Author: the kid

The Collapse Of The Traditional Brand Agency – Part 2

“They are the part of our business that is most under pressure as clients shift their budget away from ‘the traditional’ towards ‘the new’ [areas such as digital advertising and marketing technology],” Mark Read, WPP’s new chief executive, has admitted. (

In my last article I wrote about the decline of traditional brand agencies in light of the technical changes of between the 20th and 21st centuries. Since most of use live life on a daily basis our point of view on the changes of society seem extended, drawn out over many years, when really most “eras”, the Jazz Era, the Depression Era, the War Years, the Eisenhower Era, the 50’s the 60’s etc…are really only decades apart, but each stands separate and unique in the eyes of history, like the Renaissance or Ancient Rome. But people who lived in the  60’s but were born in the 50’s didn’t see the changes around them as the beginning or end of an era. It was just life. The only difference was changing trends in fashion, television shows and culture. Moving from Elvis Presley to the Beatles was simply a natural progression if you are a fan of Rock and Roll. These changes were notable, interesting and even exciting but certainly not historical, at least not at the time, but only if you confine yourself to Elvis and the Beatles, If you were born in the 50s chances are you know nothing of the “Big Band Era” or Beethoven during the Napoleonic Era. Historians, Sociologists and even Economics love “Eras” and are always eager to discuss them and expound on them no end, especially if it’s a reflection of the progress we’ve made compared to the past. In other words, we’re enamored of the past BECAUSE it is the past. We seem much less enamored when it is the present. 

DURING an era, the social impact of change becomes noticeable and usually in some unflattering ways. The rise of robotics means wholesale loss of jobs, the rise of technology means the end of manufacturing. In other words, society is ok with change as long as it maintains the status quo. But by its very definition, change cannot maintain the status quo.  So when expressed in the media, the gradual market change from media based brand advertising to digital brand advertising is not a gradual transformation but a “collapse” a “decline” or a “meltdown”. Don’t get me wrong, these effects are real, but as I understand destructive capitalism, aren’t as catastrophic as people make them out to be. (,


 one door opens another closes. Granted it takes time for the pendulum to swing and it’s easy to get caught unprepared for the transition. In my last article I mentioned if major brand agencies cannot make the transition from media to digital they will go the way of the horse and buggy. This may seem unfair, however, consider the following:

In 1900 there were only 4,192 passenger cars built in the US (the only country to be manufacturing cars). There were no buses or trucks.

By the early 1910s, the number of automobiles had surpassed the number of buggies, but their use continued well into the 1920s in out of the way places

The economic turnaround of destructive capitalism today doesn’t seem too different from a hundred years ago, even though the “Internet Era” is supposedly faster, more immediate and, to borrow a phrase from manufacturing…JIT (Just in Time). The industrial and digital revolutions engulfing our lives and the lives of our forefathers took a good deal longer than the  “social” revolutions that took place in the U.S., France or Russia. THOSE were revolutions. 

My point being, The world is changing and will continue to change. As is always the case, some will benefit some will be hurt, who knows if it will be in equal measure or not. All we can do is ask ourselves are we in a better place than we were 100 years ago…200 years ago…1000 years ago? Of course, we are. The trick is to filter out the progress from change. And THAT is what eras are for!

The Collapse Of The Traditional Brand Agency

Why the Traditional Agency Model Is Struggling to Keep Up With Demand (

The great lamentation for the traditional brand agency goes on, as a fixture of the American economy and culture for 150 years, an industry that in the latter half of the 20th century was a global beacon of growth and prosperity.  What happened?

“Traditional agencies and holding companies like WPP are built around solidified structure and a foundation of the siloed legacy model. They are designed for long term client partnerships and marketing plans that often stretch over years. The steady stream of income this provides is essential to their operation.”

I began my career in advertising in the 21st century, but my career in technology began  in the 20th century, for which I am grateful. Technology to me is something much more than writing code or creating gadgets. It is about the endless pursuit of pursuit. Which, when you think about it, is the driving force behind the new “world” economy…and it is new and it is global. How do I know? I personally participated in watching that pursuit to make things smaller, faster, more accurate, more cool, more…whatever. The 20th century was all about certainty, dependability and security…emphasis on security. That’s what it was all about, large independent companies hiring thousands, putting them to work doing useful to fuel the global economy with a never ending supply of consumers to consume all those products being made by the large, independent companies. It was a simple formula and it worked marvelously for awhile. The 20th century was truly the time of “milk and honey”. 

Ironically, it has been technology that has brought all that to an end. Impoverishing some and enriching others. 

Since “technology” is no one particular “thing”, it is hard to pin down exactly what it is. It’s not like a natural resource like diamonds or oil, measured by both its usefulness and quantity.  There’s no scarcity of technology, but is it useful? But when it is useful it is VERY useful and very valuable. But there is a broad gap between the technologies that succeed and those that fail. How do we bridge the ever expanding gap. For that matter “successful’ has taken on a whole new meaning itself.  But I’ll get into that in another article. In the meantime, I can only suggest one simple thing. Be “creative”. Which, of course, “creative” agencies are supposed to be good at. But if only it were that easy.  

My early days in large brand a “techie”.. was odd to say the least. Accounts and Creative never quite understood their “techie” brothers, looking at them across the way wondering if they should feed them or just leave them pecking around the benches looking for pieces of bread. Which is understandable. That huge gulf between the tech haves and have nots is there for a reason. Technology is hard. It takes a lot of curiosity, perseverance and stubbornness to write the simplest programs. Seriously. All you hard core developers know exactly what I mean. To anyone out there, I dare you to sit down at the computer, go to youtube or google “simple programming tutorial”, take your pick of any number of listings, text or video, and go to it. Stick it out all the way through until you have some kind of working application, whatever that may be. Then tell me if it  was in any way “easy”. That’s all I’m asking. Try it, seriously, you will see what I mean. 

Now that’s just the scale of you and me. Multiply that by 1000 and you will see the reason for the collapse of the  traditional brand agency. I don’t know if many of those account people or creatives have or will suffer through the boundless frustration of tackling  even the simplest program. Not that they’re lazy or stupid or unmotivated. Programming is not a hard thing to do because you’re not smart. It’s hard to do because we are human. I hate programming. I hate it with a passion! I’ve been programming since high school. I hated it just as much then.  I’ve always hated it. Why? Because code is just programming logic to a machine. I like to think I’m a highly creative human, very imaginative and, of course, very clever. And every time I write a line of code that comes back “error”, “problem”, “sorry not going to work” I want to scream at the vicious beast for thwarting my brilliance at every turn. 

But eventually I get through. It always takes hours, days or weeks. It’s never a “snap”. Never has been, never will be. But that’s the point. That’s the way ALL agencies, traditional or not, have to look at their business. The 20th century ad agency was about creating ideas and bringing them to life  with video, images and text. The 21st century ad agency has to do the same thing, only in javascript, html and css. If they can’t make THAT transition, then their time simply has come and gone, like horse buggy manufacturers. It’s that simple.

Adtech & Social Networks In Politics

Call for social media adtech to be probed by UK competition watchdog (

There’s an old saying…”Ignorance is bliss”! I’ve always wondered about the validity of that statement. It’s been my experience that ignorance is anything but bliss. It inevitably leads to confusion, anxiety, stress and, if nothing else, MORE ignorance.  Over the last 10 years the role that social networking and programmatic advertising (adtech) has played an increasing role in the election process nationally and internationally. That role is more or less the same as the role radio and television played in electing political candidates in the 20th century; it’s a means of reaching mass audiences with a message or messages from a specific candidate or candidates. Elections are obviously based on numbers so the higher the numbers the further the message goes among the “voters”, whoever, wherever, they may be. Mass media in general is about information, and ideally the more information people have to make choices, whether for which soap to buy or which president to elect, the better choices they make. I said ideally. In reality, in my opinion, life works entirely the opposite way. The less information people have the easier it is for them  make decisions. 

In the book,  Paradox of Choice,  Barry Schwartz argues that eliminating consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers. Autonomy is critical to our well being, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. But thats for buying dish soap and cars. But what about people? Obviously when it comes to elections people still want simple clear cut choices, particularly in the U.S. We feel comfortable with two party systems because they give us a simple clear cut choice…candidate A or candidate B, Whig or Tory, Republican or Democrat?  Political jargon has always paid lip service to “issues” and policy, but most people usually pay little attention to these things. Issues come and o go , some are complex and some are simple. But in general people are swayed simply by what they see and hear. FDR captivated a nation through radio The handsome, charismatic John Kennedy edged out the more experienced but shady looking Dick Nixon in the most famous election of the 20 century. 

But the 21st century  is a different animal altogether. With the advent of social media we no longer make our decisions based on what we hear or what we see, but on what we THINK!. Educated or ignorant, rich or poor, liberal or conservative, old or young, we all have a “profile”. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, whatever, all have a basic footprint of what we like and what we don’t like, what we do and what we don’t do. Tik Tok and Youtube know more about your viewing habits than you do. Why? Because YOU tell them, the active and willing participant in these “social” networks. They are fun. They are interesting. They are entertaining. 

But are they nefarious, manipulative, and mind-controlling? Of course not! Hitler mesmerized an entire nation into mass murder and world war but I don’t see anybody blaming the radio! Hitler succeeded because he was Hitler and the German masses were mesmerized because, for whatever reason, they agreed with what he was saying. Television is loaded with negative images, false statements and pure propaganda, just watch Fox News for a day, but I don’t see anyone rushing to “regulate” it. 

It’s the old “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. I’m not a gun nut and by no means not pro-NRA, but I do know that if all guns magically disappeared from the face of the earth people would STILL find ways to kill each other. They always have and always will. But how do “regulate” people? The simple answer is you CAN’T. There will always be unscrupulous people willing to use any tool necessary to achieve their own goals at the expense of others. In other words, just because Cain slew Abel, do we regulate stones?

Unchartered Territory – Part One





The fundamental building blocks of our universe and pretty much the foundation of what we humans now consider “consciousness”. I stole the notion from Siraj Raval, who’s quickly making quite a name for himself as the international  spokesman for “Artificial Intelligence” and deservedly so. As far as technology goes, AI couldn’t have a better spokesman. But the consciousness part is my own idea. At least I think it is. Having reached the point in my life where I can clearly see the “Big” picture in terms of where I think all this explosion in technology is taking us and where we as humans need to go if we are all to survive and prosper. Being an optimist I can only anticipate the panacea of good that we would like to forecast for the future of humankind; being a pessimist, any tool that others can use to subvert and control others WILL be used to subvert and control others. As always the two go hand-in-hand. The only difference between the two is in how each of us, in our own personal lives on a daily basis, deal with that. Salvation and Temptation are always side-by-side.

But back to the matter at hand. A long unanswered question has been what is “consciousness”? It’s more than being awake, but less than being all-knowing. “Incognito ergo sum”…seems to be the closest we can get to so far.  But let’s Screen Shot 2019-03-22 at 3.32.11 PMbreak it down. Atoms are the basic building blocks of all matter. Everything we taste, touch and feel is made up of atoms. Our entire universe is made up of atoms. We can quibble about subatomic physics but this is not what this all about. So moving right along… next come genes, the building blocks of life itself. Everything we ARE. From a computer scientists’ point of view, the most remarkable data store in the universe. A single microscopic strand of amino-acids can contain trillions of bytes of information

Ah and there the last and final piece…the byte, the building block of that ever increasing digital world we find ourselves buried in.. up to the neck. Apparently being the dominant force what we “incognito” and in doing-so, eventually shaping our “sum” as well. And here we are…the 21st century, where these 3 fundamental building blocks are coming together to either elevate all of humankind or ultimately bring it down…only more time will tell. But we are where we are right now at that’s a world rapidly getting lost in a SEA of information… correction, all seven seas and the major oceans as well…and it’s just beginning. More to come…


The Right Business Model for Blockchain

Why is this so hard to get right?

Here we go again. When the business world, and especially the Western business establishment, engulfed in its own media based hypertension, smells a good deal in the air, the world turns into one great big gold rush. Whether that was the Internet as it once was 30 years ago or now with blockchain technology, being both sought after and reviled at the same time, the same pattern is reemerging. Since the “Bitcoin Affair” last year where the value of Bitcoin with through the roof (… and to this day no one really knows why) and fell just as dramatically, the quaint notion of a “Bitcoin Billionaire” has entered the business lexicon of America if not the entire world. As block-chainsuch there are more buzzwords, hype, paid-for drama and nonsense around cryptocurrency than common sense, practical and  useful applications. When you get right down to it…we’re not talking about gold or silver, soybeans or crude oil here, this is just another form of technology. JUST technology. It’s not going to cure a rainy day or cause a flower to bloom, but as we all know, technology can be a pretty handy thing, however, it’s still up to humans to put it to good use.

Almost 30 years ago, a new “technology” entered the scene call the Internet. The Internet had existed for quite awhile but it wasn’t until it was available for commercial uses, that it became the darling of Wall Street via the infamous “Netscape” IPO. Thus the quaint notion of “Internet  Billionaires” was born and an hysteria similar todays “crypto-madness” took hold of the business world and everybody and their mothers suddenly had a “”…raising millions of dollars from investors and ready to go public any minute. Seriously, there is practically no difference between then and now. None. Everyone wanted in on the deal but no one at that time really knew what the “deal” was!

Look at it this way, if you’re a shoe maker and you create a site, “”, what  exactly does that mean? Does help make betters shoes, sell more shoes, increase interest in shoes? Valid questions and ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????almost always ignored. Why did all that matter if you had a big office, a few million in funding and Goldman Sachs to underwrite your IPO? Seriously this was about as close to a business model  most dot coms got to regardless of what they wrote in the “official” brochures and reports. What all the financial experts didn’t seem to notice was that Netscape, itself, the IPO that started all this frenzy, was not a “”, per se. It was a technology company who developed a useful  browser and  at the time a popular one. This was a time when HTML based technology was crude by today’s standards and accessing the Internet at all was a pretty big deal. Basically, the Internet wouldn’t be of much commercial value if people couldn’t use it. Netscape helped people do just that, find sites, organize bookmarks, etc., and was a pretty big deal in the “early days” of the Internet.

In other words, the success of the “Netscape” IPO was because it provided an actual product that people could use on a daily basis, en masse, providing true value…the necessary ingredients you find in any business school course. But for some reason, when people think of “value” and “money”…money is almost always the only thing people hear. So the bubble grew enormously until the bubble burst and everyone was disappointed and far more money was lost than gained. So it goes…

But a few of the more infamous,  “Dot.coms” survived because their vision was a little different; some of these dotcom_bubble“visionaries” saw that true business advantage of a network the size of the Internet was the size of the Internet; they saw economies of scale, ie, the bigger the better… Amazon, Google and, eventually, Facebook..they are all about the numbers and how many they can get their greedy little hands on. The rest is history.

But this article isn’t just about history it’s about the future and the way the past has a habit of repeating itself. Again, when it comes to blockchain business models I have seen examples of blockchains, replacing, imitating, supplementing…etc., all kinds of products and services, in other words, trying to “fit-in” into old business models that people are comfortable with, but not really realizing any real value simply due to the technology polar-bearitself.  To unlock the power of the blockchain is to let the blockchain BE the blockchain but to scale. The real value of the  blockchain is its immutability. That should be more than enough if enough people use it simply for that. Let’s put it this way, we can  try to teach a polar bear to ride a bicycle. Neither one really adds “value” to the other, unless you’re into that sort of thing. A bicycle is funny when you see a polar bear riding it, but its true purpose is transportation, getting from point A to point B. There’s a lot of people in the world that just want to do that, far more than polar bears do!  We need to let blockchain do what it does best and not concentration on making something else  “better”…

The Age of Adtech “Quants” – Part One

As the ” mystification” of technology continues as we also grow ever more reliant on it, the real ” Digital Gap” is no longer who has access to technology and who doesn’t but who UNDERSTANDS it and who doesn’t. And believe me, that gap is getting greater and greater every day.

I’ve been in technology almost 30 years now, the last 15 in advertising alone and there’s always been a ” gap” between those who don’t know (managers) and those that do (programmers), but back in the old days managers had the decided advantage. who-knowsProgrammers were the willing slaves to business, a ” cost center” to keep the computers running. The ” tech guy” you called when you needed software installed on your PC.

But now it is the  21st century and technology has made a full swing from ” cost center” to ” profit center” and as large businesses continue to shrink and small businesses continue to grow because of the one buzzword everyone around the world knows and understands…technology. Our finance, media, advertising and now even retail, are all technology driven. Computers talking to other computers. Programs talking to other programs with only the programmer in between that knows what actually is going on between all those electrons, even though the effects, as proven by the financial industry fiascos, everyone on the planet in some way or another.

In so saying, the status of ” programmer” has skyrocketed from lowly nerd with a pocket protector to near god-like status.  Big business needs and embraces technology in all of its forms. Using advertising as an example:

” Reasons Hackers Build Adtech: See opportunities for better automation and more efficiency; to scale existing, inefficient business models; to disrupt agencies or existing products with fat margins and low quality or weak competitive advantages (

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Using programmatic advertising as an example you can wade knee-deep in all this jargon for years to come and still have now idea how any of this actually works. In other words, what to do programmers ACTUALLY do?! Without going into too much detail, they simply tell computers what to do, in multiple languages in multiple ways. All programs take data (data can be just about anything), do something with it, and spit something out, either to a person or another computer. In short, that’s pretty much it. But the magic is in HOW they do it..after all computers are just dumb machines really. In the end it is the human imagination that determines what goes in and what comes out. The ” HOW” , in computer terms, is called algorithms. Algorithms are the secret sauce. The Magic!

Algorithms are usually based on theoretical mathematical concepts that have been ” proven” . That is, we can prove mathematically that if you put in X you will always get Y, EVERY time and that’s what makes them so valuable. Most of these algorithms (and their proofs) have been floating around academia for decades and more are being ” created” every day. Some are obscure, many unfathomable to the ” common” man, and sometimes beyond the reach of even the ” common” programmer. Hence, the need for ” Quants” . Originally, associated with Wall Street, Quants, if not everywhere now, soon will be. Or, at least, they’ll be in great demand.

6 Months Later

I was a fairly early adopter of LinkedIn, joining I believe way back in 2008. Ten Years ago I thought it was cool to leave an on-line ” resume” on the web just to save myself the trouble of having to send it to people and, in fact, it was also a good way to stay in touch with other people I met professionally or personally. This was long before Facebook, as for me, but I’m not writing this article as a tribute to LinkedIn, I’m writing it as proof to myself, that the topic I’m trying to convey is very real. 

In January 2015, the Roosevelt Institute gathered 30 experts and practitioners in technology, education, finance, and economics to discuss the next American economy. We asked them what they would do today to ensure a good economy 25 years from now and published a selection of their answers – ranging… (

Because I’ve been on LinkedIn for so long, I have a tendency to take it for granted. Even though its become one of the Net’s so-called ” unicorns” , I used it more to find out where other people worked, not so much as a site to build my OWN career. But as years have passed a new generation, of course, comes along and decides you can’t HAVE a career unless you’re on LinkedIn. But thats not what I’m writing about either. I just reread the article I wrote 6 months ago, mostly as a test to see how well LinkedIn’s ” User Graph” worked with ” inbound” content. I’ve been writing articles for years…for my blog, other people’s blogs, sometimes just for the fun of it. But I also work in digital advertising. I want to see what it takes and what tools I have to not just create content, but create an audience for it. 

My first article was not a blockbuster, I only wrote about the block chain because that was what was on my mind at the time. Of that 13 people read it and 2 people liked it. That may not seem remarkable but it actually surprised me. I expected maybe a head hunter or two, killing time before heading out to ” cocktail hour” . But to my surprise the likes were from old friends that I highly respect and admire, but for some reason, I haven’t been in touch with for quite awhile. Too long.

Realizing that, as far as I’m concerned, LinkedIn is reaching its full potential as a way to ” keep in touch” , with both friends and complete strangers. So with that being said, I’m more than willing to share whats on MY mind. To that end, let me focus on a theme that both friends AND strangers should find compelling…the Age of Innovation. Innovation has always been a sign of humankind’s ” progress” , but not like its going to be in this century. We’re almost ready to make the ” Big Leap” . I don’t use the word ” almost ” lightly. After all, although there are some remnants (mostly bad) of 20th century ” thinking” , as I wrote in my last article, 2018 is pretty much the same as 1918, all the sweeping changes of the next 80 years were in their infancy, but everyone knew, in one way or another, they were coming. 

Stay tuned for part 2…

To this end, it is imperative that the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission abandon the outdated dogma espoused by scholars and jurists of the “Chicago School,” which holds consumer welfare as the sole metric by which proposed mergers should be evaluated. (

Firstly I would make this point very clear that technology is not the solution to 21st century education, technology is simply a tool to aid education and learning, also technology should not be told as a separate schools subject, but as a tool, technology should be used in all classrooms. (

It is based more on smart support for the building blocks of innovation and entrepreneurship — and less on capital accumulation, budget surpluses or social spending. (

This new economic doctrine on the block — called “innovation economics” — reformulates the traditional model of economic growth so that knowledge, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation are positioned at the center of the model — rather than seen as independent forces that are largely unaffected by policy. (

Innovation economics — also called “new institutional economics,” “new growth economics,” “endogenous growth theory,” “evolutionary economics” and “neo-Schumpeterian economics” — is based on two fundamental tenets. (

In contrast, “innovation economics” recognizes the reality that a global, knowledge-based economy requires a new approach to national economic policy based less on capital accumulation, budget surpluses, or social spending and more on smart support for the building blocks of private sector growth and innovation. (

The End of the Year, the End of an Era…

boogie-manJust read an article on how big British banks no longer consider the blockchain the “boogie-man” but now it’s the savior of the industry. With that comes the death knell not only for the old way of doing business but but for the 20th century as whole, all wrapped up neatly the way the 19th century was a million miles away in 1918. But that change took a cataclysmic war to finally drive the stake through the heart of monarchies, institutionalized colonization and extreme wealth disparity. The 20th century wrought the Roosevelt Republic, worker unions, cheap electricity and the “Age of Oil”. Well, those are pretty much gone too, and with the exception of income disparity, the slate is being wiped clean. A new beginning awaits. And like anything age-of-oilunknown it breeds both apprehension and hope at the very same time.

In this case, because of our culture’s irrational insistence that technology is akin to magic or the will of the gods, “Bitcoin”, “blockchain”, “digital-currency” stir more emotions than the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.. My guess is that was pretty much the same reaction when man discovered how to harness fire. Yes, this simple blockchain technology has the power to propel humankind to the “next level” and its not nearly as complicated as everybody believes it to be. But I’ll get into that later.

The article struck me in particular because of its hubris. Rather than admit the current world-wide financial structure has failed, the banks (or the aritcle, at least) take the stance that the chain is prometheusbeing adopted only to “reduce costs” and are trying their best to find a way to fit it into the “old” system. Whenever a disruptive technology comes along, whoever is safe guarding the current status quo goes through the same process as a someone with a terminal illness; first, denial, then anger, then a dull aching acceptance. That’s when some people resign gracefully, some go on a bucket list, some do whatever they can to finish the string on their own terms. But the difference here is that this time it’s not terminal. Finance, money, wealth and the institutions that created it and supported it for the last 500 years are not going to die. But they will be reborn. The blockchain is not a death knell but an alarm clock. It’s time to wake up. Fully adopted, it will allow banks to process payments faster and more accurately, while reducing transaction execution costs and the requirement for exceptions.

Fans of block technology believe that it can be used to create a safe and convenient alternative to time-consuming and costly banking processes. Theoretically, agile startups could build software based on block protocol, hoping to provide a safer, quicker, cheaper and more transparent big-banksalternative to traditional financial intermediaries such as banks, brokers and complex billing processes. There are, of course, many potential applications of block technologies, including the fight against identity and money laundering fraud, the improvement of knowledge-based and collaborative systems with customers and the acceleration of cross-border payments, L/C procedures and lending.

In short, the Blockchain is our friend not our foe. However, it does change the rules. The way we view money now is based on the capitalist theory of financial Darwinism, survival of the “fittest”.., i.e., to the victor go the spoils. In other words, if someone makes money, someone must lose money in a sort of zero-sum game. That’s what creates the competitiveness that drives innovation. It’s also what drives the greed, inhumanity and mean-spiritedness often associated with the current “financial markets”. Alas, greedthese are not the faults in the system but faults that are in ourselves. Its people that are greedy, inhumane and mean-spirited…not money. The blockchain quietly removes the “human” factor and lets the power of mathematics take the reins.
Central banks around the world are exploring the possibility of moving some of their payment systems to block technology or even to use it to launch the digital currency. Money, after all, is really just a man-made “trust” system. Trust is intangible but essential for any human being to live as a human being. It is up to each of us to make trust, our own and others “tangible”.

Are we as a species ready to but our trust in a decentralized system based entirely on mathematics. It’s certainly easier than trusting other human beings. In finance as new ideas emerge, expect banks and related intermediaries to agree on common standards, with regulatory support, for sharing the costs of building the blockchain, whether it uses existing infrastructure or not. Post-trade settlement for a wide range of securities, including syndicated bank loans, is one of the most commonly discussed potential cases of block technology..

It is therefore another way for the back-office of banks to use the cooperationblockchain to increase the speed and efficiency of settlement systems, while the clearing coin allows banks to transfer value and assets without having to wait for a long time, as is currently the case for traditional methods. The biggest key to translating the blocking potential into reality is the cooperation of banks in order to create the necessary network for supporting global payments.

However, as in the case of trade finance, it says that the block technology itself will not solve all the problems related to the failure of the current financial systems.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker…

Matchmaker, Matchmaker make me a match! There is a new wave of technology waiting to explode onto the world. We’re already familiar with it to some degree, especially the hard core “geeks” who write all these programs that are rapidly taking over the world. Anyone that calls themselves a programmer cannot function without a good string “matching” function in their favorite text editer. In this case, “strings” of letters and characters  that can be found among thousands of lines of loversotherwise indecipherable code.  But you don’t have to be a programmer to exploit this particular technology. Every time you type into that simple Google search box the process begins. Behind that little white box is a “black box” of code, algorithms and mathematics to match your quest with information, images, videos, whatever, from all over the globe, 24 hours a day. But the most familiar applications of  match making are the good old dating sites…eHarmony,, OKCupid, Ourtime… all wildly successful for bringing hopeful A together with lonely B. Before these sites, if people couldn’t “match” up face to face (God forbid) then they had to rely on hours and hours of Craigslist “personals”. Even further back, during the technical Dark Ages before the Internet, this laborious task would have to be done scouring through local newspapers, if not local bars! The hit or miss of an SBM searching  for a WJW for some frisky RNR was a risky proposition at best! Now, however, the “Secret Sauce” these dating sites provide all but takes the risk out of it, provided of course your match isn’t using a 20 year old photograph taking during “better” days. Well you can’t remove all the risks!

The point is, the boom of matching technology is moving beyond bringing A and B together for love, romance and “other things”.  The “Secret Sauce” is actually based on deterministic mathematical proofs that can be programmed and predicted. Ironically, one such algorithm is known as the

“Stable Marriage” theorem ( This can explain some of the success of the dating sites. In other words, the”Secret Sauce” actually works! But these same algorithms need not be restricted to dating sites. Now we can match you with your new home or apartment ( or even which hospital aspiring doctors should do their internships and residencies ( And even more infamously, Wall Street, where “programmatic trading” has been the cause of many a fortune won and many a fortune lost. But the newest and most rapidly changing frontier is, yes, you guessed it.. advertising! In my previous article on “programmatic advertising”  ( I talked about the rising trend of letting computers do all the hard work of advertising on computers. Makes sense but computers are computers. They can only display ads not react to them. rtbThis is still the realm of humans and much to the relief of many humans who have built careers in advertising, computers aren’t ready to take over just yet. There still has to be a “human” factor added to the infamous, automated RTB (Real Time Bidding) that’s taking the industry by storm. That factor is the appeal of content being matched with the  pocket books of the advertiser. Some of this is automated, of course, that’s the point of programmatic advertising, but humans still have to make SOME choices. What networks to use, what kind of audience is being sought, how much money should be spent.  But so far, programmatic advertising seems more concerned with advertisers and publishers than about us, the consumer.

Lets step back a little bit. It is no coincidence, that a few of the same names that started out on Wall Street developing algorithms for programmatic trading have found themselves pioneering programmatic advertising but with tradingone major difference. Financial markets are seen as “zero-sum”, i.e.,  if there is $10 on the table if that $10 goes to me it does not go to someone else. In other words, if I win, someone else loses. There’s been a lot of angst and worry inside the industry, especially among “traditional” advertising agencies that “programmatic” also means zero-sum. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. I see programmatic advertising as a powerfully synergetic force…almost frighteningly so. Put it this way, I am a publisher, I have “content/audience”… advertisers want to reach my audience through my content and I want those advertising dollars to fuel my content to build my audience. A win-win situation you say? Perhaps. But what about the poor consumer already inundated with thousands of ads, solicitations and annoying offers! Argh!
I’m Joe Consumer, what does “programmatic” mean to me? I do a quick search one day on an expensive watch just to see how expensive expensive can be. I have absolutely no intention of watchactually buying the thing (unless my startup is about to go IPO, of course). But for the next few days, whenever I’m on Twitter or Facebook or another digital “Ad” network which is flavored by someone’s “secret sauce”, I’m inundated by ads for Expensivo watches. How annoying and creepy! Until I realize I want to buy a writing stylus for my trusty Ipad which, by the way, are not sold by Apple. Darn…where do you buy these things? Hmm…let me do a quick search for “Ipad writing stylus”… All my options come up as usual, now I can take my pick… or not. What’s the rush… over the next few days, providing the “secret sauce” is working,  I only need to do what I usually do on Facebook, Twitter and styluswhat have you. Stylus ads start popping up all over the place.

In other words, ads aren’t so bad if they’re ads I actually want to see. Mind you, I still wouldn’t mind an “off” button, but even I have to admit I find ads for products I’m genuinely interested in much less annoying than the thousands I’m not. I’m also still no fan of boundless commercialism but as long as we live in a consumer society I don’t mind having my own choices as to  what I consume and just as importantly…where I can go to consume them.