The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

the age of Decision-Making

May21

I started thinking about this two years ago when the target protagonists would have been thirty four and thirty five years old. Any professional person today is at risk of realizing a status of “lost generation”. We don’t have enough mentors. And, if people try, they probably don’t know how. That’s another topic for debate destined for another time. But, I’m confident it set’s the stage for an audience that will feel it’s truth at the back of their collective necks.

Today that focus group is best exampled by thirty five and thirty six year olds. I say that because thirty five is the most difficult year for people in their personal and professional lives. It’s the proverbial cross-roads. Through my Coaching practice I realized the epiphany that thirty five is the truest point of mid-life crisis. That is, in itself, another terrific topic.

It can be argued that the most significant difference between decision-makers today is how they receive and process information, and then what they do with it in terms of “situational awareness”, relevance, and execution.

For example, most decision-makers (I can define this better some other time – but, broadly executives from startups to the Fortune 1000) that are under thirty five are comfortable receiving critical information on a mobile device (ie. smart phone of iPad), trusting it’s veracity, distributing and sharing it, and, most importantly, acting upon it. Remarkably, this includes texting. When you think about it, you’ll begin to notice that decision-makers over thirty five are still more comfortable with a desk top computer. NOTE: We more often today include Powerbooks/ laptops in this category. And, more and more over thirty five decision-makers don’t like to use SKYPE for business because they are concerned about how they will be perceived (that is yet ANOTHER great topic, for later). So, under thirty five decision-makers are more likely to believe what they read on the internet is true (it’s the old-line thinking: “if it’s in writing it must be true”). And, with the crowd-sourcing mentality of that age demographic they want to rely on that type of information. It’s a “herd” mentality. Some times the effort results in a self-fulfilling prophecy. But, more often than not they are making decisions that alienate them from their older peers because it’s not genuinely informed decision-making based on emperical research.

DATA, Information, Mobility, and Bandwidth are HOT industries probably because we want more visual-oriented information piped through our mobile devices. An example of this is the growing popularity and proliferation of Video Blogs. But, these are rarely done by people over thirty five. But, much of the information is derived from sources like Google (which I find jaw-droppingly naive and astounding), Facebook and Tumblr (that is a VERY broad generalization).

This schism is broadening. The amazing thing is the cut-off point is so dramatic. But, the level-of-trust between these groups is dropping-off at a remarkable pace. A result that we are tracking is the fall-off in numbers of “young” executive hires and promotions. And, reduced value placed on post graduate degrees like MBA’s. But, the hiring of CPA’s is tracking upward. Probably because the internet can lie, but numbers won’t.

More later.

Let’s be part of the solution.

brian patrick cork

are search results a glowing example of a life well lived?

April14

so…

social media has obviously changed our lives, collectively. and, we are constantly being exposed to tools we did not know we could not live without until they were part of our daily existence (like Apple products).

blogging, as it turns out, is a terrific tool, of sorts, and is part of my own life. and, I use the WordPress platform for a wide-variety of reasons that include a lot of options like plugins that make the process more challenging for myself and interesting for you. however, one of the reasons is not the unique analytics offered on the dashboard (or, backend) of user accounts.

I like to research and write, and don’t care about the associated data generated by analytics.

but, those analytics are tools, in their own right that people use to make all manner of decisions in their own lives. the results can be as uncertain, revealing, or possibly deceiving (and entertaining) as the effort, itself.

“analytics” have made our social-media-driven lives “Chines Interesting”.

for example, part of the WordPress dashboard analytics involves a summary of terms people from around the world use to find information. they might be looking for a specific person, a historical event, pictures, or stories. the sort of information can be revealing about our local and global culture. and, it’s not difficult to discern how outsiders might think of a target of search, such as myself.

from a ego-centric point-of-view, I thought the following Search Engine Terms results (ranked from most hits to least hits) might be of interest to my readers. these particular results are from a random day late last week that might say a few things about what people think of me, are looking for, finding, or think they are finding (like: “brain cock”). I’ve not picked one over the another. and, all I did was cut-and-paste that days unique results. NOTE: the post template made the positioning of the data a bit “wonky”, (a decidedly English term). but, the data is what it is. my “home page” had 3,935 unique hits as of 1130 hours that morning. although, to be clear, I’m not certain how this arcane science, of a sort, actually works.

by the way, one term or set of terms that caught my attention were those reflective of the hapless Vanessa Hudgens (naked), and how much of this continues to make and validate my original points postulated in my prior posts: vanessa hudgens gets sucker punched naked, and, the word naked is good for something but not for me. oh, and possibly, brian cork is ironically Stupid.

pos·tu·late  (psch-lt)

tr.v. pos·tu·lat·edpos·tu·lat·ingpos·tu·lates 

1. To make claim for; demand.
2. To assume or assert the truth, reality, or necessity of, especially as a basis of an argument.
3. To assume as a premise or axiom; take for granted. See Synonyms at presume.

as the fabulous BB Webb would say that I would say: Voila!

Search Engine Terms

These are terms people used to find your blog.

brian patrick cork (332 Views)

brian cork

brian cork is stupid

brain cock

cork brian professional athlete

sucker punch nudity

brian cork fights driving and texting

vanessa hudgens completely naked

texting and driving deaths

stocks better than apple

brian cork is Racer X

vanessa hudgens naked sucker punch

see naked vanessahudgens online

facebook is evil

brian cork entrepreneur

alex gauna on apple

vanessa hudgens naked photos march

brian cork and Apple

how deep is an abyss

brian cock

want to see naked vanessa hudgens

sucker punch girls naked

suckerpunch chick naked

vanessa hudgens naked in sucker punch

sucker punch movie girl naked

naked vanessa hudgens photos 1st time

rhodesian ridgeback puppies

use usb hotspot with ipad2

buy ipad2 cork

socialpreneur is

arthur miller abandon

vanessa hudgens torrent nude

vanessa hudgens naked march

the leader and i entered on that hidden

sucker punch leaked online?  (1 vew)

no music today! I’m adding a link to Naked Scientists 11.04.03 – Keeping the Conversation Flowing. it’s not what you might hope, or think. but, a  number of you will check. and, that’s, okay. because good will come of it.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

 

bank on Brian

August25

Nicholas Johnson is often found in-and-amongst the companies I’m working with to change the world. I’m not clear what it is he is doing most days. But, some times he’ll haull-off and come up with a pearl worth sharing. For example, in a recent meeting with an uncertain conclusion, he announced the existence of an on-line service called www. billfloat.com. Apparently if you need to pay a utility bill, for example (and entrepreneurs, just like most people, do that) you can convince this shadowy organization to pay your bill up to thirty days in advance for a transaction fee of a mere five dollars. All you need is a viable bank account and the best hopes of the funds being in it by a later, albeit pre-determined, date.

This is different.

Voila!

I feel billfloat is an example of: “being part of the solution, and not the problem”. Five dollars is a reasonable fee for a greater peace of mind. Obviously living paycheck-to-paycheck is living on the veritable edge. But, that is the reality for a growing segment of our national population. Here, someone clearly came up with a solution that is not, in my hardly humble opinion, userous like many of those strip-mall situated paycheck loan (shark) services.

Or, the current banking system, for that matter.

I’m often asked something along the lines of, “If you weren’t running your current business (this is assuming they understand what it is I do), what would you work on, or be doing?”

There’s not a single answer to this question; it can change day-to-day. As I’ve stated on this blog, and through a great deal of public speaking, I could never have planned or anticipated my own career-path. But, in light of our global economic situation, and Johnson’s research, I think if you asked me today, I’d say I would like to start a bank.

There are very few people who really love their bank. I use a private bank and this means I don’t have to suffer the same inconveniences realized by most folk. For example, many are dealing with overage fees that stack up, misleading fine print, and a general malaise born of an apathetic sense of fatalism. However, there’s a unique opportunity in that mainstream contempt for financial institutions. And, concurrent with this is an incredible amount of government backing that essentially makes it a no-risk environment. People are simply hungry for anything different, something contrarian.

A David to the Goliath banking industry. If you will, something heterodoxal. This is where I often realize my best potential and opportunity.

The name of my bank would be something supremely boring, like SmartBank or bank on brian (In my businesses, I typically use small caps for my name because it’s not about me, it’s about what I do). The idea behind it is that bad behaviour in the banking – which is in truth, aligned with Wall Street – world has been largely inevitable because their compensation structures incented people to do overly risky things. the Bank of brian would maintain a reserve level 2-3x higher than Federal requirements, and any other bank. I’ll aspire to World Bank status as well and align myself with European protocols (have you bothered to wonder why the US doesn’t have any World Banks?). Bank of brian would have no bonuses unless goals such as preserving mortgages were met or exceeded and loans made to emerging culture companies based on best practices, carefully monitored milestones and accountability proliferated. I suspect critics would say this would make it impossible to attract top-shelf talent. But, every time the bank gets attacked we’d turn it into an advertising opportunity to emphasize why we’re different.

To wit:

“We can’t attract top-shelf talent? Go on…We take your money and put it in a vault. We don’t need the million-dollar bonus geniuses on Wall Street to do that. SmartBank. Bank, smart.”, would say I.

Bank on brian.

In fact, the first few years of SmartBank would be largely focused on acquisition through every trick in the book. At the very beginning pull a Gmail/WordPress.com strategy ,and make it invitation-only. I’m confident this will create a buzz and also allow you to give amazing white-glove service to the initial customers that want to catch that glassy-fronted wave, who will in turn tell their friends and create a tsunami. That’s called “viral” marketing and that always works when people like what they see and experience. Ironically that would represent a novel experience with banking today where the objective appears to be lining the pockets of bankers while stripping down customers. You can also target certain profitable segments and ultra-safe depositors at first, like Gmail users in San Francisco (using Firefox with an ad-blocker) who make six figures a year. There would be only one style of checks and debit cards and they’d have a distinctive design so if you saw one you’d say, “What’s that?” a-la the American Express Black or Plum card (I have both and everyone’s follow them through every transaction) products which would then start the whole conversation again about how SmartBank is different.

For the first two years you could also do things like not allow accounts larger than the FDIC-insured limit. No one has ever heard of a bank turning away money (unless you, ironically, have poor credit). But, you’d say that although everything SmartBank does is risk-free, it’s still a startup, and if people have more than the insured limit (today it’s 250k for single and 500k for couples) in an account, they should put the extra somewhere else. Again, statistically (and, those types of numbers in the right hands [like my own] never lie) this will impact a very low percentage of customers… And, everyone; everyone, I say, will think it’s naught less than remarkable. This tactical growth can be phased out after a few years; in fact, it would be yet another PR opportunity:

“We’ve been in business now long enough that we feel comfortable with larger accounts.” Boom, free coverage.

I’m not defined as a “tech guy”, but I am more often identified with successful technology, and the associated leadership. So, of course a lot of focus would be on the Bank of brian website. Imagine, if you will, something along the lines of an old-time vintage design aesthetic combined with a Google-like (web 2.0?) simplicity and attention to speed. All logins would be two-factor, with the default being SMS’d  to you with a one-time code to log in when you gave your email address (Just so we’re clear, I’ve given this a lot of thought, for good reason, done my home work, and already using consultants). A significant part of the website would be the blog. It would have a strong Ben Franklin-like common sense voice, with a Thomas Jefferson oriented pragmatic tone with a few cool savings or home management tips each week. And, in-line with my own cultural architectural views, it would cover at least one financial industry story a day that was relevant to historical examples alined with current events for perspective.

For example:

“Bank of America spent forty million dollars on airplanes last year. We spent forty thousand to develop an iPhone application so you can check your balance from anywhere.”  (the average useful iPhone app costs $2.99.). NOTE: Not Android, at first. I say this because quality control is crucial here – and Apple defines that, while Android is working on it.

“Here’s how to block advertising when you browse the web with Firefox; it makes the web faster and less annoying.”

“So-and-so Bank’s website requires you to use Internet Explorer. We insist that you don’t because there are way cooler and faster browsers like Firefox, Opera and Safari. Here are links to those open source browsers you can switch to today.”

“Goldman Sachs just paid out sixteen billion dollars in bonuses to their employees. If we had an extra sixteen billion dollars lying around, we’d put it in the bank for a rainy day. By the way… If Goldman Sachs had never paid out bonuses they never would have needed government intervention.”

Sixty eight Million Reasons Your Bank Sucks. That’s the amount Bank of America collected last quarter in needless ATM fees.” …well, needless to customers, any way.

That’s all made up, for now. The headlines would almost write themselves, and every time a financial institution is in the news it’d be an opportunity to contrast why SmartBank is different, and what the underlying philosophy is behind why it’s different.

I’m a Social Historian. I study and consider why things happen. And, then I do something about it.

As trumpeted above, all of the marketing would be on the web and viral the verbal, or word-of-mouth part would follow (like eBay and Amazon) – because it’d be an online-only bank like ING Direct. No storefronts (brick-and-mortar) where people have to wait in line, or risk a bad interaction with a disinterested teller, or get robbed and need insurance.

To be clear…Basically, a lot of the historical risk of running a bank could be eliminated. When you sign up it would have a: “tell your friends about SmartBank” address book (like LinkedIN) feature that would connect you to them if they signed up for an account, give you both money (I should make the point that Bank of America actually does have something like this, so I have to keep thinking about it because of the karma thing), and also make it easy to send them money, PayPal-style, if they have an account.

I’ll pause here and offer that you might see a trend in my thinking… I’m picking, showcasing and reflecting products and services that appear to be working, and adopting them as my own for your benefit. This can be referred to as “best practices”. And, we need o be all-in on that.

I suspect SmartBank would make money and reward shareholders and customers alike, which just might separate it from the likes of Bank of America, for example. So… How would the Bank of brian make money and also provide terrific customer service, you ask?

I think it wouldn’t touch anything risky on the financial side. However, it would be a data company. As it turns out, data is a hot industry as evidenced by hiring and investment trends (and, I’m a subject matter expert in both areas). The first three years the focus would be entirely on customer acquisition, marketing, PR, and establishing a world-class tech team building a rock-solid infrastructure. SmartBank would likely make less money than non-customer-centric banks currently do, but it would be more than enough to build an amazing product in a sustainable way, like Craigslist did with newspaper classifieds. After a certain milestone, say one-hundred billion in deposits, I would buy or clone Mint. SmartBank would have more (and accurate) data about its customers than almost any other company in the world other than credit card companies, so the online interface would have Mint-like lead generation offers that are based on accurate information. For example, if you spend one hundred and forty dollars a month on electricity, but if you switch to this new solar provider you’d save two hundred dollars a year. Think of it like Gmail (By the way… I’ll admit to referencing Gmail, consistently in this post, to honor Nicholas Johnson and his possibly being a catalyst for much of this) contextual advertising but based on where you spend your money rather than the words in an email. There also might be aggregate data opportunities for economic research or targeting, but I’m not sure if I like, or have a firm understanding of, the privacy implications there.

SmartBank probably couldn’t, and I wouldn’t want to raise Venture Capital, or anything like it, because having any sort of exit expectations, and the predatory influence that would reflect Wall Street, would completely kill the “safety story”. Like most of my businesses today, I would want to bootstrap, and after a few years would be hugely profitable. I understand the irony in this vision coming from a felon. But, there is yet another example of my being Jeffersonian, a heterodox, and the contrarian, eh.

By the way… The existence of bank of brian would also put significant pressure on existing, more traditional, banks and the Federal Reserve,  because depositors would be leaving in droves, putting pressure on their reserve requirements. Existing banks couldn’t compete in a traditional way because they have such a sordid history of customer apathy and bad PR. SmartBank wouldn’t be trying to capture their profits, so-to-speak. However, we would reflexively be unhinging them while driving much more revenue, but in smaller amounts, but a larger end-result.I think this would end up looking something like a credit union, but for the masses.

Thanks Nicholas. And, the rest you readers can thank us both, at some point.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

pick me, the universe, and finishing well

June17

WordPress has some pretty cool tools that help you track things such as the number of visitors to this Blog (there are a lot of you – and, thanks) on a given day.

One such tool (I am also considering the use of the word implement here, as well), in particular, that I always find intriguing is Search Engine Terms (and a wide variety of word combinations) that people use to find certain blog posts. A recent example that someone apparently used that led to this Blog was: “there is no grand purpose in the universe”.

…also: “ridgeback puppies” is quite popular. Over six thousand hits today alone.

I’ll find the first example inspiring as it led that particular searcher to my blog posts: existentialism isn’t cool it just is and, two sides rhymes with suicide. There, they no doubt found me a man of formidable opinion, wit and conviction.

When people make bold, albeit seemingly sophomoric statements like the universe has no purpose I’ve decided it’s really more a question than a position. That person was likely faced with some form of dilemma – for example – disappointment, or a challenge they felt intimidated by. Thusly, they more likely than not mean: “what is the meaning or purpose of the universe?”

Me! Pick me!

The universe exists to test me and you. Character is more often best when tested. So, the opportunity, and the answer, here, is to finish well.

We all need to have faith in something. So, it might as well begin with ourselves. Then we have our best chance to leverage that divine gift of discernment, and everyone and every thing in the universe wins.

I’m listening to: Not Afraid by Eminem. “Take a step, everybody”. And, I mean it. Also, a variety of stuff by Justin Bieber – because my girls like him, and I want to always understand.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

« Older Entries

What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

Share this Blog with friends or enemies (via Twitter). Do it!:

Twitter Updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Archives

Email Subscription

Linkedin

View Brian Cork's profile on LinkedIn

Categories



%d bloggers like this: