Monday, July 8, 2013

The Anger Gap

I feel like America is angrier than it used to be. People are upset about jobs, crony capitalism, the government, taxes, the list goes on and on. I was watching the documentary Detropia and a lot of the autoworkers were pissed at corporations for cutting pay and moving jobs to China or Mexico.  I don't mean to sound heartless but what did we expect? We kicked our feet up as a nation and got out innovated and underpriced. We got our collective lunch eaten.  

Speaking of lunch, a few years back I was having lunch with an uber smart guy who builds actuarial models for insurance companies. Somehow our conversation steered toward how a lot of Wall Streeters were angry their compensation dropped. The advent of technology in finance made a lot of people obsolete over the past decade.  

He drew a picture on a napkin that looked something like this: 

(Obviously he didn't have different color pens with him)

The thought is that when a new industry or business is discovered, it's easy to add a lot of value early on.  As time passes, competition grows and folks are forced to innovate. If you aren't the one innovating you might be seeing diminishing returns given the same inputs - creating a gap between expectation and experience.   

The gap between what we think should happen and what actually happens is the ANGER GAP. Trying harder or putting in more time only to get the same, or worse, 

To shrink the gap we either need to lower our expectations, or find new ways to add-value.  Neither is easy. No one likes to "CTRL + ALT + DEL" their expectations (part of the motivation to start this blog). Additionally, finding new ways of adding-value means getting out there and talking to customers, stakeholders, competitors. Figure out all the pain points in your industry and find ways to ease them through new products and services. You will be so busy doing this you won't have time to be angry.      

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