Basic Income: The Answer We Desperately Need— or #FirstWorldPrivilege?

Photo Credits to Phil Roeder

It’s inevitable. Though past articles out of Silicon Valley and the like have always tried to assuage the fears of technology taking over jobs — often with facts like how new products and tech are accompanied by new jobs and better quality of life for all — those are at best situational consolations. That’s because the innate worry of technology replacing workers doesn’t stem from paranoia, but from the actual purpose of technological advancement itself: to reduce and eliminate work.

Because the ultimate goal and dream of technology is so that humans can stop working—and that’s a wonderful thing. I don’t think any of us would argue for a return to the age when every day was spent solely on seeking basic sustenance. The problem however, is that technology does so at a complete disregard to the social harmony built on our human constructed employment economics. Continue reading “Basic Income: The Answer We Desperately Need— or #FirstWorldPrivilege?”

The notification system is broken, how can we fix it?

What is the problem?

Notifications are treated equally by default, but not all notifications are created equal. The OS assumes that each app takes responsibility in determining when we should divert our attention to it, but that’s right in a conflict of interest with the OS’s goal to ensure a wholesome and zen-like user experience. A flashlight app developer thinks you need to drop your conversation with a friend and look at a new promotional in-app purchase that allows you to adjust flashlight brightness. The same notification alert and style also reminds you that an important crash has happened on your host server.

They are simply not the same. Not every app on your phone is worthy of your attention. And even for those apps that are important, not every event within the app deserves it.

The current paradigm of information organization centers around the medium via which they are transferred. Everything goes in and out of apps. Want to share a web page with your best friend? Pick a messaging app first in the sharing dialog. You really care about this one friend and her snaps, but don’t really want to see all other Snapchat notifications? Too bad.

The flaw in this organization framework is that new information is not organized by where they come from or how useful they are, but rather who delivered them. If my mom sends me a message asking me when I will come home for Thanksgiving, I don’t care if it comes through iMessage, Messenger, WeChat, Line, or Email, I want to hear an alert sound and respond to it. But if Verizon sends me a new promotional blurb, whether via text, email, or call, I don’t want to be distracted by it.

Unfortunately, that’s not how our operating systems work today. Continue reading “The notification system is broken, how can we fix it?”

No one is writing about the Apple TV app — the real star of the show

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what this week’s most important announcements are. Apple, Google, and Microsoft, the three towering tech giants dropped a series of gadgets that are well positioned to change the future of PC. There is a clear trend among them: each is designed for a special subset of professionals, which is reflective of the industry as a whole: traditional PC’s are fading from average households and becoming specialized professional tools.

But among these innovative pushes for PC’s to become the trucks of computers is Apple’s TV app. The one app that unifies all your television experience by aggregating all the content every tvOS app offers into one interface. This, out of everything released on October 27th, is probably the most strategically important product announcement. Continue reading “No one is writing about the Apple TV app — the real star of the show”

To Fix Financial Technology, We Have to Fix Financial Education

Why Financial Institutions are Failing to Court the Millennial Generation

Photo Credits to UnSplash

The solution to the struggle that financial companies have in courting millennials won’t be a product. It won’t be some huge innovation in financial services or app design. It won’t even be stricter government regulation enacted to gain back the trust of the public. All the new application overhauls in user interface and features like mobile deposit and biometric security are fantastic, but they’re just band-aids that show us companies are still scratching their heads at what they should be doing. So before they find out, they’ll throw millions of dollars at the wall and hope that something sticks. That by making their tools easier for people to use — it’ll be enough. But that’s the thing. You can’t sell a product purely on convenience (unless that is the product). You sell a product on what it does, and if the value it adds is enough, people will buy it no matter how cumbersome it is.

Instead, the real reason behind the lack of interest in financial services is a lack of education in practical financial knowledge. With the incredible expansion of financial tools within the past few decades as well as the crash caused by the 2008 Lehman shock, there’s been built a feeling of exclusivity and distrust surrounding the entire industry — discouraging many from learning even about its basics. And this, the lack of learning and knowledge about financial services is the key reason in the decline.

Of course, financial professionals don’t expect their clients to have the same amount of in-depth knowledge — if they did, they wouldn’t need their services — but there’s an implicit assumption that there is a shared base of foundational knowledge and worldview. Financial advisors don’t expect their clients to know about the Long Strangle or Iron Condor they’ll use to hedge client portfolios, but they’ll assume that their clients will at least know how calls and puts work and share a priority towards value stability over liquidity.

And That’s Where They’re Wrong

Continue reading “To Fix Financial Technology, We Have to Fix Financial Education”