retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Michael Sansolo

Since so much of the annual State of Union speech is about visuals, let’s ignore issues for a second and consider just what we see. Because there was one optic in this year’s speech that left me annoyed, especially in our new age of information.

I’d like to ask: In what decade does our government live?

There were endless crowd shots each contained views of people following along in printed handouts of the speech. Can you possibly imagine a group of 500 business leaders, 500 consumers or 500 college students doing the same? NO!

Where were the iPads?

Granted, it is probably way cheaper to give each speech attendee a printed copy instead of an iPad, but I wonder how much money (and how many trees) we taxpayers spend each year printing documents that our leaders could easily download. I’m betting we would pay back the cost of the iPads inside of one month of documents going unprinted.

Now I understand that this would come with problems. First off, since every congressman and senator loves nothing more than his or her own opinions, we know that virtually no one would actually listen to the speech. Rather, they’d be tweeting their reactions constantly, but they do that anyhow.

Secondly, as my 24-year-old daughter pointed out, we’d probably have to find people to train each of them in how to use an iPad. (After all, as we pointed out here not that long ago, we have at least two members of the US Senate working on financial services committees who are only barely familiar with the use of ATM cards.) But I’m okay with teaching them how to use iPads, because unless leaders understand the cutting edge technologies of the day, they won’t be leading for long. I’m thinking that goes for our country too.

And that’s my Eye-Opener for today.

Michael Sansolo can be reached via email at msansolo@morningnewsbeat.com . His book, “THE BIG PICTURE: Essential Business Lessons From The Movies,” co-authored with Kevin Coupe, is available by clicking here .
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