the Jenga Economy

The economy has been a like game, one where people have built up an interwoven, towering system, full of money, profit and excess. It starts with a small Tower, filled with resources. Each player takes turns, removing resources without regard to the overall system. They reinvest what they have taken, to make that tower bigger with the goal to create the biggest empire possible. Sounds fun yeah? The Tower is growing, people are making money, everyone is happy. The only thing the players see is that growing Tower of wealth, and even though its right in front of their faces, its foundation is becoming weaker and weaker. They have selfishly used all the resources without regard to the overall system. Something about the game won’t let them stop, many could walk away rich but the game entices them to keep going. In the end, it all comes crashing down. Everything was dependent on each other…and everyone is out. Remind you of Jenga? Let’s hope there wont be a Jenga Environment that comes crashing down on us as well. So what to do? Fortunately, there’s hope with President Obama in office. People on the top floor of that Tower, all now hangin’ with everyone, at the bottom. So time to band together and rebuild, collectively as one. From Barack’s inauguration, “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.” Thanks to Dan Clements for the conversation that led to the jenga analogy.

wow, you cant make up stuff like this

Reading a few more articles in the WSJ, I came across this one about the Honda Fit. The article challenges Americans to see if they really need big, fat trucks and SUV’s. The article was fine, but the first post back was the entertaining bit. Here it is:

“There is no “one size fits all” auto out there. Some people need GM trucks or SUV’s because they haul something for go camping or live in areas where it’s snows. I’ve had a small car before and you are very limited on what you can do with them. If you buy something large at the mall, you have to call a friend with a GM truck or suv to pick it up from the store.

So the Fit gets 36mpg and you are forgot to say oil is trading at $46. The 15mpg SUV you must have tried is the Toyota which gets around 16mpg and uses premium gas. Stick with American autos and you get better MPG readings and better quality. Something a quality article would have mentioned.”

I buy large stuff at Malls like this all the time, I think I need a truck to take that roller coaster home, nuff said.

Not what I expected from Ford

or actually, maybe this is what I should have expected from one of our Triumphant Trios from Detroit.

Heres the article from the WSJ about how Ford is going to appeal to consumers with self parking cars.

In summary, Ford is using technology similar to the Lexus self parking system. They are planning to put this into nice, big Lincolns, a sedan and a Cross Over vehicle. (BTW, is the word “cross over” attempting to trick us consumers into thinking that the SUV is dead and the car companies are offering up a great new thing?) Anyhow, I guess auto parking makes sense since big ass cars are so hard to park. According to the WSJ writer, Mullaly thinks this will cast Ford in a more favorable light. Uh Ok, I see Ford in a new light now and its darker than ever.

Adding more money, more technology, for a “low on the list” feature just doesn’t seem right…give us consumers something that has meaning and value, especially in an economy that has people re-evaluating their priorities in life. Ford may have dumped their stable of private jets, but their priorities sure don’t seem aligned to what’s happening with the rest of the world.

WTF: this stinks!

Upon first sight, one might look at this say, “WTF?!” that’s what I said. Then you learn about what this does, and find out it’s a USB odor eater, then you add, NS! (No Shit). Note that Digiscent made this way done back in 2000 so this was on the leading edge of stupid USB devices, but realize that Digiscent never got this into production, for better or worse. Go to CES, or just look in the monthly Skymall and you’ll find all kinds of weird USB devices, we have beer coolers and mini fans, so is the idea of the DigiScent really that stupid? Yes it was, well the design certainly was.

Here’s how a little marketing and design might change your thinking. Check out this little device I found in a catalog. (note, the design is still pretty bad, but the new form factor may give some life to this idea) It’s a small USB device that works pretty much like one of those heated glade room fresheners. Ok, its still a little stupid especially if you’re not into weird smelling room fresheners. But this one states, “small and portable, great for any small spaces, smoky hotel rooms, offices, and cubicles. Each ScentStick lasts about 4-5 days and can be easily refilled…”. Here’s the ScentStick, it looks small, like a normal USB stick and very portable. Considering that I just back from a really smelly “non smoking” room in a hotel, hmmmm maybe.

They also describe their scents as being subtle; they claim the scent has the effect of a candle and not your standard, overpowering household sprays. And finally, they make a green claim in that there’s minimal waste. You keep the main USB Stick and recycle the refills that are aluminum CO2 like cartridges. Compared to the Digiscent, the ScentStick almost makes scents. (had to say it!) And this is mostly because of the small, portable form factor. So change your mind about a USB odor eater yet? Maybe, maybe not, but you gotta admit that this iteration does make this product a lot more palatable.

And since were on stupid USB products, lets add to the list, how about: A USB “cooling” pad to keep those hot laptops cool and prevent your thighs from burning up. Wanna look good for the meeting, get a USB nose hair trimmer combined with Apple’s mirror widget, then you can clean up your clippings with a USB vacuum, to get all the stuff out of your keyboard. Btw, the ScentStick is fake, but the DigiScent thing was real, at least in prototype form.