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.