PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE ARTIFACTS.
We know, we know: You’ve heard about the impending death of the Bloomberg terminal before, and it has always been greatly, horribly exaggerated. But perhaps you’ve also noticed that your employers are somewhat less willing these days to throw money around on things like Christmas parties and bonuses, so stuff like $20,000-a-year instant-messagers tend to get some attention from accounting. And now that several entrepreneurs—notably, some of your employers—are working on things that do what a Bloomberg terminal does at a fraction of the cost, well, you might as well begin building its niche at the Museum of Jurassic Financial Technology, in between the ticker-tape machine and that Blackberry that you thought you couldn’t live without until Steve Jobs came along.
Later this month, a start-up called Symphony, created by Goldman Sachs and backed by the large banks, is introducing software that provides an alternative to what many traders say is the most valuable part of the Bloomberg terminal — the chat program used by traders and investors...At the same time, Money.Net, a start-up that has been built by a former top Bloomberg executive, is looking to challenge Bloomberg head-on and is gaining momentum and stealing away customers.
David G. Bullock, a former Lehman Brothers executive who now runs his own financial advisory firm, says that since signing up for Money.Net last year and canceling his Bloomberg terminal, he has found interest when he mentions the service to his banker friends, particularly when he explains that it costs one-twentieth what a Bloomberg terminal costs...“When they go visit the banks, they are being told, ‘We are trying actively, not passively, to get away from being your customers,’ ” Mr. Downey said. “They’ve gotten very lazy and fat.”