--- Malcolm Gladwell, TED Talks Q&A
Do you remember the tale of David and Goliath? That’s the title of Malcolm Gladwell’s new book. He shared his interpretation at TED@250.
There are lessons for you and your money.
GoliathThe financial sector is huge, powerful and the least trusted in the world. We're still recovering from the harm caused by the 2008 financial meltdown. There are lots of examples of misdeeds in Pound Foolish (Helaine Olen), Fight Back (Ellen Roseman) and @trustandyou.
Goliath had size, strength, experience and armor. David didn't. In a conventional battle, Goliath had the clear advantage. David changed those strengths into weaknesses. He turned his own speed and nimbleness into advantages. He used his slingshot to down Goliath from a safe distance. The battle was unfair ... to Goliath.
David NowYou are nimble. You have a weapon more powerful than sticks, stones and slingshots. You have social media. You have access to the world from your smartphone wherever you go (though mind the roaming rates!). You can attack Goliath anytime you see misconduct using text, photos, audio or video.
Goliath has trouble responding in a quick, caring and believable way. Employees are often restricted or prevented from using social media. For instance, Air Canada lost a dog and internally planned to “just ignore” the media attention, hoping the story would fade away (like RBC-iGate did).
David fought alone. Your weapon is even more powerful because you can mobilize others. Even total strangers can help as your word spreads. Thanks hashtags, retweets, Likes and +1s.
Your Ultimate WeaponYour ultimate weapon is your money. You alone can decide to
- support banks with low (or no) service charges and fees
- question advice from your advisors
- deal with better people and better companies
Your SuccessesYou do make a difference. Here are examples:
- Rogers gave mobile customers a credit for the latest service outage (perhaps worth $18 million). This seems to be a first.
- Apple reversed a decision to leave a rating system which measures the environmental impact of their products.
- Starbucks stopped colouring Frappuccinos with bug extract
- David, Goliath and the appeal of the underdog: a Q&A with Malcolm Gladwell on this often-misunderstood story (TED Blog, Sep 2013)
- How to beat Goliath with your marketing
- If you have/had/want money, read Pound Foolish
- Fight Back against corporate trickery with Ellen Roseman’s insider tips
- We're easy to fool (with examples)
- Case study: seller beware vs buyer beware
- Handcuffed: comparing mobile phones and life insurance
- image courtesy of Wikipedia
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