Pacesetters

John Sheldon, SVP of Innovation Management, Mastercard


John Sheldon (SVP of Innovation Management, Mastercard) talks to IBM’s Robert Schwartz about running the Mastercard innovation lab as an incubator, integrator, and driver of financial inclusion.

Introduction and John’s role at Mastercard
0:58 Defining innovation at Mastercard
2:11 Guiding the payment form factor and “experiences over things”
4:26 The innovation lab as incubator
6:58 Three criteria for new ideas at Mastercard
9:35 Financial inclusion as a social mission and business strategy
14:35 How Mastercard works with startups: resources, scaling, matchmaking and investment
16:26 Integrating the exploding ecosystem of fintech startups (and tech providers’ role)
19:28 Agile methodology at Mastercard
21:00 The Idea Box and Initiative Days: Spreading the lab method to the rest of Mastercard
25:58 Marketing’s role in the lab
29:49 Job roles in the lab
30:52 Major partners in the lab
31:47 Dealing with too many good ideas

Lightning round
32:48 Favorite social platform: Instagram
33:10 Best career advice John received: Never lose your network
33:45 Best advice for marketers: Focus on authenticity
35:02 Brand John most respects: Under Armour
35:49 AR, VR, or AI: AR’s potential in commerce

Audience questions
38:24 What has been your favorite project, and a failed one you learned the most from?
40:29 How will the conflict between convenience and security play out in payments?
42:22 How does innovation play a role in competition?
44:51 What is the path of an idea from seed to execution?
46:31 How do you feel about brands updating their logos?
48:11 What are some surprising adjacent spaces where the lab is innovating?
49:58 When you think of IBM, what do you think of?

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