region.  His show has listeners in more than 130 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

Theresa Blissing is a seasoned insurance professional with a strong background in operational roles with insurers, innovation consulting and academic research and the author of the #1 best-selling book The Future of Insurance, Volume IV. Asia Rising. She started her insurance career in 2004 when she joined Italian insurer Generali in Frankfurt, Germany. In 2015, fascinated by the potential of new technologies and their impact on the insurance industry, she decided to delve into a new challenge and pursue a master's program with a research component, focusing her study on the adoption of big data in the Southeast Asian insurance industry. During that time, Theresa also transitioned her career to management consulting. She worked with a range of consulting firms and started her own consulting and research practice, Accelerating Insurance. In 2019, Theresa co-founded the Asia InsurTech Podcast to bring Asia’s insurance success stories to a global audience. Currently based in New York, Theresa continues to push the boundaries of insurance innovation and has launched a new global podcast – InsurTech Amplified.

David Gritz

David Gritz is an InsurTech community leader, public speaker, and InsurTech advisor. He has been featured in recognized Insurance media including Carrier Management, Digital Insurance, IIR, AM Best TV, and the Re/Image Podcast. David is the co-founder of InsurTech NY, the largest InsurTech community in the NY metro area. David also serves as a strategic advisor to high-growth InsurTechs to help them go from concept to scale. Previously David has served as the Director of Innovation for the Silicon Valley Insurance Accelerator (SVIA) and has led product at Zero, a behavioral safety focused InsurTech acquired by EverestRe. He holds a J.D. from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law and business and industrial engineering degrees from Lehigh University.

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In this episode of This Month Amplified with ⁠David Gritz⁠ and ⁠Theresa Blissing⁠, we delved into the topic of OpenAI and discussed the recent events surrounding the company. From the sudden change in leadership to the implications for long-term thinking and governance, Allianz and Revolut and Late-Stage Capitalism.

The OpenAI debacle highlighted the importance of having an independent board with a long-term view of the company. A board should have a deep understanding of the role of a CEO in a startup and the implications of their decisions. The data shows that having a founder CEO is crucial for the successful execution of a startup’s business model.

Startups go through different stages of growth, and it can be challenging to define when a company is no longer a startup. While some define startups as small teams in a garage, others consider the straight growth phase as part of the startup journey. It’s important to recognize that as a startup matures, the role of the CEO and the board may need to adapt.

We also discussed embedded insurance and what has been going on with Revolut and its changing travel insurance providers. In this case, it raises questions about integration issues and the possibility of a bidding war for large-scale embedded insurance opportunities. It’s important to consider the customer experience and ensure that embedded insurance truly benefits the end user.

Our conversation touched on the concept of late stage capitalism, where the focus on profit and growth can overshadow other considerations. It’s essential to strike a balance between profitability and social responsibility, especially when it comes to providing accessible insurance options for lower-income groups.

As always, an active and dynamic conversation about the month’s topics impact the intersection of the insurance and technology industries!

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