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OpenBB wants to be an open source challenger to Bloomberg Terminal (venturebeat.com)
237 points by alexrustic 8 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 92 comments

Lapsed Bloomberg terminal user here. I used it to trade everything under the sun, as well as read the news, and communicate with counterparties.

Good luck to these guys, I do think it's a market that needs more entrants.

But it's quite an uphill struggle. The thing about Bloomberg is the completeness. Not only do they offer all data on all exchanges plus OTC, they've done it by partnerships with a huge range of players. Very hard to get in on, you need an army of bizdev to maintain this.

I was lucky enough to work across asset classes. Their data plus into tools that each kind of user needs. Volatility surfaces, bond pricers, currency forward calculators, credit default information. That's a lot of spreadsheets that you as a user won't have to write yourself.

Then they have basically a whole newspaper, of pretty high quality.

And then they have an approved chat function. This is not a technically difficult thing, but again you need every compliance department to approve use.

They even have a legal arm where they gather legal news, I never used it but it sounds huge as well. And restaurant reviews. I used to joke that they had a dating site for users too, but it would not surprise me if that were true.

All that for only 2k a month. Consider your average user on Bloomberg might be on hundreds of thousands total comp, or a team with that comp would share one.

Not the least because most of those data sources require a license.

Also they have huge amount of economic data, company financials, all somewhat normalised. That’s costly to maintain as I presume it comes from hundreds of different sources. Because these things break all the time. Broken feeds with wrong prices get sent, which require to reload the history when it gets corrected. A lot of google finance price feeds were broken and stayed broken for months They also integrate with trading desks, for instance who send bond pricing runs to their clients via bloomberg. The more banks you are client of, the more reliable your prices in bbg.

There also have quasi proprietary data, like the key terms of pretty much every bond issued in the world, that the issuers or book runners typically double check when they issue a new one. They create generic time series of on the run bond benchmarks, n-th future (which switched automatically when the future rolls), etc.

I am all for competition but agree, steep hill.

I'll just pile on here. The functionality of the Terminal is seemingly infinite and goes way beyond market data. Although it is obviously very good at market data. You pull up a bond, or future, or stock, or index, type FLDS and see an amazing amount of data beyond just the price.

It has maps (ships, refineries, fires, earthquakes, etc), flight schedules, overviews, top/bottom lists, correlations, regressions... ad nauseam. And also a quant platform, where you can code in Python I think, but I've never used it. I've been using for longer than I can remember and it's still impressive.

Also, they have generally a good to excellent help desk. Hit F1 twice and you're chatting to a real person, who can either help you or direct you to someone else who can. They have let me down on occasion too, but compared to other help desks/support, BB is the best.

I am starting to see more latency in pulling up functions in the Terminal, so I hope they're not losing sight of the UX. Near-instance response used to be commonplace, now I find that even some very common screens like WEI take noticeable time to load.

It is expensive. Many competitors have come and gone, and the closest thing now is I think Eikon, which also have installed to access the old Datastream data, and it's a complex monstrosity. FactSet is another one but I haven't used it in a long time. Every time cost-cutting time comes, one of the first questions is, "Do you really need Bloomberg?" Well, yes, I do.

Also don't forget about how deeply integrated BB is at many companies. Not just spreadsheets, but entire applications using the API.

So good luck, but I don't see it happening.

> Also, they have generally a good to excellent help desk.

I found they were good for ordinary "where do I find this function" type queries, useless for anything to do with APIs ("how does this call work") or data questions ("did you backdate this dataset").

The helpdesk explicitly doesn't support API questions, only for the Excel functions. I phrase my API questions to match in Excel BDP terms, that usually works. Data questions can indeed be difficult to get answered.

I have had pretty good experience with their API support. Generally, if we include our sales rep they will hunt down the right team to get our questions answered if we get the runaround the first time around. The places I've been at do spend a ton of money on terminal + other data licenses though.

"amazing amount of data beyond"

COKPMON Index is probably my fave in that department, you never know when you'll need to correlate something to the monthly kidnapping rate in Colombia

[Edit to update - Sorry, the link quote is/was from a different nick <cmacleod4> not yourself. My bad]

Just wanted to say - I loved a previous comment that included this -

"... Even if you could spend the billions to duplicate the infrastructure and rewrite all the software required, to actually do the same thing you would also need to replicate all the business relationships with data sources.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer/cat/financial-advisor/etc, but I used to be a developer at Bloomberg :-) " [1]

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26261167

I like the competition but I believe platforms should have a separation of concerns. Either provide a platform for data or a platform for forecasting. Bloomberg in my experience is mostly data and chat. The added benefit is that everyone has the same reference data. So if someone is trading agency bonds, they can reference a ticker and a yield and get to the same price. The yield itself may be meaningless (i.e. bonds with the same face characteristics could trade at very different yields), but the traders know the nuances and use the yield number as a round proxy and a way agree on price. Mixing both would likely result in having a half-baked product on both sides:

> Elsewhere, OpenBB can leverage deep learning to predict stock price movement using historical data, though in reality the model can be applied to just about anything, including economic data, crypto, and more. The company plans to double down on these predictive smarts.

This is dangerous. You shouldn't lead people to believe they can just plug in some symbols and automatically run a meaningful forecasting model. It may be true with natural phenomenon (e.g. when will be the first full moon 100 years from now), but not with complex financial data. You're leading naive users astray into thinking that some naive regression or ML model can give them insights when you're almost certainly falling into a trap (e.g. overfitting, using predictors that you don't have access to at the time, execution complexity, etc).

Create a service that's a better chat app. Another one to get the data. Another one to run analysis. And allow them to be interoperable through clear APIs. Don't try to build a magic black box that does everything for you.

> allow them to be interoperable through clear APIs. Don't try to build a magic black box that does everything for you.

One word ... licensing.

Its one thing to talk about data feeds for display on a terminal (and perhaps with an Excel plugin and whatnot).

Its another thing to talk about data feeds for "open" use by anything under the sun via API.

Multiply this by hundreds or thousands of data vendors worldwide who provide feeds to your Bloomberg-esque organisation and you see the problem.

Not quite dating, but they used to have GRAY, which directed you to a Sugar Daddy service.

what is GRAY? i tried searching for a source on this, but it wasn't terribly helpful as a search keyword

Bloomberg Apps are basically keywords that you enter in the terminals “command line”.

I suspect GRAY (because it’s capitalized…the BB command line is all caps) is one of those apps.

The more traditional way to represent that would be GRAY<GO>, which basically means typing G, R, A, Y and <Enter>.

They also have the tools for trading various instruments, handling RFIs etc.

I think people will be willing for this start up to succeed though because:

1) Bloomberg has an incredibly inept internal technology team. Dealing with them is a like a clown show. 2) Horribly aggressively sales-driven in all customer interactions 3) Everybody in banking management that signs the hundreds of millions of dollars per year invoice for Bloomberg absolutely hates them.

Current Bloomberg Pro user, same exact sentiment. Bloomberg just happens to have a preposterous number of barriers of entry for any aspiring competitor:

1) Licensing - historical data and metadata (need the day counting convention for random bond in a random country 20 years ago?) is heavily encumbered with licensing contracts. You're not allowed to take data off the terminal, for example.

2) Exclusive data access for things like macro sentiment numbers - for example banks and research companies submit their estimates for things like non-farm payrolls (earlier today)

3) Network effect for IB - huge amount of OTC trading is done via bloomberg group chats

4) Enormous library of pricing models and random practitioner-time-savers * along with the licensed historical data to be able to use them out of the box.

* eg what's the cheapest the deliver for a random futures contract you're looking at

The GIP GP and whatever other price plot function that the OpenBB project is emulating are barely worth mentioning in this context.

The unified data is great. The basic and advanced charting is very good. The basic analysis stuff is very good. Complex pricers end up get built by quants, pulling in the bloomberg data - on 100k++.

300,000 users globally, a high percentage probably use little more than a basic chart, news, chat, MVP and POSH.

> 300,000 users globally

Interesting.. if we're assuming these are customers all on the same license, that would put the revenue at around $6B per year for this.

I wonder if there are any other tools within an order of magnitude of that user count that generate that revenue.

I think the way to compete here is not directly targeting BT customers, but looking at other potential customers that might not be able to afford a BT, at least in the beginning of their journeys, and use that revenue to fund "completeness".

Also important re chat that most firms want a /very/ short list of approved apps to manage for inter firm chat. Typically it would look something like Bloomberg, Refinitiv Eikon, and Symphony.

Symphony has to be one of the worst chat clients I have ever used.

You may not have had the pleasure of using Skype’s ‘persistent chats’.

Reminds me of Emacs being an entire OS

IIRC, the bloomberg terminal did have march madness and world cup pools (well, for bragging rights, not for money) built in :)

> And then they have an approved chat function

Curious, who do you chat with? Is it an intra-company chat? Or wider than that?

The chat feature is hugely important for traders. I've seen traders use it to iron out the details of OTC deals prior to booking the trade. It was used so heavily for this purpose that I know one bank even used the data as part of their MiFID II regulatory reporting.

Let's say I want to trade a large amount of $TICKER.

Sometimes, just sending a buy order is not ideal as it might drive prices up.

So you start calling brookers and hope they help you by finding other folks who want to sell large amounts of $TICKER. They also might spread orders over a larger time frame.

That's just an example, but overall the chat is used to negotiate assets. Buying and selling stuff is often a very manually coordinated process.

As others have mentioned, the chat client (Instant Bloomberg, or IB) is used for a significant amount of financial trading and information exchange. It went down for a couple hours at one point which had ramifications on financial markets.


It's instant chat between every terminal subscriber. It's very popular.

It’s kind of funny, but IB (the chat function) was basically slack 2 decades before slack ever existed.

It’s a chat function that can connect any Bloomberg terminal user, and you can also run “bots” on.

Oh god, not yet another Bloomberg killer/challenger/$insert_word_of_your_choice

There's an old adage "pick your battles".

People need to wake up and smell the coffee that unless you've got deep pockets, you are never going to challenge Bloomberg (or Refinitiv or CaptialIQ or Factset).

Why ?

Because data. Because LOTS OF DATA.

These companies have global coverage of data. They have global coverage of news. They have decades of historical data. They have live feeds from all global exchanges. They have traceable fundamental data for governments and corporates worldwide. They have presentation transcripts for governements and corporates worldwide. They have analytics tools. They have ... well, you get the gist !

Building and maintaining all those global data feeds costs $$$$$$$ and requires constant maintenance and babysitting to make sure its all functional. The same applies to integrating it all onto one platform to present to the end-user, more time, more money and lots of it.

Bloomberg & Co cost 1-2k a month for a reason. It is simply not possible to deliver it for less than that price point. There is just so much stuff going on behind the scenes before it reaches your workstation.

If you're telling me you can deliver it for 10's or 100's a month, then I can almost certainly guarantee you are cutting corners, lots of corners. So many corners that its pointless.

So, frankly, unless some oligarch has given you a few Billion and told you to get on with it, you're not going to be "challenging" Bloomberg & co, not now, not ever.

About 8 years ago our Bloomberg rep met with us and told us that our use of Bloomberg Data License that we use to load descriptives into our trading platform was going to essentially have a crippling price increase.

They were going to be nice about it though and enact the crippling price increase over four years in equal installments. We were haughtily told there was no negotiation.

About 2.5 years later I emailed my rep and asked, “What is our minimum spend?” and he replied $1,000 per month.

I then switched to another provider. The data was better, perfectly mapped to our trading platform and required almost no work on our part. It was less than 1/4 the price even before Bloomberg’s crippling price increase went fully into effect.

It took my Bloomberg rep three months to notice we were down to paying our giant reduction of $1,000 per month. He sent me begging emails asking to meet, called me daily, asked why I didn’t tell him so he could negotiate. I didn’t reply to a single thing. Then he started calling and emailing my boss. Who didn’t reply.

I agree - competing with Bloomberg Terminals is going to be very hard. But there are so many people (like me) that literally hate Bloomberg the company and will actively ferret them out of any organization we move to because there are alternatives to Bloomberg products that are actually better in some areas.

>But there are so many people (like me) that literally hate Bloomberg the company and will actively ferret them out of any organization we move to

That's me with anything Oracle

Right there with you!! We just completed our conversion of Oracle Java to Azul Zulu Java late last year. Taken off 7,000 desktops and I don’t even know how many servers.

I'm surprised they even bothered with your account, most of Bloomberg's users do not worry about a few grand a month.

For Bloomberg Data License alone we went from $58,000 per month to $1,000 per month.

wow! that is quite the saving, surely there must be a catch ? that is like 98% discount

What I’m saying is our Bloomberg bill went from $58,000 per month to the minimum usage for Bloomberg of $1,000 per month.

Our new provider was about $10,000 per month.

What other provider?

> There's an old adage "pick your battles".

I suppose, so we shouldn't try breaking monopolies any more? There are plenty of examples where $big_corp is basically ubiquitous to $their_market until $competitor comes along.

The data Bloomberg uses can probably mostly be licensed outside of Bloomberg. Nothing stopping from these guys getting at least some of that data. Being it is open source, it likely means you can pick and choose your data instead of having _everything_. At which point the price can go down.

> Nothing stopping from these guys getting at least some of that data.

No mate. "some" won't cut it.

What would you say if I presented you with a pen and paper and said I was challenging Microsoft Excel ?

If we took your line of argument then I should be taken seriously because I am providing "some" of the functionality, and so what about the fact that a sheet of paper has no formulas or macros or anything else that a serious Excel user might want.

If somebody is launching a product claiming to be the next "Bloomberg killer/challenger/$insert_word_of_your_choice", then the product need to provide an equal product. Otherwise the product is, by definition, NOT challenging Bloomberg.

I mean, there's a whole ton of so-called "Bloomberg killers" that do little more than provide the same old US-markets data that any man and his dog can get hold of cheaply. And even then, they are only providing a small subset of US-market data, so they are not even competing with Bloomberg on US data.

I'm not going to repeat what I've said already here. If a product does not have data/feature parity on Bloomberg or Refinitiv, then don't waste my time.

They aren’t a monopoly.

Nobody puts everything as well together as they do. And obviously they have a massive library of unique data and functionality.

But there are thousands of competitors of all sizes.

It’s just very hard to see any of those competitors providing a free/open source alternative because the code is not a very large part of the value they provide.

> Because data. Because LOTS OF DATA.

They are getting the data from third parties while the team is building the platform to use that data.

> They are getting the data from third parties while the team is building the platform to use that data.

By definition the bulk of the data needs to come from third parties. But Bloomberg are not getting that data by scraping the web or from free sources. 99.9999% of the data will be from $$$$$ feeds.

Second, ask any data scientist about "third party data". ;-) .... Its not just a case of "plug the API into my server and off we go". Feeds break, data has issues, data needs to be reformatted etc. etc. etc.

Remember we are talking about Bloomberg, a service that provides true global data. Not just the common as muck US stuff that every man and his dog can give you.

Yes but you will be paying the third parties to handle all the data issues.

If you cannot afford Bloomberg's fees then you dont have a choice and go with the cheaper option.

and they have exclusive licensing agreements that makes it near impossible to get the full complete data.

bloomberg terminal is not something that can be disrupted by open source, it would be similar to creating a google competitor by scraping alexa 1000 websites. it won't win them over.

I think almost everyone knows that fighting Bloomberg directly is not going to be easy but they can start attacking some niche areas, make it cheaper for others who cannot afford Bloomberg and start from there.

Entire article never mentions the word 'bond' or 'fixed income', which is basically the raison d'etre for the Bloomberg Terminal.

You can trade stocks with a laptop and a brokerage account. You're not going to be able to trade bonds without a Bloomberg Terminal. The killer components are industry standard calculations and nearly universal bond data. There are some proprietary analytics, but they are honestly an add on.

It's a market that should be ripe for disruption, because there are really a limited set of competitors, extracting near monopoly rents. At the same time open source only takes you so far because the data is the issue, and the issue is not market data, but reference data -- stuff that is mostly static, but potentially changing. It takes a lot of work to get that that right. (I worked for a fintech startup which went bankrupt because, among other reasons, we decided to create our own security master database, rather than buying it from a vendor. How hard could it be? Turns out very hard.)

interesting...can you not trade those assets in IBKR? Do you mean special data that Bloomberg has exclusive licensing to for bond traders?

Not quite the same as BBG hosts a fair amount of single (e.g., Deutsche's Autobahn) and multi-dealer (e.g., for IR swaps) platforms. Focus is on banks and instis with commensurate sizes on these platforms (and some larger treasuries).

While large banks have the capital and resources to invest in Bloomberg terminals, even large company treasury teams have a hard time justifying the expense. In my old company, the treasury department just paid for one terminal and some analyst got stuck pulling anything and everything for the entire company. It was less expensive then buying additional terminals.

Plus the analyst was a fixed cost via his salary anyway, why not just work him more. /s

AFAIK that's pretty much 100% against the license agreement. Data pulled from the terminal is only supposed to be shared with other BBG subscribers. They have more expensive offerings that allow non-subscriber use of data.

I have been through audits where we prove that no non-terminal user is receiving data that we pull.

IMO a core feature of the terminal is that it has a chat program that costs 20K per year to get on. That’s a pretty great filter for figuring out if someone is worth talking to about a 10MM dollar trade.

Name of the game here seems to be quality and breadth of data feeds, not the software itself. So don’t think being open source is a particularly useful trait here

Agree with this 100%.

Koyfin is a competitor and the software is good but i think the data is a challenge. Their getting there.

I think how a competitor beats bloomberg is between them on core competency and price and then build out functionality. It sounds like bloomberg believes itself to be impregnable giving rise to blindspots. Good luck competitors.

> Koyfin is a competitor

Koyfin is not a Bloomberg competitor.

Refinitiv is the nearest competitor to Bloomberg. (But even they struggle, especially on Bonds).

Second-tier competitors being CapitalIQ, and Factset. (But we are already at the point of quite noticeably not being at feature/data parity).

Third-tier competitors are people like Infront.(By this point we've moved very far away from feature/data parity that its blatantly obvious).

Then we get to the swamp level ....

Stuff like Koyfin and similar are NOT competitors by any stretch of the imagination, not for Bloomberg and not for any of the Second/Third-tier vendors either.

I don't really see the advantage over Bloomberg or Refinitiv. If I would really want to use Python within the application, there is already Refinitiv's codebook (Jupyter within Eikon). Both Bloomberg and Refinitiv are also offering an API (or too many APIs actually) and I don't see that many users of the terminal or Eikon would like to or have the resources to actually develop or maintain a fork of the application.

Bloomberg has the BQuant product, which is tightly integrated Jupyter [1][2]. They also directly sponsor events in the Jupyter ecosystem and are institutional sponsors [3], which is something others might not be able to say.

[1]: https://www.bloomberg.com/professional/solution/bquant

[2]: https://www.bloomberg.com/company/stories/bquant-behind-the-...

[3]: https://jupyter.org/about

The Bloomberg API’s I’ve worked with were… really not great. At one point our Bloomberg rep started talking up their new “REST API” and how excellent it was. Well I made the mistake of saying I’d give it a shot.

Turns out each request for data didn’t return the data. It returned another URL with your request that you would then have to poll. This URL was like a multicast feed and would send out messages about the data that everyone would request and you would have to ignore and filter out messages that didn’t match your request ID.

At some point you’d get a message that did match and then it might tell you that the data is unavailable or something was wrong in your request or that you can get your data now. But it would be in this insane proprietary format and you’d have to write your own parser to parse it line by line and get into something resembling a CSV.

This was marketed as the easy to use API for data scientists as well. We didn’t purchase access after the trial ended. For personal work I just use Polygon.io now.

We are still using requests over the SFTP server, but I guess rather sooner than later that will change. However, when it comes to Refinitiv, I can't complain about the REST API for Datascope Select and TickHistory.

Would you know how good the quality of the options data at polygon.io is?

Yeah, seems to be pretty typical still. Hopefully it changes sooner rather than later.

That's interesting to hear about the Refinitiv API, are there any public docs for it and do you know if they provide client libraries for Python and R? Obviously data quality has to be our number one priority, but I'm so fed up with writing a bunch of boiler plate code to interact with the large data providers, at this point my second priority is just ergonomics and that means a decent client library that's dependency free (looking at you Bloomberg with your blpapi package) and has support for batch and streaming data.

From what I understand it seems like upon initial release, the Polygon folks did have some data quality issues, but based on my own experience and anecdotes in /r/algotrading they've significantly improved. Can't really provide anything more concrete than that though, sorry.

Another provider I like is Intrinio, they have some pretty interesting methods for automating QA, esp for some of the more unstructured data like 10-K's and 10-Q's.

Although Bloomberg does offer APIs, you often need very expensive licensing to feed their data into services automatically.

Also their SDKs are complete rubbish.

It probably won’t be nearly as expensive as a Bloomberg terminal?

> It probably won’t be nearly as expensive as a Bloomberg terminal?

Bloomberg is not expensive. It costs a lot of money, but that doesn't make it expensive (it's 100% worth it).

The issue is that IB (Bloomberg chat) has become so integral to the operations of many financial institutions that people end up subscribing just for that (i.e. sales, MO/BO, etc) and don't use much else.

But if you're an analyst/trader/PM/RM it's peanuts for the core tool that you will spend most of your day inside or connected to.

Well, if the sources of financial data will remain to be AlphaVantage and Reddit, yes, but as soon as they would get the really interesting data, I don't think they could keep the prices low. Even only access to one IBOR from the administrator can cost you a lot.

A crazy but dangerous way to market these challengers is that try to have it adapted in places that are either under US sanctions or risk under US sanctions. In those place they have all the incentive to ditch Bloomberg terminal. So places like China, Russia or Iran.

I thought one of the primary benefits of the Bloomberg Terminal was the newsfeed / updated data they can provide?

Can an opensource competitor produce the same quality and timely data?

If the trading AI was accurate and with a high degree of success that would be the product and there would be offers for millions if not more. Of course the people making it could run it themselves and make lots of money

When it comes to the "AI" to help traders if this worked reliably there would be

Not sure that is true in terms of the relevance of the newsfeed. Bloomberg is large trading platform, too.

Data these days comes from many places already, so Bloomberg is one of many sources a large bank would use.

I find it an interesting branch out from the original concept/submission of this in Feb 2021 as a "Show HN: Can’t afford Bloomberg Terminal? No prob, I built the next best thing" (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26258773)

Good luck - It is about time that Bloomberg Terminal had someone trying to eat their lunch.

For as long as I've been in finance (measured in decades now, scarily enough) somebody's been trying to displace Bloomberg. They haven't succeeded.

For as long as I've been on HN (over a decade now, jeez) somebody's been evoking the name in their pitch thinking they have a good grasp of what our products actually do. I'll happily hat tip Betteridge and stake claim to Paprocki's law of HN subjects. It's an old adage that states: "Any product that says it is a Bloomberg Terminal replacement and will kill the Terminal -- isn't and won't."

I guess when you use the word "disrupt" over and over, you end up believing its applicable in all industries.

Open Bulletin Board wants what now?

Oh, other openbb. Gosh I'm old.

When people say something is a "Bloomberg Killer" they're usually only referring to a proper subset of what the terminal offers:

Data -- It's not just exchange data but breaking news, earnings calls, shipping data, and any quantitative or qualitative information that might impact the price of a stock, bond, commodity, or currency. I'd imagine competitors could carve out domain-specific niches but it would be hard to match the breadth of information on the terminal.

Functions -- Any one function or type of analysis may be replicatable but matching the sheer breadth would be challenging. Again, I'd imagine a competitor could carve out a domain-specific niche.

Network -- Many financial professionals communicate and/or trade via the terminal. Network effects would make it hard to make inroads here, though a couple big institutions were (are?) trying with Symphony.

Familiarity -- New functions and features get added but breaking existing workflows is rare. A professional who invests their time in learning the interface shouldn't have to re-learn a new interface every few years just to do the same thing. (There are unfortunately more exceptions to the rule than there used to be, but the UI churn is less than most enterprise software.)

Looking through their docs... The source for stock data is scraping Yahoo Finance or using IEX Cloud...

The first is not legitimate and exchanges are not going to like that... and the second is only giving you roughly 2-3% of trading volume as IEX is a rather small exchange.

I wonder how this will ever be competitive without actual data? Getting data from a single market (consolidated equity feed, options, futures, etc) can be upwards of $100k per year, not including the fees per-user (small for individuals, very large for any finance professional). These exchanges and organizations are also pretty serious about their intellectual property and will pursue apps that distribute it without a license. In addition to having a license for the data, you need a vendor to actually deliver the datafeed, which is a big cost in itself.

If you’re doing the kind of stuff that you would want a BB terminal for $20k/yr should be a drop in the bucket.

Also, the cost of missing out on a trade or a piece of information or being delayed by a few seconds even once can be 100s of times that.

And that’s even before we get to the excellent customer service where hitting a dedicated button on the keyboard will connect you to a human, who can then connect you, often without delay, to a financial expert, to the product owner of the app you’re using, or even to the developers.

I guess this is a good thing to have for someone who cannot afford a BB (seems like there’s An opportunity for Bloomberg to offer a cut down intro version of their terminal), but it doesn’t seem to me this can target the BB terminals market.

Has anyone considered a BT style interface for something non-financial? Eg. setting up a dashboard style app thats designed for quick and efficient information retrieval from RSS, twitter etc without all the baggage of a webpage

Anything that's not RSS (such as Twitter) is going to be difficult because the platform is going to be constantly fighting you.

Best of luck to them, but this one is dead on arrival. Symphony already tried to create an alternative with the backing of a number of the major investment banks, and failed miserably. As another commenter pointed out, the integrations are a huge part of the value proposition and would take a massive effort to recreate, assuming the data providers even find it worthwhile to engage. Then you need to run a brokerage, a ticker factory and a large news desk just to come close to parity. Heck, even other large companies like Refinitiv have trouble competing.

I remember seeing this when it first came out. A lot of people were really excited about the idea, and now I see they have funding.

At the end of the day, though, it's all about results. Are people making profits from this terminal's features?

My own project is an algo trading system (crypto only for now), with a UI that lets you define your rules easily: https://tradecast.one.

Not a terminal user but is Twitter the actual competitor to BBT? When it comes to real-time news, I feel like Twitter is up there for fastest source...

news are only a small part of BB Also, News are highly filtered and considered maximal quality, from best news agencies across the world including BB itself "News" also contains all companies corporate news, results and also technical ones such as corporate actions (dividends, dividends forecast, etc). twitter is not really a competitor here

Definitely agreed, but it's worth pointing out that they're not mutually exclusive. There are a lot of tools on the Terminal that integrate Twitter sources and can track and analyze commentary.

For news-only, there's https://biztoc.com

They've lost me at "building a slick 21st century UI"

i can see this working. there's little excuse to not have financial data that is open and in real time in this day, other than profiteering.

The data itself is not open as it is heavily regulated by the data sources (the exchanges). Many people would rightfully think that stock data is free, given that you can look it up from various sources yourself. However it costs upwards of ~$100k/yr to get data for a single market (stocks, options, futures, etc). Then you have to consider that many of these are actually multiple sources in disguise. For example, if they wanted to add index data, they would be paying those fees to NASDAQ, FTSE Russell, CBOE, and every other somewhat important index company. It's a huge amount of work for compliance as well, to make sure the data you provide isn't being re-distributed and that you are classifying each user correctly (regular people vs finance professionals pay vastly different rates). I'm not even sure if they are aware of this as their current data source is scraping Yahoo Finance with the yFinance python package.

side question, but... are there any known hacks of bloomberg terminals? seems like such a juicy target :P

if it was possible to challenge Bloomberg, many wallstreet companies, banks, hedge funds would've done it already. the fact is they remain a moat. horrible ui but fast news reporters that the industry relies on. this is not something open source can fix (never was the issue), it is about hiring dozens of financial journalists who quickly deliver news

BBG is huge as a trading platform.

Not sure these days news is a very relevant part. Certainly, in my trading days data and trading were far more important to me on BBG.

Maybe they can be reduced to a news company? Remove the tool “terminal” essentially.

Note that the terminal typically shows news headlines and stories before they are posted to the public internet.

As long as Bloomberg publishes their own articles that "move markets" there will be value in being able to see those articles before the rest of the world.

> By being open source, affordable, and highly customizable due to the usage of Python

this is laughable right? why is the fawning over python not a thing that makes you chuckle? Is it because the computational finance community swarmed around python?

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