All posts by mallagher

Facilitation is the New Plastics

Remember that great line from the film “The Graduate”?  If you forgot, I have embedded the scene below. Enjoy!

The core idea from that scene is that connecting to a single product or service (plastics) would guarantee a great future to an ambitious  young man. The irony, of course, is that the young man in question (Ben) was not ambitious in the traditional sense. He was ambitous in a totally new sense that the older generatoindid not understand.

But if you think about it, plastics have been an amazing growth industry. While this is not great for the environment, and perhaps not even for our health, plastics are everywhere. We live in a plastic world.

Which leads me to a question. Is there a new key niche that might define value added in our current period? I think there is. The word is facilitation. It is not a physical thing. But facilitation is the magic sauce for reducing “friction” in markets and accelerating innovation.

Need an example of how this affects markets? Consider the market growth of “urban warehouses”. These facilitate “just in time” “last mile” delivery.

Here is another example. IT used to be a tool that enabled managers to better track business performance. IT is now a facilitator to develop new business models.

Got it? Now enjoy Dustin Hoffman!

Trump’s Tipping Point

Something has changed.

Before, Donald Trump could claim that he was a political force. He could claim that his opinions mattered. You might disagree with him, but you had to pay attention to him.

Then came the congressional fiasco over repealing and replacing Obamacare. In that period, it became obvious to political insiders that Trump had no clue what he was doing or talking about. He was caught out as useless in the debate.

Then came Charlottesville. Trump failed to realize that his reaction to the violence would be a test of whether he was out of touch with the national mood. He failed that test.

And now he is getting roasted alive in the media.

Unlike earlier criticism, this roasting is affecting Trump’s core support. In other words, we are watching Trump disintegrate as a political phenomenon. In my view, it is just a matter of time now when he exits the stage. That may be by resignation, by impeachment, or by withdrawal from public view. But his involvement in political debate is basically over. He is politically toxic.

So, we are in the third and final act of the Trump melodrama. Let’s hope that when the play ends, we can move on to something more constructive. And it will end soon.

Thinking about Jerry Lewis

You have to be of a certain age to remember Jerry Lewis in his prime. Back in the 1950’s and early 1960’s Lewis was a comedic star. His ability to take on different less than genius personalities for comedic effect was called genius.

Since then, we have seen many other comedians perform this way. Peter Sellers, Jonathon Winters, Gene Wilder, Robin Williams and Steve Martin to name but a few. Each has brought out a similar sort of manic lunacy that was the trademark of Lewis.

But Lewis belonged to an earlier age. His characters embodied a certain childlike innocence that was popular in the 1950’s but that started to look old fashioned as the swinging sixties blasted off. And so, Lewis fell out of favor. He hung around, but no longer got the recognition that he thought he deserved.

Ah well! It was great while it lasted.

Shock! Millennials Don’t Like Napkins!

Yes, it is indeed August, that time of the year when you get silly “news”. My favorite of this month is from BI – an article that lists the various things that millennials don’t like – including but not limited to … drum roll please … napkins.  Napkins? Yes,

It appears that boobs and beer are also on the endangered list!  This statistic might surprise you

People from the age of 18 to 24 are 19% less likely to search for breasts on pornographic website Pornhub compared to all other age groups, according to an analysis conducted by the website.

And this

Beer … lost 10% of market share to wine and hard liquor from 2006 to 2016.

 Add to the list golf, motorcylces, bars of soap and more!  Just what is the world coming to!

Told any Good Stories Recently?

We are all natural story tellers. We learn the skills that we need to tell stories at a very early age. And we use those skills in situations where it feels appropriate to do so. That, btw, is why most of us have difficulty sitting down and writing out a story.  Sitting down and writing out a story is not one of those situations And that can be frustrating if we feel the urge to write.

We can make this much easier for ourselves by understanding why story telling works. By learning what gives stories their value. This video gets into that issue, and is worth a look see. Enjoy!

Paris: The Return of the Brasseries!

BI informs us that

Unfortunately, brasseries—informal restaurants where iconic French dishes are served alongside a wide selection of drinks—have fallen off the to-do lists of traveling foodies in recent years, who now gravitate towards the city’s chic bistros, wine bars, and even the rising street food scene.

Hmmm …  I am glad to know that not all is lost. Here is a list of a few brasseries that merit a place on a foodie’s to do list.