Project Daytona: SwellChat

Formerly known as “Project Daytona”

Read more from our August 2021 update

Daytona is the code name for our first project

A live video app that connects a broker to an employee or small business owner at a point of frustration or key financial decision. We observe that there are key moments in which there is high probability of frustration that could be overcome by improved communication through a short consultation with an expert. A few of examples:

1. A small business owner evaluates potential employee health insurance plans
2. A small business owner or HR professional wants to increase access to additional benefits for employees at little or no cost to the company
3. An employee struggles with how best to spend their annual benefits dollars

Why We Like This Idea

It cuts against the common grain. We like ideas that are counter to market trends, especially in the late stage of those market trends. Since the mid 1990s, companies have been laboring to remove the human interaction—and subsequent cost—from insurance and financial transactions. The concept of self-service has been developed to such an extent that there is rarely a live, face-to-face human interaction when these critical decisions are being made.

Our thesis for Daytona is not that self-service is a bad idea or that somehow it is going away. We love being able to check our bank accounts, buy investments, and update our address without human intervention. However, we believe that self-service should not equal the complete removal of human touch. We believe that a simple, short, secure, face-to-face conversation with an expert at a critical decision point in the cycle will greatly enhance the experience of the individual and lead to significantly better financial outcomes for the individual and company. Further, we believe this improvement will unlock significant value for the company providing the programs and the provider of the financial and insurance products. We also believe that brokers who are able to provide this unique combination of electronic self-service and human touch will win more customers, retain more customers, and sell more products.

Our Daytona Project

Build a secure video application specifically for the benefits and financial industries. The application will be independent of any existing benefits or financial administration systems.

What we do not know

Who will pay for it; what market it will be most readily adopted by; who will be threatened by it (someone is always threatened by new technology); what it will cost to build and maintain; how we would support it; if it would need to integrate with other systems; how we will sell it; what technologies we will use to build it.

What we do not have

We have no specific financial goal; we have no business plan; we have no financial projection. We have no list of competitors, no target market, and no exit strategy.

What we do know

We know small business owners, HR professionals, and individuals are frustrated by the complexity of making a decision on which financial and insurance products to offer, to select, and how to pay for them. We know that a short conversation, preferably face to face, with an expert who has our information, will significantly lower the frustration and improve our outcome which will have a lasting positive effect. We know this from our own personal experience in both designing benefit plans for our companies, from selecting our own benefits for ourselves and our families, and from watching thousands of companies and millions of employees make these decisions over many years in our careers.

We took about six weeks to decide on this as our first project. We have given ourselves 90 days to experiment with the idea and see what we can learn and build. We do not have a product document or a fixed deliverable for the 90 days.

We will post updates on our progress here on the Project Daytona page.