What Ever Happened to Trust and Honesty

June 9, 2009

trust me I'm a docter-786643There will always be things in place to keep us honest.

Doctors and Lawyers have malpractice to keep them from making mistakes, not following procedure, and not taking care of those people they are there to take care of.

The government has the people they represent to keep them in check because they will always be up for re-election again.

CEO’s have a board of directors and large groups of investors to make sure they are doing the right things with the company’s money or else a replacement will be found.

It seems we are kept as honest as we can be because if we stray too far off course, we risk losing a title, or some power, or our money.

But what about just being honest?  What if elected officials, doctors, lawyers, bankers, and CEO’s – the people that we need to trust in order to successfully grow ourselves personally and professionally – were just honest people.  Maybe it’s just a matter of greed, and it will never be perfect.  And I know I am lumping large groups of people in where they don’t belong, but it just seems that if we have to fear people in power then we are never going to dig our way out of tough times.

Trust is an important thing.  It can mean the difference between success and failure.  So let’s put honesty back in its place.  You don’t need us to keep you honest.  Just do it.

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2 Emails Worth Mentioning

November 20, 2008

In the past week I have received two emails that I feel are worthy of a mention on a blog about Innovation. Both were from people I do not know, have never met, have never talked with online, and most likely will never talk with in my lifetime.

The first was from Steve Gentile at Think Tank NYC, and he probably had no idea that he was emailing me. You see, Steve decided to leave a social networking group that we were both a part of called Sta.rtUp.Biz. In deciding to leave, Steve emailed all the members of the website explaining his reasons for leaving, and also saying that he is interested in communicating with any of us who would still like to remain in contact with him.

This email stands out for two reasons. The first, is a direct shot at Sta.rtUp.Biz. We are in a world where everything you do can and will be used against you, online. And word travels fast. When you market yourself as a social networking site for entrepreneurs, where we can enjoy the freedom of idea creation, open discussion, and useful information to start our business, you better follow through with that. Now I don’t know if it was the creators or the members who transformed this site into what it is now, but Steve is blaming the creators. “A fool’s game of mindless invitations and posts delivered with the purpose of point building without substance, and not networking or provoking deeper thoughts”, is how he described it in the email. That got my attention, and I am sure many others’, and will hurt the website’s credibility.

Two, this is a semi-ingenious move on Steve’s part to get some attention. As an entrepreneur, what better way to promote without promoting. Take something you are going to do anyway and send an email about it that gets in the heads of people that you may want to work with. I don’t know Steve, but I emailed him with interest after receiving that blast.

The second was from John Podesta. John is the co-Chair of the Obama/Biden Transition Team, and apparently the one in charge of sending out the emails (or at least the name that someone else puts on their emails). I got this email because I had signed up at the new website of the Obama Administration, Change.gov. I encourage all those who have never seen it to check it out. It is still quite bare right now, but very promising.

It is interesting to think about a presidency that will be more in touch with the people. Even if this is all an act, which I don’t think that it is, it’s still a strong step. A president who devotes time to including people and getting involved in online communication, what a concept. Well, we already saw how well they used this sort of internet grassroots promotion in the campaign, now we get to see if they follow through with it during the next 4-8 years.

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Why Shouldn’t We All be Green?

October 2, 2008

Every company is going to be a green company. That would be asking a lot. But are we asking enough?

What if every new business created had to do one thing that was good for the environment? What if every public company had to donate a certain percentage of revenues to green organizations? What if advertising agencies had to have a certain percentage of green clients?

Is it too much to ask that we hold people accountable for their public actions? No company is going to sit there and say that they don’t care about the future of our planet. So why don’t we put measures in place to help them along? Let’s set some guidelines.

What if gave incentives to research new technologies? Why don’t we pay companies who are truly sustainable? What if we did not allow companies to obtain patents unless they met certain green standards?

A friend of mine told me a business idea that he had yesterday. It was basically taking an existing model and relating it to the green movement, in essence making money by helping businesses that have met certain environmental standards. “Great idea,” I said.

Is it too much to ask companies to take some initiative? Is it too much to ask to take steps towards a cleaner future?

I don’t think so.


Comcast and Big Business Bullies

August 20, 2008

As someone who talks a lot about innovation and moving forward not only in business but as a society, I hate it when “big business” tries to stop the movement. I can see where it might be in their best interest to do so, because they are just not forward thinking enough to see the benefits of change. They are happy with the way things are now and think that “technology” and the so called new economy will hurt that success.

It’s never been, and should never be the role of government to protect dying corporations or big business interests. If new technologies and startup companies develop ways of doing things differently, than that is how it should be.

The recent news that Comcast is making has caught my eye. They were sued for intentionally blocking access to certain file sharing websites because, as they said, it created too much congestion on their network. And now, after losing that battle, they announced that they will limit “heavy internet users” to improve speed for other users during times of heavy congestion.

First, anyone or any company that believes in limiting the availability of information on the web has got it all wrong. Google stands out above all others in their belief in the free flow of information. After all, that is what makes the internet great. It is a tool for sharing information faster and without limits. Comcast, as an internet provider, has no business blocking its customers from achieving this.

And why is Comcast’s solution for network issues focused on hurting those people that use the service the most. That is like a restaurant charging more, or taking longer to serve returning customers. A message to Comcast:

Take a look within. Improve your service. Don’t make excuses and develop initiatives that hurt your current customers. And maybe, just maybe, people won’t leave your service as soon as they have that option.


The Government Doesn’t Get It

July 15, 2008

Innovation is hard.  As a concept, innovation is not something that just happens on its own, hence the whole point of this blog.  It becomes even harder for those of us that are not used to and have not been built on innovative principles and experience.  Case in point, our government.

The government has never been an institution that has embraced change all too well.  They are slow to move, slow to act, and quick to defend the old ways of doing things when presented with change.  When presented with a situation in which change is necessary, they don’t know what to do.

One example of this is the current economic conditions.  They know that certain things must be done to help the individuals and the companies that have been hurt the worst.  The Federal Reserve has arranged buyouts and bailouts for struggling financial institutions.  Congress approved a stimulus that put billions of dollars back in the hands of consumers.  And now everyone seems to be debating what to do about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Short term fixes and get out of jail free cards will never get at the heart of the problem.  These are not solutions because they do not address the underlying issues in the financial institutions.  They are just cover ups, like medicine for the common cold.  I am not going to sit here and say that I know what to do, but the government needs to take a long hard look at themselves and realize that in this day and age, they need to be able to adapt to change quickly and decisively.  No longer can partisan politics keep this country from moving forward.  It causes more pain in the end when we hesitate or do nothing than simply taking action.