Published on: April 20, 2023
Got the following email from MNB reader Lynn Olsen:
In reviewing your Innovation Conversation, I noted your ever-present reminder that change is not an option; it’s only our reaction to it that makes a difference for us and our businesses.
I teach graduate and executive leadership programs at a local university, programs in which this theme is front and center. Here are some recent fun facts regarding big data and it’s role as a driver (and enabler) of change;
An astonishing 90%+ of the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone.
1.7 MB of data is being created every second by the average person (including all forms of digital media).
~1.145 trillion megabytes of data are produced by humans every day.
~2.24 million messages are sent every day on Whatsapp.
In 2022, 332.2 billion emails were sent, and 650 million Tweets were made – EVERY DAY
By the end of 2025, 200+ zettabytes will be held in global cloud storage
(A zettabyte equals one trillion megabytes)
As for the accelerating rate of change, Futurist Ray Kurzweil wrote way back in 2003: "The whole 20th century, because we’ve been speeding up to this point, is equivalent to 20 years of progress at today’s rate of progress, and we’ll make another 20 years of progress at today’s rate of progress equal to the whole 20th century in the next 14 years, and then we’ll do it again in seven years. And because of the explosive power of exponential growth, the 21st century will be equivalent to 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate of progress, which is a thousand times greater than the 20th century, which was no slouch to change.”
I have two takeaways: First, this can be intimidating if not embraced and shaped to our advantage. Second, it’s inevitable, so hang on, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Overall, I’m optimistic; human capacity is capable of making the leaps.
One of the points that Tom Furphy and I made yesterday was that senior executives need to be in the business of knocking down the silos that prevent organizations from embracing change. If someone is swinging a sledgehammer to do that, we said, it isn't vandalism - its construction.
Prompting MNB reader Andy Nash to write:
"It's not vandalism, it's construction." Gold.
Referring to the growth of dollar stores, one MNB reader wrote:
Dollar Store? What are they? I thought it was Dollar and a Quarter Store. I think it is great that they are remodeling. However, how long will the upgrade last? We have had 4 new ground up, locations open in our area over the past 5 years and now you go into them and they are total “S” shows. Shelves are a wreck. Stock all over the aisles. Gapping chasms of no product. They should take the money they are spending on upgrades and get more help, and better ordering systems. Plus, ad hand sanitizers at the outdoor because I always feel I need a shower after leaving.
Yesterday we took note of a KDKA-TV News report that "Giant Eagle will start mailing a new weekly circular to Pittsburgh-area customers next month.
"Giant Eagle moved towards a digital version but announced the return of weekly print ads on Monday, saying they'll be back in mailboxes beginning May 2."
I must admit that I don't understand this move. Sure, there will be some folks who don't/won't/can't access digital versions, but that cohort is shrinking and, I'd guess, is responsible for a diminishing percentage of sales. Print circulars also don't allow for the kind of data-centric targeting that retailers ought to be doing. I'm sure there is a rationale for this move.
One MNB reader responded:
The rationale for this move is pure and simple. Profit center. They can spin it any way they want but print ads are dead. Plus, the general public never reads them anyway. They get used to light the smoker.
We also referenced this week a Washington Post report that Iowa is "poised to approve some of the nation’s harshest restrictions on SNAP. They include asset tests and new eligibility guidelines. By the state’s own estimate, Iowa will need to spend nearly $18 million in administrative costs during the first three years - to take in less federal money. The bill’s backers argue the steps would save the state money long term and cut down on 'SNAP fraud.'
One MNB reader responded:
One of the worst things about Iowa’s bill is the inclusion of “Work Requirements” for some recipients. Ugly echoes of Reagan’s “Welfare Queens” dismissal of poor people. And apropos of “means testing” it also brings to mind Dick Gregory’s comment about Cadillacs - people don’t recognize that that the Cadillac parked at the curb represents 1,000 skipped dinners.
And regarding Netflix's decision to shut down its DVD rental business, one MNB reader wrote:
I never used the Netflix DVD rental. Why? I can go to my local library (remember what they are) and sign out a movie for free. That being said, I don’t have to see the latest and greatest and can wait, so this service was perfect for my family and continues today for my children. Yes, I still read hard copy books too.
Good for you. But for a lot of folks, waiting isn't the preferred option. There's no moral superiority in either position. People are just different.