Thing 22 of 30: Act like there is no tomorrow

September is 30 things I would implement or consider implementing at my credit union if I was a credit union leader.

Thing 22: Act like there is no tomorrow

Have you noticed that things are changing pretty fast? That the status quo gets you nowhere? Did you know that technology is changing everything and putting the consumer in charge of every facet of their lives?

Established service industries are being turned on their heads. Here's a few examples:

  • The Internet has all but killed the printed daily newspaper business. The publishing titans did not see that coming.
  • The iTunes Store has changed the way consumers buy music. Record stores are gone. iTunes is now the #1 music retailer in the world. It has no physical presence and it did not exist five years ago. The recording industry did not see that coming.
  • Netflix is doing the same thing to the movie rental business. I'll bet Blockbuster did not see that coming.
  • Tivo has changed the way we consume television. The traditional 'Madison Avenue' ad agencies did not see that coming and have yet to adapt from the 30-second (skippable) spot mentality.
  • The Amazon Kindle is attempting to do the same thing to the book publishing industry. I'll bet the print industry didn't see that coming.

If anything, history repeats itself. Old business models don't last forever. It's ironic that credit unions are celebrating 100 years of history. And in all of this celebration of the past, there is very little talk of the future.

There was an event held in New York yesterday called Finovate2009. About 50 companies gave seven-minute demos of their products.


That's about 50 companies all thinking and doing something about the future. About 50 companies all trying to be the iTunes that sets the traditional banking industry on its head. Where were the credit unions? Here is a Twitter search to read the real-time buzz from yesterday.

The irony of Finovate 2009 was that the best of show winner was Kasasa. (read Kasasa: A third-party national checking brand on the Financial Brand for a really good overview). Kasasa is reinventing the most basic of financial products—the checking account. The very domain of the credit union. What they have done is revolutionary. And simple. And awesome.

If I was the leader of a credit union, I would remember the past but I would spend way more time thinking about the future and less time sitting on our laurels.

UPDATE: Morriss Partee added a video link in the comments. It proves the point so well, that I have embedded it below.


22 days has September?

Thing 21 of 30: Implement a white-label PFM