From Intent to Expression

Arab Spring. An intertwined Europe. A watchful eye in Asia. And, socio-political discord in America. These all are elements of a perfect storm. They are tidings of a sea-change occurring across the planet that has more to do with empowerment of the individual and disenfranchisement from traditional pillars of power—political, social, and commercial.

They are centered on the power of the web, the Internet, to create bonds of unity that surpass echelons of establishment. For those attending the Web 2.0 Expo (#w2e), there’s nothing extraordinary about anything that’s going on around us. Over the last decade, we’ve been drivers of dialogue focused on the increasing “power” of the individual, of the disintermediation of traditional approaches and avenues to accomplishing things in less time and with thinking and resources that move faster.

In my presentation, “From Intent to Expression”, I spoke about how the payments landscape in the Web 2.0 world is changing, rapidly. What started more than a decade ago with e-commerce and then with the advent of solutions such as PayPal is now a systemic advance disabling traditional purveyors of payments and commerce. The web has, to a large extent, democratized the human voice across the political and the economic condition.

Today’s headlines are complete with rising discussions of indifference toward the norm. This comes at a time when the convergence of human commercial and media consumption has been fueled by digital enablement, giving further rise to innovations that strip away the skins of convention. Convergence is being met equally by disruption never experienced before in commercial enterprise. The time, and importance of, knowing one’s consumer has never been so great. And, at a time when dissatisfaction with the traditional firmaments of finance is overwhelmingly profound, the spoils stand to go with those bridge builders who have both the empathy and the energy to create consumer solutions that match, even exceed, the needs of their lives—emotionally, socially, commercially and financially.

The crux of my discussion is this: those spoils will go most to those who know their digital consumers best (despite having never seen their face, except by way of avatar). To those who know their consumers’ preferences and payments the best. To those, ultimately, who leverage the richness of the digital age to surround their customers through payments—the actual expressions of consumption, need and want. All of this is rooted in data. Data that I and my colleagues believe is the root of a new era we are calling payments intelligence. The cause and meaning of payments intelligence will become increasingly pronounced in the months and the years to come.

Here is a link to my presentation. I invite anyone to share feedback and observations.

(Reposted, originally from the Litle & Co. Official Blog.)

What is Mojo?

What is this thing we call mojo? Well, Wikipedia says:

Mojo (pronounced /?mo?d?o?/) is a term commonly encountered in the African-American folk belief called hoodoo. A mojo is a type of magic charm, often of red flannel cloth and tied with a drawstring, containing botanical, zoological, and/or mineral curios, petition papers, and the like.[1] It is typically worn under clothing.

We all know when we say, “we have mojo” or “we need to find our mojo” we’re not talking about a magic charm, we’re talking about getting our groove on, our swerve on, etc. But what the heck does that even mean?

We know when we don’t have mojo, right? We know when we need to find our mojo. Yet when we have it, sometimes we don’t know it – we’re just groovin along. Then we fall off and say, “shit, we gotta get our mojo back.”

When I try to define it, I think mojo embodies…

  • Confidence
  • Execution
  • Freedom
  • Success
  • Momentum
  • Teamwork
  • Positivity
  • Perseverance
  • Enthusiasm
  • Knowledge
  • Perspective
  • Control
  • Focus

That about sums it up, eh? If you can get all that at the same time, either as an individual or as a team (or organization), than you’re unstoppable. Mojo also implies that you can’t easily be derailed, taken off course.

Can you have mojo without some of those attributes? In my opinion, no – you need all those things. Without perspective you don’t have mojo; without positivity you don’t have mojo, etc.

How do you get mojo? How do you go from where you might be now, to a place where you got mojo? I suspect mojo starts with some fundamental things. You must have some perspective before you can start building mojo. You must be focused on something specific to build mojo. What else? What do you think? Let’s build on this.

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