Signal to Noise Ratio or: Payments and Software

The last several weeks have been rather interesting for me…As is periodically my want, I have spent a fair amount of time in reflection determining whether the “things” that I am doing as an evangelist are appropriate.  And, by appropriate, I mean for the audience that IP Commerce serves as well as a larger community of those interested in electronic commerce.  (Of course, I was also building and presenting a webinar series on Payments Basics.)

As most of you know, I spend a fair amount of time speaking at different events, interacting with our partners, giving webinars, etc.  In addition, there is a large amount of time that I spend “consuming” information. (A current blogroll is here.)  It has always been, and remains, my belief that a good teacher must continually be learning.  Or, perhaps, a good evangelist must know how to quit speaking and listen.  In this process of listening, I had an unpleasant (at least initially) realization…

The internet is noisy.

At first I found this horrifying.  Perhaps with blogging, tweeting, friend feeding (is there a verb for that yet?), etc I was simply generating noise and not creating content of value.  It is never worth spending time doing anything unless there is a purpose in the exercise.

Is there a purpose for this blog?

Simply, yes.  But indulge me a brief missive first.

There are two massive industries that are interacting in a way not previously possible.  The payments industry is striving for innovation…in tender, in acceptance methods, in new markets, with new programs, etc.  At the same time, the thing that payments companies (by and large) understand is payment acceptance, payment processing, payment programs, etc.  They can not, and should not, be expected to be experts in the workflow required by the business, in integration issues, in solving for complexity as required by the merchant.  Fortunately for the industry, there is none better positioned to address this need than the Software Company.  They know software.  They know their customers.  They have existing relationships.  But they don’t understand payments

So what is the purpose of this blog?

Live at the intersection of commerce and technology

Capture the trends that are important to an emergent collaboration between industries

Educate, identify patterns, periodically frustrate, and (above all) inspire thought

Wow.  Lofty ideas, eh?  Absolutely.  I wouldn’t have it otherwise.

As this post has become lengthy I leave you with one of the mantras which tickles the back of my brain as I consume information to determine what is interesting.

Closed moves to open.  Hardware moves to software.

(Seat 5A from DEN to SEA)
What’s your perspective? Agree? Disagree? Anything to add? Critiques?
The comment form is below. . .

June 26, 2008

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