Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Relying Upon The Inherent Failures - Dangerous Dependencies

Share this ARTICLE with your colleagues on LinkedIn .

Dependencies on monopolistic suppliers or territorial "sole source" (usually by government license or grant and ineffectively regulated by some "consumer protection" agency or other regulatory body) have become increasingly commonplace. We are dependent upon companies such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, cable service providers, and a host of others to provide both our businesses and our families with services upon which we have become completely rely.

By rough analogy, we are like addicts, dependent upon their reliability (no outages, no downtime, no reduction in service), and their generosity; in fact, entire businesses built upon web hosting, blogging, and other free or cost-minimal platforms or services (at present) would instantly be crippled if their hosts were suddenly to begin pricing their services based upon our demand and dependency. This is a nightmarish futurescape scenario which I have continually warned my readers about in The Global Futurist.

But what is even more frightening than this growing vulnerability to a relatively small number of companies and technologies which have become inextricably interwoven into our culture (i.e., your friendly and indispensable iPhone or Droid, or your FaceBook social chronology and contact list) is our supplier-side exposure to companies which are either inherently unprofitable (most major US airlines), or which are reliant upon bailouts to cover their gambling losses (the world's largest banking/brokerage firms). At some point, inherently unprofitable or chronically irresponsible businesses become a drain on entire economies --- so much so, that they become perceived as enemies of the people.

The American Airlines letter (with some redactions) appeared in my inbox several hours ago. It sends out a much more ominous message than what was probably intended [reassurance and comfort]. It has reached a point in the evolution of the global economy where the increase in both the frequency and diversity of sources/senders of these letters is becoming more and more indicative of the kind of patronizing overcompensation that makes one feel an eerie sense of insecurity.

Listen to your instincts and intuition -- diversify your sources of supply, avoid those that are constantly seeking protection through bankruptcy and court intervention, avoid those that are deemed by feeble government proclamation as being too big to fail, and start looking to build your portfolio of small- to mid-sized competitively-oriented suppliers.

It would be interesting to gather some statistics on the influx of deposit relationships which have migrated from, say, Bank Of America, to local banks and credit unions which provide some level of customer service to their patrons, instead of threats to increase charges and reduce the level of service. It's a bit too early to render those statistics, but I'll bet that your intuition will tell you the direction of the trend...

Enjoy the "comforting" letter which follows:

AAdvantage®American Airlines / AA.com®

pipe separatorpipe separatorpipe separator

Dear AAdvantage® Member,

As you may know, on Tuesday, November 29, American Airlines filed for reorganization under Chapter 11. We took this action as part of our efforts to secure our long-term success in delivering the highest standards in air travel. We are committed to meeting your travel needs with outstanding customer service and safety, and it will be business as usual at American throughout our reorganization process. More than 80,000 people at American appreciate your loyalty and look forward to continuing to serve you.

We want to assure you that your AAdvantage® miles are secure. The AAdvantage miles that you've earned are yours and will stay yours, subject to usual policies, until you choose to redeem them for a great award with us. Likewise, your elite qualifying miles and your elite status, including lifetime status granted under the Million MilerSM program is secure and remains intact. You will continue to earn miles through all our existing AAdvantage participating companies and you will be able to redeem those miles for the same great awards — flights, upgrades, car rentals and hotels just to name a few. And, throughout the coming year, we will be adding even more opportunities to earn miles, as well as new ways to redeem those miles.

American is honoring all tickets and reservations as usual, and making normal refunds and exchanges. And, we intend to maintain a strong presence in domestic and international markets. As we and all airlines routinely do, we will continue to evaluate our operations and service, assuring that our network is as efficient and productive as possible. Additionally, relationships with our oneworld Alliance and other codeshare partners are continuing to provide you with opportunities to earn and redeem miles for travel to hundreds of destinations worldwide, and we are honoring all tickets and reservations for travel on our partner airlines as usual. For information about American's reorganization process, please visit AA.com/restructuring.

Even more importantly, we remain committed to providing a superior customer experience with a focus on delivering what our customers value most — the newest fleet with our upcoming aircraft deliveries, network strength in the important cities of the world and world-class products, service and technology.

American Airlines has a proud history, and we will have a successful future. All of us on the American team thank you for your loyalty and we look forward to welcoming you aboard soon.


Maya Leibman
Maya Leibman
President — AAdvantage Loyalty Program 

The idea is not to bite the hand that feeds us; no, it is to seek out more choices, greater diversification, and to avoid awarding our business (without a fair negotiation or battle) to those who abuse us under the guise of protecting us. As leaders, managers, planners, project managers and decision-makers... as heads of families and households, and as Human Beings, we are obligated to gain fair leverage over our sources of supply, lest they enslave us.

It is sad to think that some readers will regard what I have proposed as activism.

I believe that I am just being an advocate of responsibility, independence and basic pragmatism.

Douglas E. Castle [http://aboutDouglasCastle.blogspot.com]

Blogs And RSS Feeds
by Douglas E Castle

Share this page

No comments:

Bookmark and Share