Tag: innovation

A dearth of innovation, or the beginning of the end of rich communication?

Moshe Y. Vardi opines that while communication “advances” such as texting and social media may seem wondrous, they may not be the leaps the world really needs…

Recently, however, several people have been questioning this techno-optimism. In a commencement address at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, U.S. Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke compared life today to his life as a young boy in 1963, and his grandparents’ lives in 1913. He argued that the period from 1913 to 1963 saw a dramatic improvement in the quality of daily life, driven by automobilization, electrification, sanitation, air travel, and mass communication. In contrast, life today does not seem that different than life in 1963, other than the fact we talk less to each other, and communicate more via email, text, and social postings.

Worth a full read.

General disdain for Ben Bernanke notwithstanding, I find the last quoted remark above a little disheartening, and yet wholeheartedly accurate. It will be sad to see the day when smartphone functionality is embedded within everyday wear, giving mankind the ability to replace every face-to-face or voice modal interaction with a 140 character quip, regardless of whether they are fiercely clutching a device.

MG signing off (thankful that my circle would still rather pick up the phone and dial)

Banks are too big NOT to fail

It’s dinner party fodder, big banks and the too big to fail label they’ve procured. Stick around for a nightcap and you may get the dirt – big banks doing dumb things, and why, frankly, they deserve to fail.

Case in point

A friend tells me they recently applied for a loan, only to find out their credit score was not what they thought it was, instead really low. They pull their reports and find a Bank of America credit card they hold is the problem. They’ve had this card, along with other accounts at the same “institution”, for years, and rarely use it. They actually had a negative balance on the account a few months back too.

Bank of America didn’t like owing their customer money, so they transferred that credit into a savings account. The account holder eventually went to use this credit, but instead put a balance on the account…of roughly $25. They used online statements, and took care to keep track of all expenditures, so they didn’t think to check. The account went past due a few months, and the bank slaughtered their credit scores. This person will never do business with the bank again.

Bank of AmericaI had a B of A credit card, along with paperless statements, too. But I never carried the card – it was a credit line kept for special occasions – and I let the issue slide.

Here a fee, there a fee, everywhere a fee fee

Fast forward, I see B of A is about to start charging new fees for accounts, resetting their entire product line so to speak. The changes center on checking and such, with the goal to reduce face-to-face transactions (i.e. shut branches and teller services) down the road. Management points the finger at financial reforms, that, by the way, were pitched as a way to stop banks from ripping off their customers.

I once heard someone say “banks don’t want you to save…they are built to make it easier for you to spend.” A dearth of deposit slips in those checkbooks you pay for was the reasoning; still, they certainly loved handing out those credit lines, didn’t they?


Patents, patents, patents

The neverendingbattle.

Ideas don’t mean much, unless your idea of execution is filing some documents via ETAS. Those who “do” are going to pay the price for those who “don’t,” and everyone is going to feel the resultant pain of floundering innovation.

At least I know nobody pays attention to this blog (or at very least the subtitle).

What you know or who you know

The old saying “its not what you know, its who you know” is losing steam. In a world on instant startups and flourishing home offices of one, what you know is becoming much more important. But it isn’t all important. How you use that knowledge is what really counts.