Sameer "El Jefe" Soleja

3 Things I Learned at ComRisk

I just got back from ComRisk 2017 in London. This is the first time we've taken out a sponsorship at a conference, and so I wasn't sure what to expect. At best, I thought I'd run into a vendor-driven, salesy conference where consultants spoke in generalities about risk.

Turns out, I was wrong. Almost everyone I talked to was genuinely interested in risk for commodities trading. Many attendees were risk managers. Most were pleasantly surprised that a conference existed just for them; the content was not as hand-wavey as they had feared. All seemed pretty stoked about the conference.

In short, I was a geek in a geeky paradise in the middle of London. Here are some things I learned:

  • SPAN is the bane of everyone's existence. There was a dude from the LME talking about how they calculate risk using SPAN (and how it differs from VaR calculations), and some very confused risk managers trying to figure out the particular way in which they hated it so much.

  • Nobody uses a single ETRM/CTRM for all their deals. I figured this would be the case by now, as you'd think most systems provide good functionality across asset classes. I guessed wrong.

  • The EEX is apparently where all the kids are trading these days. Why I didn't know this, I have no idea.

Also, I was particularly delighted by this:

ComRisk Smoothies

I had the OJ. That is all.

We Are Molecule

At Molecule, we definitely Do Things a Certain Way. As our team has grown, we’ve thought at length about what that means.

Why bother? Well, we want our team members to be independent and share their awesomeness with us (why would we have hired them otherwise?), so we have more awesomeness to share with our customers. At the same time, we want to give our customers a consistent, fantastic experience every time they interact with our team or our product.

I believe that if everyone at Molecule has a shared framework for decision-making, then we can make similar choices independently. Given that, the results of a decision made by anyone on our team (regardless of implementation) should ultimately reflect what we as a company strive to do. That’s what matters.

Without further ado, and after much debate, refinement, and more debate, we’re proud to share our Values with you. They are also available here.

We are Molecule.

  • We own Molecule in big and small ways.
  • We want the best for Molecule and for each other.
  • We succeed as a team and fail as a team.
  • We make a meaningful impact on the enterprise software industry.

We do what’s best for the customer.

  • We provide the best approach to meet customer needs.
  • We strive to have secure, pragmatic and informed solutions.
  • We challenge the status quo by starting with first principles.
  • We want customers to achieve the maximum with minimal effort.
  • We challenge our solutions and are not afraid to toss them out the window.

We strive to be world-class.

  • We hire the best Molecules.
  • We work hard and smart, and continually learn.
  • We try hard things, ask questions, and teach others.
  • We do not fear mistakes - but we fail quickly and learn from them.
  • We reach for the unreachable.
  • We fight for what we believe is right.
  • We accept constructive criticism gracefully - from anyone, to anyone.
  • We set clear goals and use data to evaluate the best course of action.

We embrace diversity of race, gender, creed, culture, ability, orientation, and technology.

  • We use welcoming and inclusive language.
  • We respect differing viewpoints and experiences.
  • We focus on what is best for the community.
  • We show empathy and compassion towards other community members.

We love technology.

  • We believe technology can help humanity do great things.
  • We learn from seeing how others use technology in new and wonderful ways.
  • We are comfortable with, and excited about, technology.
  • We make and use the best and most beautiful technology.
  • We embrace bleeding-edge tech.
  • We love open source and contribute to the open source community.

We give back to the world.

  • We share what we learn with the community.
  • We help other entrepreneurs and new companies.
  • We contribute to our physical and our online communities.
  • We leave our communities better than we found them.

OpenLink and Allegro try to "go cloud"

We've been hearing rumors of OpenLink and Allegro announcing new offerings this year, with a focus on the cloud. We're happy the industry is coming around to our line of thinking!

That said, among the primary benefits of a cloud solution are:

  • Transparent updates
  • Quick installs
  • Fast response time, delivered efficiently
  • Lower total cost of ownership (TCO)

Simply installing a piece of packaged software on a cloud-facing server, doesn't provide these benefits. Neither does simply changing a pricing model so that it amortizes differently. From what we can tell, the legacy-vendor cloud solutions still have a long way to go. An app (and its surrounding business) has to be built from the ground up, to make use of multi-tenancy, infrastructure improvements, and a service-incentivized sales model.

Molecule is. It remains to be seen whether the others will be.