Stakeholder Groups

I have long criticized this name for advocacy organizations because it shows their intent: hopefully gore the ox of their “adversaries” in life.  Compromise is not their intent, nor is a balanced discussion of any issue.

As proof of my point of view, take a gander at this article about “Big Oil” fighting electric vehicles.

This is an excellent article in that it points out how things start out with noble intents and are endorsed by all until someone’s ox gets gored.  We need to put down the stakes we are holding and discuss what is in the best interest of our nation and how we are going to pay for things.

Just because you make buggy whips doesn’t mean you should be against the internal combustion engine.  At the time, it was the best alternative.  Now, we are moving toward the electric motor … which by the way, was the first car power system.

Put down the stake … take a deep breath … and let’s talk this through.

A Political Blind Spot

I pointed out that water might be the next critical infrastructure concern in a recent blog, especially in the West. Water is a largely hidden resource… not many people pay attention to groundwater availability until they run out of it. So, I get the disconnect.

But, today’s USA just makes me wonder whether we are conveniently blind to what we say we care about:  Speed Limits.

I remember the energy embargoes which brought our nation to its knees, resulted in gasoline rationing, and made us all slow down on the highways with a 55 mph speed limit instead of the 65 many of us had gotten used to.

Now that we have become a net exporter of oil I guess some want to raise our consumption.

Read the news article in USA Today.

SO, are we not blind to the hypocrisy in a state the has prided itself on energy efficiency?

How can anyone seriously propose such a thing when politicians are offering green platforms for change??

The New Deal

Well, it was a bit refreshing to see the media beat up on some of the recent political nonsense about global warming.  I have covered the issues around bovine flatulence before… methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas.  Not sure whether these zealots will go after beans like the late former President Bush went after broccoli.  It is pretty funny to see the political cartoonists all weigh in.  Here is just one for your viewing pleasure:

But, seriously, we do have the public’s attention and it is high time to have a dialogue about what we can and should do to live responsibly and sensibly on this blue marble.  We must answer the long term questions that go beyond energy sources to keep the grid reliable and affordable.  But, we also must consider our water footprint alongside the energy issues.

No other fundamental resource has had an impact as big as water.  The lack of affordable water can alter civilization … we have seen that in the past.  We have critical needs now in the west.  Yet, the key questions about how we use water are not yet being considered as often as we talk about climate change.  Water availability will humble us very soon in the west … in our lifetimes, yet we continue to grow crops and worse than that we raise animals on grown grain.

Once again, take a careful look at if you share my concerns.  This has been vetted as correct by the very people being criticized.  There are no “flat earth” perspectives countering its accuracy.  But, we are meddling with people’s choice in foods.  Somehow that is not politically correct.


What Business are We In?

I was driving to work today and passed an oil change station. I don’t worry about oil changes any longer since I am driving an electric vehicle, but it reminded me of an energy audit I did for Quaker State oil decades ago. It was such a pleasant visit, helping them find energy efficiency opportunities and ways to improve plant throughput. But, as I sat at lunch with the plant manager the rest of the story emerged.

Lunch started with the usual pleasantries which included my admiration for his products. While he appreciated my accolades about how good they were he reminded me that people no longer changed their own oil … they had their oil changed by others. And, the brand choice of the oil itself disappeared. So, it mattered more who changed the oil … which then determined the oil used.

Before you get too cocky in your response, think about the changes we are experiencing now with Siri, Cortana, the Amazon Echo, etc. We ask Siri where the nearest this or that is … and perhaps we see all our choices … perhaps not. Google the questions you hope your customers ask about you and your service offerings and see what else shows up … perhaps listed ahead of your offering. Perhaps your offering doesn’t even show.

Digital engagement requires you are noticed and then positively viewed. Perhaps you are invisible are not differentiable.

Go ahead, Google what you think customers are asking about yourself.

Reinventing the Wheel

Thank goodness I am not traveling like I used to.  But if I were still a road warrior, this latest luggage invention would have gotten my attention.  And, for those of you who are still on the road, take a look at this.

There are several things to notice about this.  First, watch how you get drawn into the story.  Remember that this is a Kickstarter campaign ad … they are trying to raise money by pre-selling this luggage concept.  The features of the bag along with the benefits become an integral part of the story.  And, one of the most distinguishing features is the wheel design.  I have to admit, when I saw the picture I was curious how anything so absurd could be an improvement.

Well, once again, you get drawn in and witness how this wheel design overcomes one of the most common problems we have all had with “wheelie” luggage … crossing uneven/changing floor surfaces.  We see it, remember our difficulties, and almost immediately “get it” … case closed …

Then, the deal is cinched when he uses the phone app to locate his missing bag.

Perhaps the only mistake in the ad design are his closing words of attack … not needed … less is more … let it go.

Lots to think about. I almost wish I was back on the road just to have one of these.