Slaves to Technology?

Jeremy Wagstaff offers “a cautionary tale about technology that includes an angry reader, my friend Guy and a lunchtime appointment that went askew.” He concludes:

Technology hasn’t just messed up our heads, it’s messed up our attitude to life. Before PDAs, we would have had our diaries on our desks in front of us, which we would have perused before the day started, building a mental picture of the day. Our lunch appointment would have been scrawled in around the midday mark, probably spilling over into other time slots and making the day feel full without being bloated. Now, with Microsoft Outlook and its ilk, we feel compelled to fill our electronic diaries to ensure our days not only feel full, but appear full in software terms.

Not just that. We have also become slaves to the alarm. We outsource our memories. We don’t memorize appointments because we believe our PDAs, laptops and whatnots are doing it for us.

Strategy and Tactics

Chad Dickerson writes:

Strategies are big and sweeping and inherently pass the task of implementation to someone else. Tactics are inherently about executing. The distance between strategic and tactical is measured in meetings, PowerPoints, conference calls, and, well, not writing code. Limiting (or even mostly eliminating) that distance is the key to making things happen.

Im not saying that strategy isnt important, just that strategy directly combined with tactical skill is the real killer combo. Strategy in the absense of tactical engagement is a losers game. If youre a manager who gets down in the muck to make things happen (not to be confused with micromanagement), take heart: tactical is the new strategic.

Prosper: P2P Lending

The New York Times writes about the ‘eBay of money.’

On Prosper.com, prospective borrowers register with the site and allow the company to review their credit history. Then borrowers post a loan request of up to $25,000, along with an upper limit for the amount of interest they are willing to pay. Loans are not secured by collateral and are paid off over three years at a fixed rate, with no prepayment penalty.

Lenders essentially deposit their money with Prosper which holds it in an interest-bearing account with Wells Fargo and either review the loan requests individually or fill out a form permitting Prosper to allocate money to borrowers who meet certain criteria.

Chief among those criteria is the borrower’s rating from the credit reporting bureau Experian, but borrowers can also join or create groups with defined interests or characteristics that, they hope, will make them more attractive to some lenders.