Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Live from Prepaid Expo USA 2011: Keynote Speaker, Robert Safian (Editor of Fast Company)

Day 2 of Prepaid Expo USA kicked off with Robert Safian's , Editor and Managing Director, FAST COMPANY, Keynote "Thriving in a Competitive Market: Innovating to Survive in a Fast Changing Economy."

He explained change and the role it plays in business:

Don’t pay attention to what competitors are doing.

They do fantastic work but when you pay too much attention to them, you get distracted.

He has talked to a lot of businesses about the next great depression but no one he spoke to was doing worse than ever. He found instead that media was losing its focus.

So what should companies do to in order to be a fast company:
1. Who are your future customers & who are your future employees?
2. What will be your future tools & services? i.e.,Facebook…
3. Are you pursuing a growth mindset? Are you testing? Pursuing new things?

No one thinks of their company as innovative, not even CEOs.

Fixed mindset vs. Growth mindset

Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

He then sat down for a "Live Interview, Behind the Scenes of a Fast Company: Q&A with Steve Streit, CEO, Green Dot:"

Green Dot considers itself a mission driven company – to provide low cost FDIC insured prepaid cards to the underbanked community.

There was no retail category when Green Dot began. Steve Streit, a former radio jockey, initially started a net company called go.com. Kids browsed but didn’t make purchases because they had no access to credit card, which gave him the idea for a prepaid card. He and his partner went from business to business, pitching their idea.

Starting Green Dot he noted was incredibly hard and painful, lot of personal sacrifice, not sexy, and incredibly hard.

"Desperation is a great motivation."

But in the end, they launched a great service that continues to strive toward innovation. They want to be innovators. They are not a prepaid company, but rather want to make people’s lives better, easier. Their moral compass is directed toward their responsibility to their customers. That's what works for them.

How are you working to become an innovator in the prepaid industry and how are you putting your company to work for your customer?

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