Showing posts from July, 2019

You are go, now dance the skies

The PBS documentary “Apollo’s daring mission” explains how the Apollo 8 mission was changed because the US and NASA feared that the USSR would beat them on a mission to the moon. So they changed the mission objective of Apollo 8 with the aim to fly to the moon, do 10 orbits and return to earth. What the documentary rightly makes clear is that this was in fact the first time ever in human history that humans left the earth. In the documentary, Michael Collins (who would later become the moon orbiting crew-member of Apollo 11) lamants the mundane mission milestone names that NASA created. In this case, the significant maneuver to go to the moon had been called TLI (which stands for Trans Lunar Injection) and his regret was that instead of confirming TLI he would have rather cited the beginning of a poem by a 2nd world war fighter pilot John Gillespie Magee- which starts like this: “ Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies ...” You might think what

Will Libra change the world?

I have some history with this – no, not directly but I’ve been researching the various attempts that Facebook made in order to enable their user base to make person to person as well commercial payments. I could be wrong but none of these efforts seemed to have panned out for Facebook. Case in point, Facebook has had an  e-money license  for their Irish and Spanish subsidiaries for nearly three years – this licenses are in theory “passportable” throughout Europe which would have given Facebook the opportunity to offer some form of payment service throughout the EU. I’ve known of some implementations in France and the UK but never anything that would have enabled them to go cross-border. In other words, Facebook has had to deal with the same payment fragmentation landscape in Europe and elsewhere than the rest of us. When Facebook officially threw in the towel by  shutting down  the P2P payment service on its messenger platform, I knew this was ominous. On the other hand, and like

I paid my barber online

It finally happened, I made an online reservation and saw a payment option for my barber. So I paid my barber before getting service. Of course you can ask yourself would I have done that had I not known the barber in question. But afterwards, I realized that we are doing this already. For example, sometimes we pay for our trips in advance without knowing the hotel. So we are used to buying service in advance under certain circumstances. Of course paying the hotel upfront guarantees a room this is not as crucial with the barber. However, paying upfront also limits your exposure to problems later, so you have a certain assurance that the payment will not be a challenge at the location of the service delivery. In other words, convenience outweighs trust. But to me this has also revealed something else, namely the fact that even small and medium businesses are now cloud based and accessible through commercial platforms. If we take a step back here, I’ve made the argument